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.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Hailey Featured on the Lay's Potato Chips Site!!!

I know it's been a while since I've last written, but in most ways that's a good thing.  Life has been busy and moving forward.  I am slowly learning how to navigate my way through life without Hailey, while still keeping her a part of me and our family in everything I do.  

Part of that everything is our exciting news that Lay's Potato Chips has decided to feature Hailey and her foundation on their Facebook page!!!  After Hailey passed away, Sean contacted Lay's and told them all about Hailey and her immense love for their chips.  They have been "amayzingly" gracious towards us.  

Just click on the following link to see firsthand:

As soon as I saw it posted my heart started racing so fast I thought it would break the sound barrier!!!  I couldn't believe it.  What an honor!  I am so grateful and flattered that such an enormous worldwide company would be willing to feature our little Hailey on a page of over a million users.  I don't know how to ever thank them except for promising to buy their chips from now until eternity!!!  And that I can do!  Even though Hailey is no longer physically here, I'm always out buying little "lellow" bags of their chips to leave at her place...sometimes I even spring for the full size bag on special occasions!  (The birds LOVE it!)

Anyways, I watched the video posted of Hailey getting a custom made Lay's shirt on her 3rd birthday from one of her favorite people ever, our neighbor Matt.  I've only seen it once before because of the emotion that it brought out in me.  And I'll admit, nothing's changed.  I cried my eyes out for about 20 minutes after watching that clip.  She was so beautiful and happy that I know she still is in Heaven.   (She was laid to rest in that same shirt, her favorite!)

After watching the video I went back to the Facebook page and started reading people's comments.  Of course, there were definitely some people who had some negative things to say, usually along the lines of questioning why I would feed my child so unhealthily.  The funny thing is, aside from the chips, she ate quite healthy.  Her last meal was quinoa and broccoli...her favorite.  You can't get much healthier than that.  Anyways, my point in this is that at first I was really upset that people would be so judgmental and negative, but after a few minutes of reading on, I came to realize that those were the mere few.  The majority of comments were amazingly positive and supportive.  Gosh, there are so many good people in this world.  

Every single little comment of support lifts me up and makes me smile beyond description.  You are all wonderful and I thank you again for walking beside me along this journey.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

These Are The Times...

There are certain times that the loss of Hailey feels a little more intense and realistic than others.  Although I don't often verbally express or physically show the constant feeling of emptiness I have without Hailey, it is ALWAYS there on my mind.  Today, for example, was one of those days.  

I went to a birthday party for one of my good friend's son.  Lexi was at a friend's house and Sean stayed home while Ava napped.  As I walked across the parking lot by myself it struck me that I probably would have taken Hailey with me today.  Where else would she have been while Lexi was gone and Ava was napping?  She would have gone to her little friend's birthday party with me.  As I pictured us walking together, hand in hand, through the parking lot, my stomach did that little flip flop thing and my heart skipped a beat or two.  I sat and wondered to myself where she would have been playing and who she would have been playing with.  Watching the other children hit the pinata stung a little too.  I remembered her two years ago at that same sweet boy's party climbing on the jungle gym, eating "peesh" and cake, hitting the pinata and scrambling for the candy. I really missed her right then.

After the birthday party we went to Sean's company picnic.  There was a bounce house and one of those huge inflatable slides.  Hailey LOVED those slides!  She was seriously fearless.  I remember about a month before she died we were at another birthday party with one of those slides and she insisted on climbing the blown up inflatable stairs, all the way to the top, BY HERSELF.  I couldn't dare touch her.  She was also one of the youngest and smallest children there.  Well sure enough, she did climb that entire thing by herself.  All the while, a huge line of about 10 other kids patiently trailed behind her.  I watched and waited for her to get to the top, look down, and refuse to slide.  I was annoyed because I knew that I would then have to climb that darn thing and slide down with her.  (Wow, what I wouldn't give to do that today.)  Anyways,  I couldn't have been more wrong.  She got to the top, plopped onto her little bum with a bounce and took off down that slide!  The smile on her face as she sailed down was "amayzing"!!!  She loved it.  

