This blog is an uncensored look into my soul. I am writing this as part of my healing process, but am leaving it public so others can follow me through my journey.

If you'd like to start from the beginning, click on the beautiful, adorable picture of Hailey on the right hand column.

You can also email me at:

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just Thinking...

Well it's 3:30 in the morning right now and I'm still awake.  I just can't seem to get Hailey off my mind.  I mean, she's never really "off" my mind, but I do manage to focus on other things once in a while.  For some reason, though, the huge hole in my heart representing her physical absence is opened wide tonight.  

It's so frustrating how random grief is.  I wish it were like a bad day, that once you went to bed and got a good night's sleep, it's over and on to a new fresh start.  But I couldn't be that day its excruciating, the next manageable, then heart-wrenching, then a few days of "It's all going to be okay," then even a day of, "I feel good," then BAM...back to excruciating again.  The unpredictability of it all makes it that much more difficult and unfair.  

I haven't allowed myself a pity party for two reasons: 1) because it's not going to do me one bit of good or change anything and 2) because I am well aware that as horrible as my trial is, there are many out there who have much worse.  However, I do have to say that there are times that I dabble in the unfairness of it all.  

Today I took the girls for a walk around a lake by our house.  It was an "amayzingly beau'ful" day!  The weather was absolutely perfect.  As I watched Lexi practicing on her 2-wheeler bike and chased Ava all over the place, I couldn't help but feel cheated out of experiencing Hailey there too.  I longed to see her on her new big girl bike with training wheels that she probably would have gotten for her 4th birthday.  I craved her high pitched voice yelling, "Mommy, look at me!  Look how fast I can go!"  (I'm assuming since she would have been 4, some of her baby talk would have subsided a little!)  It's so not fair.  

School starts for Lexi next Thursday and I'm taking her on a little Mommy/Daughter Date out to lunch and then off to get her hair cut (She wants layers...yes, she's only 7!) and our nails done!  I can't wait.  On the other hand, I can wait.  I can wait to experience the emptiness of not having Hailey there to get her hair cut and her nails done for her first day of Preschool.  Maybe she would have gone with Lexi and I or maybe I would have taken her on our own date, but it doesn't really matter anyways, because I'm not going to get to do either.  It's so not fair.  

That first day of school when Lexi is all dressed up in her new clothes, hairdo, polished nails, backpack, etc. is going to be so bittersweet for me.  This is the first year that I don't want her to go back to school.  I'm going to miss her so much it almost seems unbearable in a way.  I don't want to let her go.  I've had a blast with her this summer.  I guess that's one of the blessings I can focus on...the unbreakable bond that we have formed throughout this last year.  We were already very close, but now it's even more than ever.  I need her.  She doesn't even have a clue how much I desperately need her.  I would never put that burden on her...It so wouldn't be fair.

That first day of school is going to be tough.  Seeing Lexi so excited and grown up and ready for a new year at a new school will be happy and sad at the same time.  (We put her in private school this year.)  But I should also be able to see Hailey excited and "grown up" and ready for a new school year!  Lexi and Hailey would have been at the same school together this year.  Now Lexi won't ever get to be an the same school together with any of her sisters.  It's so not fair.

Gosh, so much for not allowing myself a pity party, huh?  Sorry, but I had to get this off my chest so I can FINALLY get some rest!  Otherwise, tomorrow I'm going to be exhausted and not very fair to my girls!!!  

Anyways, I know life is not fair...probably for anyone.  I tell Lexi that all the time.  It's never fair for our own personal self until we maybe take a moment and step outside our little bubbles and take a look around.  I think we'll quickly realize that life actually is quite just depends on who we're comparing it with.

