The First Of The Lasts

I’ve seen the quotes and I’ve heard people say to always hug your loved ones because for all you know, it will be the last time you ever do. Who ever really thinks that though? I always try to but sometimes I leave the house without kissing my husband goodbye if I’m just running right around the corner to the store.

Looking at this picture kills me. Breaks my heart to pieces. This picture is the last hug this boy ever gave this baby. The last time he would ever hug his baby sister. I was lucky enough to catch it on camera. A last captured to save forever. I try to take as many pictures of the kids as I can. As many pictures of Big Vinnie as I can because who knows when that last day is or when that last hug is. Sometimes you take a picture that you think is just a sweet picture but little do you know that picture turns out to be something really big. One day when he’s older he will understand the significance of this picture. Hopefully it will mean as much to him as it does to me. Who knows. I mean he was only 3 when she passed. I hope when he’s older he can remember a little bit of her. Maybe remember how much she meant to him. That’s the funny thing with a child’s memory. You remember or you don’t. Vinnie Jr won’t remember. He may remember he had a sister. Let’s face it. Eventually all the pictures on the wall will come down and there may be one or two left. All he will remember is that there was a baby and then something happened to the baby and then the baby was gone. I’m hoping that Remington will at least remember HER. What it was like to hold her and how soft her little cheeks were. That might be a long shot but I’m hopeful. Either way, he will at least have some memory of her. I just really hope it’s not the bad parts. No doubt Veronica will remember. She’s old enough. I am super thankful for her that she wasn’t here for the REALLY bad part. The wake sucked yea but I don’t think it sucked nearly as much as having first responders in your home trying to revive your baby. Or waking up to the commotion and screams.

Since I’ve gotten a little bit older and lost some relatives I’ve found the value in photographs. Once I had children of my own and saw them grow right before my eyes, I realized how important pictures are. Since this has happened I finally realize that a picture can speak a thousand words. It can bring back a hundred memories. They can remind you of the smiles from that particular day or hell maybe even the drama of that day. This picture is nothing but pure love. This picture is a big brother who stopped what he was doing to run over and hug his baby sister that he loved so much.

This picture kicks up so many feelings. I look at it and I feel so mad. I’m mad because my kids are feeling this pain. I’m mad because our life had to change so fast. I have to explain something to my kids that I have no real answer for. “Well why did she have to die? Why did God have to take her?”. I have no ever-loving idea. I can tell you that when I get there SOME ONE is going to have some explaining to do though. I’m mad because I prayed for this little love bug. My prayer was answered alright, and then quickly taken away as if to say “just kidding”. Same with the kids. They wanted a baby sister so bad. I’m pissed because this whole situation has changed my sweet boy. It was going to no matter what. When something like this happens you change whether you want to or not. It has a funny way of changing you. It makes you better or it makes you bitter. Right now today I’m a little on the bitter side. My sweet boy who used to be so emotionally open is now drawn back and guarded even with his own mother. I was one of the only ones he would kiss and hug. Now he hardly gives me a kiss anymore. HE’S FOUR AND I’M HIS DAMN MOTHER! I can feel it. He’s afraid to be close because the last time he was so happy he got so hurt. That’s one shitty lesson to learn at 3 (almost 4).

I feel sad. Sad that this was captured on camera. I hate looking at this picture and knowing it was the last picture that I will ever take of a moment like this. This is also the second to last picture ever taken of her. My little baby girl. There should be so many more pictures like this in my camera roll. There should be so many more moments like this. They deserved that. She deserved that. Sad because all I want to do is be her mom. I know I’m still her mom but I want to raise her. I want to teach her and I want to love her here not from afar. Sad because I will never hug her again. Never kiss her little cheeks again. Never change her diaper again. “As long as I’m living my baby you’ll be”. Yea that’s for damn sure because you never got to grow up here. Hell she didn’t get to stick around long enough to learn to crawl. Ugh. It makes me sad because there were so many possibilities lost. You don’t just lose the baby. You lose literally a whole life time. I hardly knew what her voice sounded like. I’m sad because I lost out on hearing her first words. Her first steps. I was walking around Wal-Mart the other night and wandered into the baby section and for a minute I’m almost positive anyone looking at me could see the anguish all over my face. Looking at the baby food. She would be 7 months old. This would be the time where I would start doing foods with her. Well I can’t because I didn’t get to keep her.