Anyways, back to the company picnic.  Towards the end of the day, Lexi really wanted to take Ava down the huge slide.  It's way to high for her to do herself, so I figured I'd pony up and go with them.  I carried Ava to the top, while Sean waited at the bottom with the camera.  Lexi sat down next to me and I had Ava on my lap.  Suddenly, we all took off together.  Lexi and I screamed the whole way down (I think Ava was too in shock to even utter a sound!) and then we all fell in a heap at the bottom laughing.  Sean was there taking pictures and for another moment I felt it.  I felt it so strongly.  Hailey was missing.  (I'm sure she was there in spirit and all, but that's not what I mean.)  Hailey was missing from all those pictures.  I want a picture of me with my THREE girls laying at the bottom of the slide out of breath and laughing hysterically.  I really missed her in that moment too.

Then as I talked to one of Sean's co-workers who has three children almost the same ages as my three, that little yearning feeling crept in yet again.   I watched their three kids together all day - running, jumping, laughing and sitting to eat.   I yearned so badly to have my three girls together like that again.  And yes, once again, I really missed her.

It's horrible because that void will always be there and as painful as it constantly is, I kind of want it there.  I don't ever want anything to take it's place...I just want Hailey back in it.  There will always be a big open spot where she's supposed to be.  Every time we're together as a family we feel her void, especially when we take photos.  I love photography and taking pictures of my girls, but this loss has put a little damper on it because every single time I photograph my girls, apart or together, the physical absence of Hailey slaps me across the face.  That's something I don't think I'll ever be comfortable with.  

These are the times when I struggle with my loss and grief the most.  Those normal,  day to day activities when Hailey should just be bouncing around, carefree, and happy-go-lucky with her sisters (and her mom and dad.).  I know one day I'm going to have to come to terms with the void she has left behind and I think in a lot of ways I have accepted it already, but I'm not sure that I will ever do so completely.

Monday, September 13, 2010

She Heard Me!!!

So apparently Hailey reads my blog because after writing my last post about her not sending me any dimes, what do you think came up today in literally the MOST random place ever?  Of course, a dime!! Seriously, I could not believe it!  I'm thrilled because my faith in "the sign of the dimes," has officially been restored and I know that Hailey is still with me!!!

Today I took the girls out to dinner with a friend and as we were leaving Ava ran off, as usual.  There was a group of bushes off in one of the far corners of the outside of the restaurant.  She ran over toward them trying to escape my soon to be death grip.  As I went to grab her I happened to look down and literally off behind the bushes, against the wall of the restaurant, under a little ledge, half buried in the dirt was a dime, tails up!!  

I honestly could not believe it.  I mean, seriously, how in the world would a lone dime end up on the side of a restaurant behind a group of bushes in the dirt?

The pictures are kind of blurry because I took them with my cell phone while holding on to a squirming Ava...but you'll get the point!

Can you find it?
Start at the cigarette butt :), go straight up to the wall and then look directly to the right.  It's that little tiny circle under the ledge!

A closer look!

It was so ridiculously random and awesome!  I don't care what anyone thinks or says...I am a true believer of signs.  They are absolutely real.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where, Oh Where, Has My Little Hailey Been?

Gosh, I can't even tell you the last time Hailey has sent me a dime.  I have to admit that I was always a little apprehensive about relying too much on finding them, but I just couldn't help it.  I'll grab onto anything that will make me feel closer to Hailey.

Anyways, I just figured she hasn't sent me any recently because I've been doing pretty good.  It's so weird how in the first few months I found so many dimes in so many "random" places at so many perfect times.  But lately, not a one.  I'll admit, it hurts.  It makes me sad.  It makes me wonder...were those really signs from Hailey or was I just stretching for anything?  I mean some of them were seriously so undeniable and almost miraculous (if you could say that about finding a dime!).  I know they were from her, without a shadow of a doubt, but why none now?

