Life Ain't Always Beautiful, by Gary Allan...
Click on the link to listen to it, but I promise it will make you cry.
For some reason, it compelled to me come back here and write. I'm sitting here with that familiar lump in my chest because I just want to break down and cry so badly, but I hate doing that because it takes so much energy for me to recover. So hopefully, by writing, I'll be able to get the same amount of emotion out.
As I've said before, no amount of time ever makes losing a child easier. It just makes the pain and grief different. I very rarely cry on the outside anymore, especially in front of people, but honestly, I cry on the inside everyday. I think that's one of the reasons I love to laugh so much; it helps to relieve the sadness I feel. Hailey is still on my mind every single day, just as often as Lexi, Ava, and Joey. I seriously hate living my life without her. I'll admit, I have what I consider to be a great life, minus one thing, my Hailey. As my other children continue to grow up it's so hard not having Hailey around. We do so many more fun things now as a family since we're finally out of the "baby stage." Fun things that I want Hailey to be a part of. It truly sucks not being able to have my whole family together...ever. Watching my other kiddos grow, laugh, play, fight, and experience life is so hard without Hailey in the mix.
It's amazing how much a part of my daily life she still is. Every day as I get my kiddos off to school I think about how she's not there to walk with Ava. I wonder what she would have wanted me to make her for lunch and what kind of clothes she would have liked to wear. After school while helping with homework, I think about how Hailey would be doing in school. What would her writing look like? Would it be neat or messy? Would she like homework or whine and complain about it? At dinner, I wonder what she would have been telling us about her day. At bedtime, I wonder what books she would be reading and how she would have wanted her bedroom decorated.
Every school event, I'm reminded she's not there to be a part of it. Ava just had a 'jog-a-thon' at school and as I was there cheering her on and watching the huge smile on my face, guess who wasn't there for me to cheer on, Hailey. When I take Ava to her singing class or piano lessons and Lexi to her sewing class I wonder what Hailey would have liked to do. When I'm cheering Ava and Joey on at soccer, I wonder if Hailey would have liked to play sports. What shows would she have liked to watch on TV, what games would she like to play, who would she fight with the most, what would be her favorite song, and the list goes on and on and on. These are things I think about and wonder every day.
I'm also reminded she's not here by other painful means too. Every time I meet someone new and they ask how many kids I have. I hate that people I don't know assume I only have three kids, when I really have four. Or when I'm out with my family they don't know we're missing one. It bothers me so much. Just the other day I took Lexi to a new dentist and the paperwork asked how many siblings she had and their ages. Seriously? I had to sit there for 5 minutes debating with myself about what to write. I don't want to write two because she doesn't have two siblings, she has three, but then what do I write for Hailey's age, and what do I say if they ask why she doesn't come there too, and..., but still, she has three siblings!!! Anyways, in the end, I wrote three because she has three. If they want to ask me about it, then I guess with that lump in my chest I'll have to tell them.
Also, every time I hear of another family who had a child pass away, all my initial emotions resurface. It's like I'm back at the beginning of this journey again walking beside them in my heart. It's a pain and heartache that most people will never know (lucky for them), but I know it all too well and therefore feel a sense of responsibility to grieve with other mothers who are grieving a similar loss. That's a lot of weight on my shoulders; yet I crave to be there for them.
At my church we all hold "callings." A calling is a position or assignment members have been asked to serve or perform. They are all volunteer since we have no paid clergy. Anyways, I was called, by my Bishop, to be our Primary President, so I am in charge of all our primary aged children (18mos-12yrs). Every week when I see Hailey's class walk into our Primary room my heart aches a little. When the whole primary gets up to sing on Mother's Day or for their part in our yearly Primary program I'm reminded that Hailey isn't there.
So here I am, 7 years later, still sad, still missing my little Hailey all day, every day. I'm learning how to live and cope with it, but honestly it's exhausting sometimes.
Since it's been a while, here are some pics:
Hailey and my "Beautiful Day" candle
One of my favorite pictures of all my beautiful kiddos!
On Hailey's 9th birthday a bunch of my friends surprised us with a party for her at the pool! I have such amazing family, friends, and support. I honestly couldn't be more grateful for all the people who continue to show me compassion, love, and support. One of my favorite things is all the random texts I receive with photos of dimes, Lay's trucks, etc. from people thinking of Hailey!
They make my entire day.
Ava wrote "I'am looking to Hevin" on a picture she took at Chuck E. Cheese. She told me it made her think of looking up at Hailey. For having been so young when Hailey passed away, she has such an amazing connection to her.
Joey putting flowers at Hailey's Place.
A family picture at our aMAYZing Kids Annual Golf Tournament to support our non-profit therapy clinic opened in honor of Hailey.