Even though I feel so sad at times I also look at this picture and I feel thankful. Crazy right? Regardless she was still our baby and she still chose us to be her family. How could I not feel some kind of gratitude? Of all the other families and people in the world she picked us. She changed me. This whole thing changed me. Mostly for the better. It brought a lot of things into perspective for me. A new look on life. It showed me who in our lives actually give a shit about us. The friends and family who are going to be there when your whole life is nothing but one big cluster fucked mess. The people who are going to be there after to help you clean up. Funny because some of the people who are closest to you are nowhere to be found. Shitty but it goes that way sometimes. I’m thankful because I got to hold her and love her and kiss her here on earth. I’m also thankful for my pregnancy. Which is odd because as much as I wanted her out because this pregnancy was sooo painful I also was in no hurry to get her out. Like I said…. I knew there wasn’t going to be a happy ending here. I knew we weren’t going to live happily ever after with her. Mothers intuition is a powerful tool. I’m thankful for her little smiles. Her cries. All of it. I’d be especially thankful if I could hug her little self again but. I’m not one for bargaining so I will just accept what is.

This picture makes me feel some sort of desperate. I’m desperate to take their pains away. To make them able to understand that there are just things we have no control over. That we can do everything right and still sometimes it just doesn’t matter. But that doesn’t mean that you stop doing the right thing. I’m desperate to dry their random tears. Tears they shouldn’t have to cry. I’m desperately trying to keep her memory alive so that they don’t forget her. I know they wouldn’t want to but they are so young. Even Veronica won’t remember everything about her. Hell I won’t even remember everything about her as time goes on and I birthed her and carried her and responded to her cries and her needs. I am her mother and I won’t even remember everything about her. I’m desperate to replace the sad memories with happy ones of her for them. I  don’t want them to always associate her to death and crying and pain. I’m desperately hoping that this doesn’t someday make them say “I don’t want to have kids because I remember what happened with my sister”. Veronica has already told me she doesn’t want to have babies because babies die sometimes. How do you turn that around? They do die sometimes. There is not one guarantee that you get to keep that precious bundle of…so many things. But…. It’s so amazing when it works out. I’m afraid that this will do to them what it has done to me. Yes babies are wonderful little people and wonderful little ideas and oh my goodness the little cute onesies and bottles and blah blah BLAH.. I’ve seen the dark side to this and frankly as excited as I am of the news of new babies I’m also frankly scared shitless. I desperately want that to change. I want new babies to have the same feeling they always did. Excitement and endless possibilities. It’s just not there for me right now. Hopefully as times goes on  that changes. I desperately  wish no other family has to feel this pain and live with this void.

This picture is a reminder of how….TIRED…I am. I’m so tired of trying to figure why this happened. How this happened. I’m tired of trying to fix things. Fix my kids, fix my husband. Truth is I can’t fix any of them. I can guide them the best I can though. I can be there for them the best I can. I can try my best to answer their questions and talk about her when they want to. I’m tired from dealing with their emotions and also trying to sort things out in my head and sort out my own emotions. This certain type of grief is just exhausting. It’s one minute your feeling great and the next you want to curl up and die. It’s like pregnancy brain on steroids. I’m tired of walking into a room and forgetting what I went in there for. Or being in the middle of making a point and forgetting what I was saying in mid sentence. Or how about this one? Forgetting to make my daughter dinner before Taekwon do!! What mother does this? A bereaved mother that’s who. Don’t worry she wasn’t starving. She’s growing. She’s constantly eating something. I’m soooooo unbelievably tired of the suffocating anxiety I feel. More so at night than during the day. Makes sense because at night I’m not busy. I’m left alone with my thoughts and my mind just does whatever it wants and I have no control over the memories it decides to bring back. I do however have the ability to stop the ones I wish to not remember at that time. However the anxiety is real folks. It’s so real and so debilitating sometimes. Mostly because this just brought a better understanding that no matter how humble you are this type of crap happens. And if you think that just because you already lost one that God won’t take another… Guess again. Sometimes lightning does strike twice. It’s looking over your shoulder to see something that isn’t there. Making sure death isn’t following you. Patiently waiting to tap you on the shoulder and say “hello”.  I’m so tired.

