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: haileyshalo@yahoo.com

Monday, May 20, 2013

A New Day...A New Resolution

Well, today has been much better than yesterday!  I went to bed last night an emotional wreck and woke up feeling uplifted and peaceful.  I realized that those videos I watched of Hailey changed something inside of me.  Seeing her smiling face, hearing her giggles, and watching her dance made me realize how important it is to enjoy life...even in the down times, as Hailey always did.  That little girl never complained about her physical struggles.  She never let them hold her back for one second.  She held herself to the same standard that any other child her age met.  My little Hailey is truly an inspiration.

By nature, I can be a little uptight.  (Don't forget family and friends, I moderate your comments!)  But in all seriousness, I am well aware of this and really do have to remind myself to mellow out at times.   I like things in my life neat and clean, organized, scheduled, non-chaotic, etc.  Basically, I like to feel in control...of my life, not necessarily others.  This need for "control" became much worse after Hailey passed away because losing her made me feel so out of control, even though I knew there was absolutely nothing I could have done differently.  

Anyways, today is Monday and in my need to keep my life under "control" I usually spend my Monday mornings cleaning the house after having everyone home all weekend, but today felt different.  The weather was beautiful.  All I could think about was seeing Hailey on those videos and it made me crave to do something fun with my kids so I could watch them enjoying life as Hailey did.  So I decided to ditch my daily cleaning ritual (And those of you who know me well know that's huge for me!) and take them to Irvine Park.  If you don't live locally, Irvine Park is a beautiful 500 acre park about 20 minutes from my house.  It has a little zoo, train ride, lake, paddle boats, bikes, horse rides, hiking trails, tons of trees and nature, etc.  I remember taking Lexi, Hailey, and Ava there about a month before she passed away.  (See below for pictures)

Ava and Joey were so excited and we seriously had the best time!  All the animals were out and active and for the first time in a long time I was completely relaxed and at peace with my surroundings.  After the zoo we went on the little train ride and then sat outside and ate lunch.  It couldn't have been a better morning.  (Way better than cleaning.)

Later that afternoon I picked Lexi up from school and had a couple of the neighbor girls over to play, another thing that often stresses me out.  (Not the neighbor girls...just extra kids in general!)  But today, surprisingly enough, it didn't at all.  I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Lexi and Ava in their rooms laughing and chatting with their two little friends.  And during that time, I hung out with Joey and we watched funny animal videos on my computer.

When Sean got home I decided I didn't feel like making dinner either.  So we ended up going out to a little Hawaiian restaurant nearby.  The night was gorgeous so we ate outside.  They have those little water spouts all over where the kids can run in and get wet.  Being me, I originally told them not to get all wet because it was getting late and I didn't have any changes of clothes.  But of course, being kids, they were like flies on crap when it came to the water.  Once again, I thought of Hailey and how if I knew this would be one of my other kids last day here what memory would I want to have?  So I took a deep breath and let them go at it.  It may sound lame to some of you laid back relaxed folks, but it was a big step for meAnd not only did the kids get soaked, but they loved every minute of it.  I couldn't help but sit there feeling a heart full of love and gratitude as I listened to them the giggle and squeal.  After dinner I ran home, grabbed towels and pajamas, came back dried them off, dressed them and counted that as their bath.

After the kids were in bed, I came in my room, got down on my knees and thanked God for the wonderful lesson I learned yesterday through watching my little angel, HaileyEven though she is no longer physically here, her spirit is ever so strong and continues to teach me all the time.  I feel like I owe it to her to make sure her siblings and her parents live a happy life full of love and gratitude.  

 When my time comes to leave this world I don't want my kids to say that their mom had the cleanest, most organized house and car, and that they always went to bed on time, and things were always under control, etc.  I want them to say they had so much fun with their mom and that they made great memories and stayed up extra late and had friends over to play and got dirty and laughed and danced and so on.  So, as of today, I have made that my rest of the year resolution.

 And please, hold me to it.  Ask me anytime if I'm continuing to do so because I'm sure I'm still going to need some reminding.  ;) 

Some pictures of Hailey at Irvine Park:





Some pictures from today:

 

Ava had to "brush a lot of goats."
 



Playing in the water at dinner

How could I not smile at this!
video

Sunday, May 19, 2013

It's Been A While

Wow!  I think this is the longest I've gone without writing a post.  It's been about 5 months.  Of course this has nothing to do with me forgetting about Hailey or not grieving her loss anymore, as a matter of fact, I've actually been feeling her loss quite a bit more lately.  For some reason I've felt much more vulnerable in the past couple of months.  

I think the main reason I haven't posted in a while is because nothing really "new" has happened.  I've been through all the "firsts," "seconds," and now "thirds," without her.  And honestly, it doesn't really get any better.  Maybe a little more "normal," but still not better.  I guess it will never get better.  

For those of you who are around me often, you know that I still talk about Hailey all the time.  Even after almost 4 years she is still, and always will be, an active part of our family.  I will NEVER stop talking about her or thinking about her.  She is actually on my mind just as often, if not sometimes more so, than my children who are still living here with me.  I think about her day and night...every day and every night.  I think about her every time I'm with my other kids and feel that empty spot where she should be.  I think about her when I'm alone and often talk to her and tell her how much I miss her.  I think about her when I get up in the morning, when I go to bed at night, when I take and pick my kids up from school, when I drive by the entrance to the cemetery and don't have a chance to stop in (although I do still visit her several times a week.).  I basically think of her all the time. 

