Kenley’s 2nd birthday was Friday. I wasn’t quite sure how I would feel, but honestly I felt proud to be her Momma that day more so than a normal day. It’s weird, and I really don’t know how to explain it but I think it had something to do with all of the donations we gave, and all the random acts of kindness that were done in her name. The text messages, and instagram messages really helped too; knowing she isn’t forgotten means the world.
We started the day with Shane going to the doctor because he had been feeling crappy for a while. Then, when he got home we packed up all the donations (see this post for more information on what all we donated!) and took them for drop off. Seeing all of those things and knowing that they are going to help other parents who lose their children really warmed my heart. Then, after we donated everything we went to get lunch. When we left, I told Shane I wanted to leave a nice tip in memory of Kenley as our random act of kindness for the day. We ended up leaving a $50 for her tip. I wrote a note explaining it was in memory of our girl on what should be her second birthday.
We then went home because I really just wanted to see my babies. When we got home, my neighbor brought over a gift that she bought for Kenley’s birthday, and we had the cake that my mom brought. It all felt good. It didn’t feel sad (any more than it normally does I mean) it felt good. I felt proud to be her mother. I felt like I did right by her that day. I don’t think there was anything else I could have done that would have made her more proud.
The day ended with Shane and I talking about her and wondering who she would be. It’s so hard to do that, and it breaks my heart all over again. I hope that she knows how much she is loved and missed. When we had Alden, I was scared that we were going to move far away from Kenley in a sense and she would be forgotten, but that didn’t happen. The love I feel for Kenley is different than the love I have for my other children. I have to love them differently, because 2 are here on earth, and one isn’t… It’s very odd.
Alden has given me joy back that I never ever expected to have in my life again. Reading this sentence I know there are some people who will think “wow, that is over dramatic”, but you’re wrong. I cannot explain to you the sadness that accompanies child loss; the pain that comes from not bringing a child home to the place you’ve prepared so lovingly for it. Alden has restored my heart by piecing it together again. I’m sure my heart looks like half finished patchwork quilt now. Maybe not even that, because that has potential to be finished some day…maybe my heart looks like a broken vase that someone tried to put back together. Inevitably you will always be missing a piece, or it won’t fit back together just right ever again.
With the impending arrival of our third daughter, Rowan, I am worried about moving even farther away from Kenley and wondering how to keep her legacy going strong. I miss her every day. I miss the thought of her and what I wanted for her little life. It’s weird. I have different “dreams” for Alden, and Rowan. It’s crazy what child loss can do to you.
Tonight, on new years eve, I’m sitting here waiting for the ball to drop with Landon. He asked all day if he could watch it. I really, really didn’t want to stay up, but I decided I would power through for him. Hope he knows he owes me a kiss when the ball drops! Jokes on him 🙂
Two years ago on new years eve we walked in the door to our home without our daughter. I walked straight to her nursery (after Shane had my mom remove all baby items from the home and put them in the nursery in preparation for our return home in order to not make me sad…) and I sat down in her glider. I rocked and sobbed so hard. I clutched the bear that the hospital staff had given me so I wouldn’t leave the hospital with empty arms. I remember sitting there and hearing fireworks and gunshots at midnight. Shane kissed me, and I remember thinking how fucking awful my life was and that I would never feel happiness again.
I was wrong…kind of. My life at that moment was awful, and every day since has been awful in the sense that my perfectly healthy daughter died without warning inside my body. But, I do feel happiness. I feel it when I look at my children. I feel it when Shane kisses me, or holds my hand. I feel it when I do good things for other people. The happiness is there, and I know that it is ok for me to feel happy now. I used to think that if I felt happy it meant I was leaving her in my past and being happy would make people think that I was “over” her death…but that’s not true.
Being happy makes me a fighter.
Makes me a good mother for not quitting on my children.
Makes me a good wife for not giving up on my marriage when things get tough because I’m having a bad day.
It’s my hope that 2018 brings even more happiness with the arrival of our 3rd daughter, and allows me to grow as a mother, wife, and friend. I hope to accomplish great things in Kenley’s name this year. It’s my hope that my sweet girls legacy lives on and I get to tell more people about her.
Bring on 2018, even though 2017 wasn’t too bad of a year…