My mother-in-law is always telling me that the Lord will compensate in the next life for my losing Hailey in this life.  I finally asked her one day how she could fathom that because I couldn't possibly imagine ANYTHING that could compensate for such pain and heartache.  Spending eternity with her isn't compensation to me because everyone else who got to raise their children to adulthood will still get to spend eternity with them, so how would that compensate for my suffering here?  She gave me a wonderful example! Of course, she made it clear that this is just an example, she's not saying that this is exactly what will happen or trying to speak on the Lord's behalf.  Anyways, she said: (Pat, please forgive me if I don't describe it exactly as you did!)  Imagine in the next life that you and your family are in a huge auditorium with people beyond what your eye can see.  There you are standing in the front with Sean, Lexi, Ava, and most importantly, Hailey!  The Lord speaks up and says, "Would anyone here please stand if Hailey's early departure from her Earthly life has made a positive impact in or changed your life or the life of someone you know for the better."  All of a sudden, one by one, everyone begins to stand up.  There you are standing there looking at all those grateful people who's lives Hailey has touched or you, Sean, Lexi or Ava have touched through Hailey's passing away.

Okay fine...that might be a little compensation.  I had never imagined it that way, but thinking of it literally causes tears to flow down my cheeks.  I guess it wouldn't even have to be people beyond what my eye can see...just a few thousand might suffice!  Seriously, though, what an honor (and responsibility) we have as Hailey's family to honor her precious little life and be able to help others at the same time.  That example made me realize that's where faith comes in.  Trusting in the Lord to make this all better in the end.  He will...I know He will!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hailey's "Amayzing" Race!

Hey All-

As most, or all, of you know when Hailey passed away we started a foundation, with all the monetary donations we received, in her name to help others who have children with special needs and were experiencing financial difficulties.  Below is an email from my husband about the race we're having to support The Hailey Mayz Foundation.  I hope you can all attend!

Hey Everyone-
Sorry for the impersonal email - many of you have been asking, so I thought I would send out all the race details.  Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any additional questions – and strap on those running shoes!!
What is The aMAYZing Race?
The Hailey Mayz Foundation and the Valley of Fire Marathon have partnered in a special race event taking place this November outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.  All proceeds from the race go to the Foundation and will be used to help families with special needs children who are experiencing financial difficulties.  Go to for details.

Who can race?
The race is open to anyone, so please join us (and bring a friend!)
Where is the race?
Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.  It is a little over 1 hour north of Las Vegas, and about 20 minutes south of Overton, Nevada.
If you are interested in staying near the race, click here for some options:
When is the race, and how much does it cost to participate?

The race is Saturday, November 20, 2010

Start Time
(until 10/15)
(after 10/15)
Full Marathon
7:00 a.m.
Half Marathon
8:00 a.m.
8:00 a.m.
8:00 a.m.
Kid’s Fun Run
8:15 a.m.

You can register online via, or download and mail-in a printable registration form.
***Cut and paste these links into your browser if the above links don’t work:
I can't get to the race, so how can I participate?
If running isn't your thing, or if you’re just too far away to participate, you can sponsor a member of the military to run a "Shadow Race".  This means they will run the aMAYZing race on the same day, at the same time and the same distance - only they will be doing it from where they are stationed in Afghanistan.  We have quite a few of our troops already signed up and looking for sponsors, so please let us know if you are interested in supporting this cause.  All sponsored military personnel will receive finisher's medals and shirts.  Click here to sponsor one of our troops today! ($70 each).  (Cut and paste this link into your browser if the link doesn’t work: )
I want to volunteer at the race.  Do you need help?

Yes – We are looking for people willing to help at registration tables, aid stations and parking.  Specifically:

Friday, November 19
Saturday, November 20
People Needed
People Needed
Race Setup
Registration Table
Aid stations

Please let me know if you are interested in helping.
We are also looking for 10 corporate sponsors for the event.  We are looking for sponsorships in order to cut down the cost of the race.  All sponsorships are tax deductible.
Cost:  $1000.00
What the sponsor gets:
  • Logo on race site and foundation site (with link to their site)
  • Opportunity to place promotional item / coupon / advertisement in race packets
  • Sponsorship  notification emails to foundation and race email list
  • Logo placement on signage at the race
  • Other considerations available
Who should I contact for more details?
Sean Vassilaros
Thanks you for all your support…

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My "Official" One Year Post

I know it's actually now been a little longer than one year, but due to various reasons, I'm only posting my "official" one year post now.  Here I am though!  I survived!  I did it!  I'm not sure if those statements deserve exclamation points or not, but I honestly have to admit that I'm a little proud of myself for making it through this first and most difficult year of my entire life.  