Right now as I type this I will admit that I have tears streaming down my face because I miss her so much.  Sean updated her website (I'll add the link when it's officially finished!) and I was looking it over for him.  As I came to the section titled, Hailey Mayz Video Library, I clicked on the slide show of her life.  My heart raced and my stomach turned because I knew I was already feeling a little weak, but I watched anyways.  Well, it didn't take long for the tears to start trickling down my cheeks.  As I watched the pictures it eventually came to a bunch of different ones that I took about a month before she passed away.  All I could think of as I looked at her smiling face, and the smiling faces of those in the photos with her, was that in those moments I had no idea I only had a month left with my little girl.  Lesson to be learned: We truly never know when our loved ones may be taken from us.  Please, take it from me, who's been there...tell those you love how much they mean to you and how much you love them.  I am so grateful I have no regrets with Hailey.  That was one of the greatest gifts God gave me throughout this entire trial.

The first song in the video is called, In My Daughter's Eyes, by Martina McBride.  As I listened to the lyrics and watched the pictures I have to say that I haven't found a better song yet to describe what Hailey means to me.  Here are the lyrics if you've never heard it:

In my daughter's eyes I am a hero 
I am strong and wise and I know no fear 
But the truth is plain to see 
She was sent to rescue me 
I see who I wanna be in my daughter's eyes 

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal 

Darkness turns to light and the world is at peace 
It's a miracle God gave to me 
Gives me strength when I am weak 
I find reason to believe in my daughter's eyes 

Chorus:
And when she wraps her hand around my finger 

Oh, it puts a smile in my heart 
Everything becomes a little clearer 
I realize what life is all about 

It's hangin' on when your heart has had enough 

It's giving more when you feel like giving up 
I've seen the light 
It's in my daughter's eyes 

In my daughter's eyes I can see the future

A reflection of who I am and what will be 
An' though she'll grow and someday leave, maybe raise a family 
When I'm gone I hope you see how happy she made me 
For I'll be there in my daughter's eyes

I guess the last couple sentences could be changed to "When she's gone I hope you see how happy she made me. For she'll be there in her mother's eyes."

After the slide show, unbeknownst to me, it went right into a bunch of videos of Hailey.  I tried watching one 20 second video about two years ago and broke down horribly as soon as I heard her voice, so I haven't watched another since then.  But this time, as soon as I saw her moving around and heard her little voice I was like a deer in headlights.  I knew it was going to be heart wrenching for me to watch those videos right then, but I was frozen and literally couldn't turn away.  There was one where I was videoing Hailey and Lexi dancing around in front of the Christmas tree and when I was ending the video Hailey said, "Bye Mommy."  At this point I was bawling my eyes out.  I'll be honest and say I haven't cried that hard in a long time.  I wanted so badly to jump into those videos and snatch her up in my arms and NEVER let her go...NEVER let that time slip by again.  

I think deep down inside I've built this huge wall around those emotions because they truly are almost too painful to think about.  I hate them. I hardly ever think about the day she died or even the first year afterwards (which I probably shouldn't do anyways). Instead, I talk about Hailey when she was alive and her funny antics.  I'm always telling my kids stories about her and about how she's still around us now.  In some weird way it makes me feel like she's still physically alive.  Watching those videos kind of reiterated to me that she's not.  I'll admit that I am now very emotional and vulnerable, which I hate, but in some strange way it feels good to let some of that built up pain out.

On a more positive note, I am so grateful to have those videos so I can see her dancing, smiling, and giggling, and I can hear her little voice (which at times didn't seem so little!).  She seriously sounds EXACTLY like Joey!  I'm also grateful that I can one day, when I feel strong enough, show them to Ava so she can see her little sister as she truly was, not only as I remember her to be.  Ava LOVES Hailey and talks about her ALL the time, so I'm really interested to see her reaction to seeing Hailey dancing around and actually hearing her voice.

I've missed blogging, but as I mentioned above, I haven't had a lot of new experiences to really write about, so I've been toying with the idea of writing Hailey's life story...from birth to death and in between.  I've avoided it until now because I've been afraid of what emotions it will bring up, however I guess this is as good a time as any.  Her story is definitely an interesting tale of ups and downs, heartaches and joys, trials and blessings, frustration and laughter, and the list goes on and on.  As I've thought about my blog and what else I have left to write, I realized that those of you who have never actually met Hailey don't really "know" her.  So keep an eye out for when I finally get that started!!

Also, if you have any personal memories of Hailey, PLEASE, email me either at the address above or my personal email, if you have it.  Many of you out there have memories of Hailey and things she did or said that I don't even know about!  I would LOVE to eventually do a blog entry sharing those stories as well.  (If you'd like me to keep your name anonymous, just specify that too and I will!)

For now, thank you all again for your continued love and support, even after almost 4 years.  I couldn't be any more blessed with the amazing people I have in my life...both those I know personally and those I only know through the internet.  You have made my journey that much easier.