A few days ago my friend and I took our kids on the train to a really cute petting zoo in San Juan Capistrano.  The last time I was there, Hailey was too, and we all had a blast!  I have some adorable pictures (I'll post some at the end!).  Anyways, I talked to her and told her I really wanted to know she was there with us that day and begged her to send me a dime.  So, of course, I thought for sure I'd find that special dime somewhere along the way!  I was actually excited about it!  I couldn't wait to feel close to her again, like she was right there!  But, I looked and looked and begged and begged and found nothing.  I can't really say I was angry, but I was definitely very disappointed.  There were so many opportune places that day to find a lone, special dime, but nope, nothing.  

Then, on Lexi's first day of school I hoped for the same, a little sign that she was there with her sister...but again, nothing.  I mean, am I being ridiculous?  Was I relying on something totally untrue or far fetched?  Has she forgotten about us already?  Or, could there be a recession in Heaven too?

Who knows, but honestly, I am really bummed and kind of feel forgotten about.  I mean, deep down inside I know she'll never forget us and will always be around; I guess I just want it to be on my terms.

I just really miss her.  :(

Zoomar's Petting Zoo
March 5, 2008

Hailey LOVED animals!
(I kind of picture her like this in Heaven, with all the animals around her, maybe even a lion or two thrown into the mix!)

Where there was food to be eaten, it didn't matter who's it was!

Letting her crawl on the ground with the goats just about killed me!

She just loved to take it one step too far and torture me!

She got quite the bath after this event!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


As if the actual grief isn't enough, I also live with complete terror.  Literally every single day...sheer terror that something is going to happen to another one of my children, family members or dear friends.   Every morning I wake up wondering if this will be the day I lose another loved one suddenly and every night I go to bed, grateful that today was uneventful, but wondering if tomorrow will be THE DAY.  It is a horrible way to live...especially when you know that the ultimate control of whether that happens or not is completely out of your hands.  

I thought putting Hailey down for her nap was one of the safest places she could ever be...but when it was her time to go, ultimately there was nothing I could have done about it.  I have a REALLY difficult time letting Lexi or Ava go off with other people, even family on some of my rough days. Every time they are out of my sight I'm worrying that something is going to happen to them.  (Not because I don't trust the people they're with, but just because they're not with me.  Which is so ironic because it's not like being with me would change anything.  Hailey did die when she was with me...ouch.)  But still, every time Lexi leaves with a friend, family member, or even her own father, who absolutely adores her, I am terrified it will be the last time I'll see her smile, hear her laugh, or have her tell me she loves me.  (Hailey had just started saying, "I love you Mommy.")  Whenever Ava is in bed, nap or night, I have a monitor on and am constantly listening for her stirring around.  If it goes too long that I don't hear her, I'm up there in her room making sure she's still breathing.  Even more terrifying for me is when Sean has both the girls in the car somewhere.  All I can think about until they're home safely is that if there were an accident I could lose my entire family in one shot.

This fear isn't just about my kids though, it trickles down to all my loved ones, both family and friends.  Whenever I don't hear Sean snoring away in his sleep (Sorry Babe!) I'm terrified that he's had a random heart attack and died.   Or when he's on a mountain bike ride I wonder if there are any mountain lions in the area that day.  I fear my mother getting into a car accident in her little 2 door mid-life crisis of a car.  (Love you Mom!)  I'm afraid every time my sister travels that she won't return or every time my father goes out for a bike ride he'll get hit by a car (Seriously Dad, wear your helmet.).  

I'm so sorry for the vivid details, especially to those I named, but I'm just trying to be honest about how serious this fear really is...and how complete and detailed my thoughts and fears are.  It is my reality.