As I've reflected on this past year, I've realized that I have literally been in the depths of despair. I have felt pain beyond what I could have EVER imagined possible.  My whole body has literally ached to hold my precious child once again.  I have sobbed so hard my nose bled and I almost passed out.  I've felt complete sadness, disappointment and unfairness at what life had dealt me.  I've felt so weak I couldn't stand or get out of bed.  My heart has burned in agony.  I've been brought to my knees in sorrow and disbelief.  I've had to beg for the slightest moment of mercy and comfort.  I've thought, at times, I would not be able to go on anymore.  Yet, amongst all those excruciating emotions, I have been lifted out of those depths higher than I could have previously comprehended.  I have been comforted and blessed, served and supported, cared for and loved, thought of and prayed for.  I have been given opportunities to help others and change lives that were beyond my own abilities.  I have felt peace and hope.  I've seen the light at the end of the tunnel. I have experienced miracles and blessings that I've felt so unworthy of.  My faith and testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and of a loving Father in Heaven have been increased immeasurably and cemented into who I am.  I have even smiled and laughed and felt joy at what the future holds and what the past has given me.  I've come to realize that I am okay.  I am going to survive. I am changed...a new person...a much better person.   

This past year has been such a roller coaster of emotions and experiences, larger than any amusement park could ever offer.  And, I've come to realize that as with any roller coaster, there's always a high right after the low and a low right after the high.  Life whizzes by so fast with ups and downs, twists and turns...and, it's okay to be scared sometimes, but, more importantly, it's also okay to have fun and laugh too!!!  That is what I plan on continually doing.  I LOVE to laugh...more than anything!  Therefore, I plan to embrace those highs and live them to the fullest, so when the lows do creep in, they won't be able to grab a hold of me and pull me down.

It's absolutely amazing, and sometimes terrifying, what a difference a year can make.  I've learned so much over this past year.  I would like to say I've learned more this year than any other year I've been alive, but I'm not totally sure that's accurate.  I've had quite a few different years full of major learning curves, but I will confidently say, is that this year I've definitely learned the most important lessons of my entire life.

Now, I wish I had something majorly profound and life changing to tell you all, but honestly, I really don't.  All I have are a year's worth of life's lessons to report.  These lessons have definitely changed my life and who I am as a person, however I don't know that they'll have the same effect on all of you.  But, I'll share then anyways, and tell you from very personal experience that they are all 100% true.

So here goes: (In no particular order)

