Although I haven't written many long blog entries recently, this year has been very difficult so far. I've cried more that I have in a long time. I often feel like I'm back at year one again. I feel vulnerable, emotional, sad. I miss my little girl so much. I guess in some ways I already expected it because there are several milestones happening this year. For one, this year is the 5-year mark since Hailey died. There's just something about 5 years. It seems soooooo long, yet still so short in the scheme of life. Assuming I live a safe, healthy life, I could live to be in my 80's or 90's, which means I still have another 4o or 50 years here on this earth without my little girl. There is just something so wrong about that. So many moments missed out on. I feel that I've already missed out on so much of what should have been Hailey's life in the "short" 5 years she's been gone. I also hate the fact that I'll have to miss her for the that long too.
Also, in a couple months my little Joey will be the same age as Hailey was when she died and Ava will be almost the same age as Lexi was. This brings back tons of memories and emotions. As I watch Joey grow, I'm constantly reminded of all the things Hailey was doing at that age. Sometimes I forget how much of a little person she was!
Lastly, in our church we baptize children when they turn 8 years old. This is what we believe to be the age of accountability. Prior to 8 years old, we believe that children are perfect and therefore do not need to be baptized. When children turn 8, they are responsible and accountable for their actions. (For more on this you can visit Mormon.org) Anyways, that's besides the point. The reason this is so difficult for me is because Hailey would have turned 8 this July. I'm watching all the little girls she would have grown up with getting so excited for their baptisms. They're sending out invitations and buying pretty white dresses, etc. Although I know that Hailey died perfect, it still hurts as a mom to miss out on that special rite of passage. Every baptism I go to tugs at my heartstrings and really hurts.
Along with all the above, to be truly honest, I'm just tired. Tired of missing my little girl every single minute of every single day for the past 5 years. Tired of knowing I have so many more years ahead to continually miss her. Tired of having to go to the cemetery to visit her. Tired of wondering what she would look like or how she would get along with her siblings. Tired of having to tell people I have 4 kids, not 3. Tired of the lingering sadness that is always in my heart. Tired of spending holidays and birthdays without her. Tired of watching my children miss their sister. Tired of family pictures with only a photo to represent her. Tired of watching all her little friends growing up without her. Tired of the roller coaster of emotions I constantly experience. Tired of wishing I could cry, but can't. Tired of feeling the constant sting of death. Tired of trying to convince myself that I'm so strong. Tired of the sheer weight of grief on my shoulders. Tired of looking like all is good on the outside, when it's not on the inside. Tired of the constant crippling fear of losing another I love to death. Tired of the helplessness and sheer pain I feel for others grieving. Tired of not being able to fix it for them. Just plain tired.
Today, my sweet little 5 year old, Ava, was watching a movie on her iPad in her room. All of a sudden she came walking into my room literally sobbing hysterically. I couldn't figure out what happened and she couldn't even talk between sobs to tell me. I asked her if she was ok and she just melted into my arms and cried harder. After about 5 minutes she finally told me that she was watching Charlotte's Web 2 (Didn't know there was one!) and I guess it began where the original Charlotte's Web left off...with Charlotte the spider dying after giving birth to a billion eggs. Anyways, between sobs Ava said, "Mommy, I didn't know the mommy spider died. She died and left her babies. I didn't know that. It reminded me of how Hailey died and left us all. I miss her so much, Mommy. I just want her to come back. I am so, so sad." Try holding it together through that. I continued to hug her tighter and kept telling her how sorry I was. What does a mom even say to that? (Ava was only 9 months old when Hailey died, but is so attached to her. She sleeps with a stuffed horse Hailey had and she has pictures of Hailey all over her room and talks about her non-stop.) She cried for about 15 minutes straight. I literally would have given my own life at that moment to have Hailey walk through the door and hug her sister.
I believe death is a beautiful thing... on the other side. But for those of us left behind there really isn't much beauty to find in it. Yes, there are little miracles here and there, blessings from God if you believe. I have had many in the last 5 years, but still nothing even close to making it all better or worthwhile. It just is what it is and it becomes something you just have to get used to living with.
Joey giving Ava a hug as she holds Hailey's horse and cries for her.
Ava has this picture in her room of Hailey opening up the horse she now sleeps with on her 2nd birthday.
(Thank you Bloom family!)
Ava also has this picture in her room of Hailey pushing her in the swing.
And I have to share this too! Ava had this frame with a picture of Hailey in it since she passed away. A couple weeks ago Joey stepped on it and broke it. Ava was devastated, to say the least. My mom ended up getting her a new frame, but Ava wanted the little ladybugs on it, so she took matters into her own hands and made some new ones!!! I seriously love her!
I couldn't get the picture to rotate, so the broken frame is on the bottom and Ava's masterpiece is on the top!
P.S. I just realized how much I missing posting here! I have a lot to catch up on. Please, stay tuned...