I just can't stand the thought of "losing" another person I love so dearly.  I put that in quotations because I know they're not actually lost...but it sure feels that way sometimes.  Anyways, I know I used to always say that if I ever lost a child I wouldn't be able to survive and go on.  Yet, here I am, doing just that!  So that gives me the hope, but then again, two people I love...way too much to bear.  I also know the odds of something else tragic happening are quite slim, but it's definitely not unheard of or impossible.  

Unfortunately for me, I also now know all too well, actually EXACTLY, what death looks like...and feels like, physically and emotionally.  I constantly see Hailey over and over again in my head the way she looked when I walked into her room that horrible day.  Trust me, I don't think about it willingly or dwell on it.  I mean why the heck would I ever want to torture myself like that? But it just pops into my head randomly and often unexpectedly.  Now, every time I see on the the news or hear of a child who has died, I can see what they look like, I can feel how their precious body feels, and I am flooded with pain for their family.  I can't even count how many times I've seen Lexi and Ava like that in my mind.  It's so horrible. 

Now, not to sound conceited or anything, but I also worry a lot about something happening to myself.  Not because I think I'm so great and the world couldn't go on without me.  I mean, maybe that's true, but more realistically, it's because of my children and family.  I can't even stand the thought of what that would do to Lexi.  She is such a Mommy's girl, always has been, and I'm not sure that she would end up okay if I had to leave her.  Thinking that Ava wouldn't even remember me or know who I was is beyond words. Plus, the thought of not being able to physically watch my girls grow up and encourage them and dry their tears and get excited with them and laugh with them, etc., literally makes me nauseous.  Also, as wonderful as my husband is, I'm not sure he could handle my job.  The house would be a disaster!!!

I know sometimes it probably seems I talk a lot more about Lexi than Ava.  Of course, it doesn't mean I love one more than the other, I just relate more to Lexi right now because of her age.  She has also been the most instrumental person in pulling me through everything having to do with Hailey...from her birth and health issues all the way to her death.  She is the reason I've stayed strong and positive and faithful.  Not because of her support, but because of her need.  Sean needs me too, but he's a strong guy and could probably take care of himself if he absolutely HAD to and Ava is so young that I'm not sure she'd notice that much if I was gone!   She is, I guess, just starting to need me more emotionally and become more attached to me, which I love.  But it terrifies me as well.  I have had to make a tremendous effort not to "punish" her for what happened with Hailey.  Not because I blame her in any way, of course, but because I have this enormous wall up around my heart in order to protect it from getting ripped to shreds again.  Getting close to Ava puts me at such a high risk for that.  She is so awesome though and we have so much fun together.  Her personality is hilarious!  I plan on taking some "Mommy and Me" classes with her once Lexi starts school to keep me busy and also give us some much needed quality and bonding time!

Anyways, in closing, as I mentioned before, I am well aware that the control of life and death is essentially out of my hands.  I'm not sure if it's more comforting or terrifying to know that I don't have control over when my loved ones are going to leave this Earth and me for a while.  I know the Lord loves me, and them, and has an individual plan for each of us.  However, I just wish he'd consult me first on all his decisions!  I'm also grateful for the knowledge I have of the after life and the fact that my loved ones who have passed on are still very much alive and I will be with them again one day.

For now, all I can do is keep my family as safe as possible, let them know how much I love them every opportunity I get, and fully enjoy them!!  I hate to waste any precious time we have together worrying or hiding behind a wall around my heart.  So I'm working on it...I'm pretty good at the safety thing and expressing my love, it's the enjoyment part that I struggle with.  Although, this past few months I have really let down my guard and "uptightness" and I have to say, I've had a blast with my girls...and Sean too!!!

Thank you to all of you who took the time to read this.  I know it wasn't one of my most uplifting posts, but it is my reality.  One of the goals of my blog is to openly and honestly share my journey through grief.  Unfortunately, this is one of the realities of that journey.  So I am grateful for your support, during the good times and the bad!