  • I am much stronger than I ever thought.  I actually think that's true for everyone.  I believe we're all stronger than we realize or give ourselves credit for, but when necessary, we can bear burdens we never thought possible.
  • People are inherently good.  Not that I didn't think people were good before, but I now know that most people are not even just good, but amazing.  They will rise to the occasion when given a chance.  They will come out of the woodwork when needed.  Some will knock the socks right off you with how much the truly care and what they're willing to do for someone in need.
  • It really is the little things that matter.  Throughout this last year it's the little things that have picked me up and carried me along.  Things like a text message, email, handwritten note, some cute flowers on my doorstep, little knick knack left at Hailey's Place, dime story, prayer, etc., etc., etc.  Those are the things that MATTER!  They all add up and give that little spark needed some days to continue on.  So please don't stop doing them, not even just for me, but for anyone who may need a little pick-me-up.  You'll never know the power of your kind gesture...even if it does seem tiny!
  • Service is one of the main keys to happiness.  I have been served in ways I'd never even thought of and by people I would have never expected.  Also, on the other end, even in my darkest hours, being able to serve someone else always brings a smile to my face and a little cheer to my heart.
  • Do NOT take life for granted.  It can and will literally change in an instant.  You NEVER know what lies ahead of you and the last thing you want is regrets.  Seriously, don't sweat the small trite as that sounds, when something like this happens, you quickly realize that most of it is truly small stuff.
  • Trials are a necessary part of life.  Although they sometimes seem unbearable, they do make us stronger.  Everyone has trials.  They may not be known outwardly, but they are there. Ours may seem bigger or more unfair than others, but it's not for us to make that determination.  We don't always know the whole picture.  Embrace your trials.  Don't give up. When trials are dealt with in the proper perspective they can make us much better people in the end.
  • Our Father in Heaven is so very merciful.  He absolutely adores each and every one of us and will do whatever He can to make our trials as easy as possible.  We just need to ask and have faith.
  • Jesus Christ absolutely knows exactly how we feel at every moment:  the joy, excitement, happiness, pain, sorrow, sickness, etc.  (Even the girly feelings!)  That is what the atonement was all about.  When He bled from every pore it's because He was experiencing EVERY single one of our personal emotions.  He can be your best friend if you just allow it!
  • Miracles are absolutely real.  I've now personally seen and experienced many miracles I would have been skeptical about before, but now KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that they are real.
  • Hailey lives!  Her body may no longer be "alive," but her spirit is just as alive now as it was when she was physically here.  She visits us often, sending little signs to say hi!  She also watches over us everyday.  She is our angel.  

These are only some of the things that I can think of right now that I have fully LEARNED throughout this experience...things that I may not have truly understood or believed before losing Hailey.  
Unfortunately, I still cannot honestly say that I'm at the point in my life that I wouldn't give back everything I've learned for having Hailey home with me.  Maybe, one day, that will come. But in the meantime, I will say that being able to help others through my blog or Hailey's Foundation has been the next best thing to having her back.  It has been such an honor for us to help others in Hailey's name!  I hate to hear of people in need, especially children, but I do absolutely LOVE to help them!

So with ALL that being said, I'm still going to continue my blog, however probably not as often.  I am well aware that my journey through this thing called life (and now, grief) is not even close to being over, so I know I'll always have new things to report.  I hope you'll all stick with me and continue reading...I love your comments and still need your support desperately!  

I now have to focus even more on my life's new mission: To have Hailey tell me how proud she is that I'm her mother when I see her once again!

P.S. We also FINALLY got Hailey's headstone in.  It was placed on her one year Heavenly Birthday.  I'll post pictures in a few days!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My "Unofficial" One Year Post

I officially survived today...the one year mark without my angel Hailey.  I have to say, as with her birthday, it wasn't quite as difficult as I had anticipated.  I'm not going to lie and say my emotions weren't on the brink of exploding everywhere, but I managed to contain them and continue on.  The support I've received today (and this past year) is WAY BEYOND what I could have ever imagined.  There are no words to express my sincere and heartfelt gratitude for each and every single one of you.  

I'm actually exhausted right now, so I plan on writing my "official" One Year post tomorrow, but until then... Here's what my wonderful husband wrote on our Foundation website:

One year ago today, our baby girl's life ended. 3 years old - it hardly seems fair. When she left, our family was crushed. There was a huge hole in our hearts that couldn't possibly be filled.

A year later, and I get to look back and reflect on this event that rocked our worlds. Here are some of the things I have learned:

1. I don't ever want that hole to heal or the pain to go away. Those moments of anguish and emptiness force me to remember my baby girl, and the amazing and humbling opportunity I had to be her father - albeit only for a short while. It forces me to think of all the great things that have happened since, friends I have made, and bonds that have been formed that would have never happened without her untimely departure. I am grateful for those things.

2. We could never have survived this year without our amazing support structure. Our family, our friends, our church, each of you. We are all connected in a way that no one could have ever predicted or guessed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

3. Hailey's legacy is alive and well. We have been truly blessed with the ability to perpetuate Hailey's love of life through the Foundation. Miracles happen every day that make it possible for us to help out others - including your help in nominating families and your generosity in allowing us to help those families. We have helped almost 20 families - each with their own unique needs, stories, and gifts. Each one of those Halos has given my family the opportunity to step outside of ourselves, if only for a brief moment, to share in their challenges, their journeys, and their triumphs.

I don't know that it will ever get any easier, but if I can look back each year and can say and feel the same way I do tonight, we will be okay.
** Some foundation news:

I posted another halo story on the site. It is a sweet story of two young girls who each had organ transplants and ended up with B cell Lymphoma. They were strangers who met in the hospital, but have become the best of friends through their ordeal. The Foundation gave each of their families a Halo.

Click here for details:

Today we gave out 6 halos to families in need - it was an awesome way to honor Hailey. Stay tuned - I will post their stories when I can.
** Some race news:

I spoke to the brand directors at Lay's (potato chips). They fell in love with Hailey, and are interested in helping to promote the race and the Foundation. This is a very exciting partnership. I will post more details later.

We are still looking for some shadow race sponsors (you don't have to run the race - you can sponsor a member of our military in Afghanistan to run it).

Click here for details:

We are also looking for Corporate sponsors for the race. If you know anyone who would like to participate by donating product, money, or promotion, we are interested in talking to them. There are all kinds of opportunities for logo placement and event sponsorship - it all goes to an aMAYZing cause. Please have them call my cell - 818-384-0355 for details.

Lastly, many of your companies have programs where they match donations given by their employees. This is a great opportunity to stretch your donation, and help promote the Foundation. We already have a few companies that are doing this (US Bank, Genentech) - and would love some more. If you have a program like this at work, and are able to add our Foundation to that list, let me know, and I will promote it through the site.

Thanks again for all your support.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Almost A Year

Wow...I can't believe that this day last year I had no idea it would be the last real day I would ever have with Hailey.  I haven't allowed myself to play the "what-if" game or go back and dwell on what I was doing each day of the year before when she was here, but this past week has been very different.  As soon as the week countdown hit, I've been reliving it over and over and over again.  I know that's not always the best thing to do, but I figure since I haven't really done it all year, I need to allow myself a week of that madness.  It sucks.  It's horrible.  It's excruciating.

I feel like after tomorrow, the one year mark, our "real" life without Hailey officially begins.  What I mean by that is that the first year of such a trauma and loss I think most people just do what they can to survive and get through each day.  I am one of them.  I mean, I definitely have had good days, but mostly I hold my emotions inside.  I try to be strong for everyone else, which in some ways is ridiculous because I shouldn't worry about everyone else, but that's just me and what I do.  Now that the one year mark is here, I feel like I can't think back and say, "Last year at this time, Hailey and I were..."   That's really going to be tough.  I guess in some ways it's good too though, because the anticipation of the first of everything is now gone.  I've done it all now without her and know sort of what to expect.  That takes a little of the anxiety and pressure off.  I feel like each hour, day, week, month, and now year takes the physical Hailey that much farther away from me.  (Although, in some ways I'm that much closer to seeing her again, too!)  

I'm also terrified that people will begin to forget now that the one year mark has hit or the support will slowly taper off.  Deep down inside, I know that's totally not true because so many of you have stayed so close to me this entire year.  I have been so loved and supported and those of you who have shown me that support I know will always be around.  You are a special kind of people.

Anyways, on a more positive note, we finally ordered Hailey's stone.  It took us an entire year, for several reasons.  One, because the thought of seeing my daughter's name officially engraved on a "tombstone" in the ground felt a little too permanent...too much to bear.  And two, because we wanted it to be just perfect.  I actually had it drawn out on a piece of paper a few days after she passed away, but couldn't bring myself to have it set in stone. (No pun intended!)  Well, Sean and I finally agreed on what we like and ordered it.  We have it set up to be placed tomorrow, on her one year Heavenly Birthday.  I thought that would be a neat way to honor her and memorialize the day.  I definitely think it's going to be one of the most bittersweet feelings ever.  One on hand, I'm excited (If I can even be about something like this.) to have a beautiful marker there now to represent our precious girl.  It will be nice for people to see what she's all about when they walk by.  Sean and I felt that what we chose will really give a nice picture of who Hailey was/is and how much she is loved.  However, on the other hand, it's so permanent.  And, that's really the last thing we had to do in this process.  So once that's set in, there are no other big decisions to make.  I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Anyways, as of today, right this minute, I'm doing okay.  So I'll keep you updated on how my emotions are going.  I'll also post some pictures of Hailey's stone tomorrow for you all to see.

Until then...

P.S. I forgot to add the link to my post on our family blog last year on Hailey's birthday.  If you want to check it out, click on the following link:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Mass For Hailey

Today was a really nice day.  My parent's are Catholic and a good family friend of theirs had a Mass in Hailey's honor.  It was really beautiful.  My mom made a donation for the flowers so they were all yellow and purple...nice and bright!  They also wrote in the bulletin and mentioned aloud that the Mass was being said for Hailey Vassilaros in honor of her first Heavenly Birthday.  I love the wording my mom chose.  

As I walked into the church, there in the pew next to my parents was one of my best friends from high school, Christine.  I was so excited to see her there!  Along with Christine, another one of my best buds from high school, Stella, and her husband and daughter were there too!  I was so thrilled that they came out to support us!  I had no idea either of them were coming, so it totally made my day.

The neat thing about the church my parents go to is that I found my second dime there a few days after Hailey passed away.  I left to go to the restroom and as I walked outside I was talking to her and begging her to send me another dime so I would officially know that was her sign to me.  As I walked out of the restroom I happened to notice something shining on the ground about 10 feet away.  I walked over to it and, sure enough, it was a dime...cemented down into the pavement!!  I couldn't believe it!  That's when I knew!  The dimes were from my Hailey!  

Anyways, after the mass, they served coffee, donuts, and juice so we all ate and chatted for a while.  Then off to my parents' house for some cake in Hailey's honor.  

It turned out to be a really nice day.  I felt strong and peaceful.  I LOVE being with my family.  We seriously always have fun together, even when times are tough.  We're always laughing at someone or something.  They are so supportive, always calling, emailing, or texting me and they have never judged me on the way I grieve.  I'll admit that I am totally attached to my family!  I am very blessed. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Very Difficult Week

I’m sitting here at Hailey’s Place typing out this entry. (No they don’t have internet here…yet!) Anyways, I am extremely emotional right now…crying my eyes out as I type this. I’ve probably had more strong days this past year than weak days, but this past week has been quite the opposite. I’m not holding up so well. I don’t really know why I’ve been so much more emotional and sensitive than usual these past few days, but I’m sure it has something to do with Hailey’s one year “Heavenly Birthday” coming up on the 11th.

I seriously cannot even believe it’s been a whole year. I can’t believe I’ve lived an entire year without her here. I feel like the initial pain of her loss is all flooding back in a huge tidal wave. I didn’t think it would be this hard because I survived her birthday so well, but then again, her birthday is supposed to be a happy day, however the day that she died…not so much. It’s excruciating, to be honest. All my individual memories keep popping into my mind, randomly, unexpectedly, and very painfully. I can’t stop crying and I swear, the more I try to hold it in, the worse it is.

Today I went to the dentist, which believe it or not, Hailey loved! Probably because she never officially had an appointment, she just got to see her older sister be tortured while she played in the front office with the awesome staff. I had, however, made her first appointment, which I ended up having to call and cancel after she passed away, not fun. So, you can imagine that being there today wasn’t so easy. Luckily, the staff there is so nice and they knew and loved Hailey, so it makes it slightly easier. I mean seriously though, who would think the loss of your three-year old daughter would even affect you at the dentist! It’s all encompassing and ever consuming.

As I drove to her place today, I took a back road that Hailey and I used to LOVE to drive on. As you know, living in Southern California, there aren’t a lot of winding, nature filled roads. That’s why we love where we live. We’re right at the base of some mountains, so there are tons of back roads with trees (Yep, trees…real trees, not Palm trees, but real trees! Whoo Hoo!) I love to drive this road because it’s considered a nature preserve. It’s covered in Oak trees and there are lots of animals down there. We actually saw a fox crossing the road once! That’s a big deal out here! Anyways, I cried the whole way down it today because I remembered once convincing her to get in the car by telling her we were going to drive home on that road and look for the animals. Well, the whole way home, she kept saying, “Mommy, where animals? Where animals, Mommy?” I felt so bad because we didn’t see any that day. Where was that darn fox when we needed him! I also remember driving that road home the day Hailey died. I kept looking in the rear view mirror at her as she sat in her car seat, happily munching on her “lellow peesh,” watching Hello Kitty on the DVD player. Little did I know how my life was about to change in just a couple short hours. Wow.

I sit here and keep looking up at her smiling face on the flag we placed here and just want to crumble. I want to grab her out of it and hug her and feel her little body and hear her precious little voice say, “Mommy, me love you.” I’m missing her so much right now that my entire body literally aches. I keep looking around at all the other children's stones here and feel each of those parents’ pain as well. Each one of them here have parents, family, and friends who are thinking about them daily, missing them and grieving for them. That’s too much suffering for one place. As you all know, I have a lot of faith, but sometimes not even that can really help with the pain. I guess it’s just something that has to be experienced and felt with such a trial.

Lexi is at Lego Land with a friend today and I miss her almost as much as Hailey right now. It was actually really hard for me to let her go. I am so terrified right now that something is going to happen to her too. I want so badly to keep her home with me for the next week, in my arms, safe and protected. Although, I guess I thought Hailey was safe and protected, too, when she went down for her nap that day. It just goes to show that we really don’t have as much control as we may think we have in our lives, which is why we should try not to take the important things for granted. I also think that’s why it’s so important to have some kind of faith and believe in a higher being that we can trust. I’ll admit that’s the only way I’ve gotten through this and still allow my children to be out of my sight. I know He’s in control and will take care of everything. However, I wish sometimes He’d discuss some of His decisions with me first.

Last night I was writing Hailey a letter (I still do that a lot.) and started crying. Lexi walked into my room and said, “Mom, do you need a hug?” And yes, I did. I think I hugged her tighter than ever. At that moment, I felt like she was the mom and I was the child as I sobbed in her precious little arms. I don’t cry around her very often because she’s very sensitive to me and really worries about me a lot, but every once in a while I will, just so she knows it’s okay to cry and that I still miss her little sister with all my heart. 

After a few minutes we started getting her ready for bed. We’ve started this little ritual where I rub her feet and tell her stories about Hailey up in Heaven. (For those of you who know me well…YES, I actually touch her feet. That just goes to show you how much I love my kids! ) Anyways, I wasn’t sure if I was emotionally strong enough to tell her a story right then, but she begged me, so of course, I relented. Part of the story went like this, “Hailey was having a blast in Heaven and felt so free and happy. She loved stopping by and visiting her family all the time! But one day, she looked out her little Heavenly window and saw her mommy crying and didn’t know what to do. She wanted so badly to be able to give her a hug, but her arms would go right through her! (Lexi laughed at that!) So she decided to go whisper into Lexi’s ear to go upstairs and give her mommy a hug. Lexi didn’t know that the feeling she had to come check on me was from Hailey, but she did it anyways. Sure enough, I needed that hug. Hailey was so excited that she was able to whisper things into Lexi’s ear and actually make her do them! So now she is making a list of all the things she wants to make Lexi do by whispering into her ear!” Lexi LOVED it and laughed as she wondered what Hailey would tell her to do next! 

As it turns out, I got that idea from the book, The Message, which is based on a true story of a man who visited Heaven and was able to come back. I truly know in my heart that the story is true because of the miracles and memories he had of watching his family when he came out of his coma. Anyways, in the book he talks about how our loved ones are always around us and whispering things in our ears, as he was able to do while in his coma. Of course, we don’t always hear their actual voices. Their whisperings usually come across to us as ideas, but I believe this 100%. After telling Lexi that story, I could just hear Hailey whispering in my ear that it was true and she really did tell her sister to come give me a hug. It was a neat experience!

I’ve had several difficult moments this week missing Hailey, but during each one she sent me a little token of love. At the pool was the dragonfly. In my backyard was the huge, yellow butterfly. And last night, in my room, was the hug! I love her so much and know without a shadow of a doubt that she is with me all the time. The Lord is so loving and merciful and would NEVER completely separate loved ones from each other. I know that He allows Hailey to be around us all the time so she doesn’t miss us or miss out on our family times and also so we know she’s here! Amazing, is all I have to say.

Wow…this entry ended up on a much more positive note than I had expected. Once again, one of those tender mercies from a loving Heavenly Father, and one of those special moments from a loving daughter! Also, one of those examples of the ridiculous roller coaster my emotions are right now!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

One Of My Biggest Fears

Today Lexi came to me and asked, "Mom, do you ever feel like Hailey never existed because she's been gone so long?"  OUCH.  I almost fell over.  That stabbed me right through the heart.  I think partially because I do feel that way sometimes.  I told her that I don't feel like she never existed, but I do feel like my memories aren't as clear anymore. That is why I feel it's so important to continue talking about Hailey so often...all the time, actually.  So she always remains an active part of our family and life.  She completely agreed and I assured her that it was perfectly okay and normal for her to feel the way she does.  

My biggest fear in this whole process is forgetting Hailey.  It is absolutely terrifying.  I know that I'll NEVER actually forget her, but the vivid memories of her every little move, expression, sound, etc. are slowly fading.  What life was like with three kids at home seems to be a distant memory.  I forget how I dealt with them all, how I managed to get them all dressed, fed, down for naps, to bed at night, while still keeping them healthy and happy (most of the time!).  

It takes a lot of concentration and deep thought for me to hear the sound of her voice again.  (And to think that I used to pray that she would just be quiet and stop yelling all day!)  Trying to remember her laugh or the way she talked or what made her smile is getting more and more difficult...and it hasn't even been officially a year yet.  What about in five years, ten years, twenty years?  It makes me sick to think that she still won't be here with me then.

That hurts.  It's so tremendously painful.  The guilt I feel is beyond words.  I don't want her to think I don't still love her or miss her or think of her every single second of the day.  It's just that the thoughts aren't so clear and vivid anymore.  I have to actually work to get the images and sounds in my mind.  I think in some ways it's a blessing to have the memories slowly fade a little.  As they become more distant maybe the intensity of the grief and pain will too.

I know my posts have been a little heavier recently, but I've really been missing her a lot lately.  I'm not sure if it's because the one year "anniversary," is coming up in a few weeks.  August 11, to be exact.  My mother's birthday, to be exact.  

The reason I put the word "anniversary" in quotation marks is because, to me, it's not an anniversary at all.  I feel like an anniversary should be a joyous event, something to be celebrated...and this is nothing of the sort.  I know everyone who's lost a loved one has a specific name for that specific date and my mother had a wonderful idea of what we could call Hailey's.   Thanks to her, we now call August 11th, Hailey's "Heavenly Birthday."  So now she has an "Earthly Birthday," when she was born here and a "Heavenly Birthday," when she was "born" in Heaven.  Plus, my mother and Hailey now share a birthday.  (Hailey was named after her!)

Anyways, thanks for reading and continuing to walk beside me even when I'm not so up and up.