Screw it. I’m gonna say the word all mothers in my position hate with a passion. STRONG. Yes I feel strong. I am. And yes not because I want to be all the time but because I HAVE TO BE. In the last 6 months alone the bullshit I’ve had thrown at me would break an average person. The shit I’ve had to deal with not only the death of my daughter but what the aftermath has brought… It’s unbelievable. None the less here I am. I’M STILL STANDING. I still get up every morning and try to smile. I find the joy in what I do have left and I have hope. I’m hopeful that everything will work out just how it’s supposed to and I will embrace it. I’m still alive and I have responsibilities. I have small children who need me. I have a husband who needs me and my love and at times my forgiveness. My children need to see that bad things can happen and you can cry and its ok to feel whatever it is you feel but that you also need to rub the dirt off your knees and keep going. There’s more life left to live and more joy to experience. Just because I’m hurting doesn’t mean I can’t smile when my kids do something great. Which is like, all of the time because my kids are awesome. I am strong because this alone is enough to make some people just lose themselves. I refuse to allow that happen. I get up and I get out of bed. Which if you know this life you know that in its own right is an accomplishment. I make my kids something to eat I do the laundry. I might not fold it right away but I do it. They have clean clothes to put on. My kids get taken care of. I take a shower. I clean the house. I know you’re thinking that these are all normal things and simple tasks. Well when your dealing with this type of hell these simple tasks are hurdles. Sometimes, I’m not even going to lie, the only thing I do some days is make sure the kids are taken care of. I do bare ass minimum. You really can’t understand it unless you live this life. I hope and pray you never have to live this life. I often wonder why I have to live this life. I’ve heard it said that God won’t give you more than you can handle and that he doesn’t make mistakes. I really hope there is truth to that because sometimes I feel like I’m at my personal limit. Here’s the funny thing with life though. A wise man told me when you think you’ve got nothing left you actually have about 40 percent left. The percentage might be off but…. you always have something left. There is always a reason to keep going. I have so many reasons including Stella to keep going. I have to believe that if she looking down she wouldn’t want to see me suffering. I am suffering but I think she wouldn’t want to see my life just torn apart due to her having to leave. How can I also not find the happiness in my children and my husband? I’m not done living yet. I have a lot left to learn and I want to learn it all. I want to see what life has in store for me and my children as they grow. I want to dance with my sons at their weddings. I’ve got to see this life through. I’ll take the hits and I’ll get back up. It’s what I do. It’s what I’ve always done. I’m built for this. If this is what had to happen I will not let it own me and allow this suffering to make me it’s bitch. Nope. Not me. Some days that’s a lot easier said than done but… It’s Monday, July 3rd and here I am. I’m going to grow from this. I am going to make my kids and my Stella proud. I know I’m doing something right when 2 weeks after my daughter died my Remington hugs me and says “I’m proud of you”… “For what Remington?”… “Because you did it”…. “What did I do baby?”….”Anything”…. How does my toddler get it? In that moment those words held so much power. The key word being “anything”. As if he knew just how bad I was struggling at that particular time. However that right there. I felt a little pride in myself. I was doing something right and someone who was supposed to notice, did notice and acknowledged it.

You learn a lot when something like this happens to you. You learn what you’re made of. You learn the difference between moving on and moving forward. You learn that life really is a journey. You also learn that you are not untouchable. All you can do is live your life and be the best person you can be and then strive be even better. Find some morals. Find some integrity. Humble yourself also. You get nothing from being selfish and thinking this life owes you something. Time is a gift. You have been blessed with gifts. Even the hard things. Even the events that happen in your life that are so unfair they make you question everything you have ever believed in. Life is nothing but a series of lessons and what you take from it and how you come back from it and what you have learned is partly what matters. Don’t take what you still have for granted because you very well could not wake up the next morning. All you have is right now. RIGHT NOW. Not even today. Make all your minutes count. Make all your breaths matter. Strive to be better. Don’t let these lessons beat you. Let them make you better. Let them help you to maybe help someone else. BE NICE TO PEOPLE. You have absolutely no idea what someone else is dealing with in their lives. Flash back to the crazy woman walking around the grocery store in deer pajamas hairs a mess crying on New Years Eve. Yes given what we have been through it makes losing a family pet seem so minute but for someone else that’s a big thing and we can’t discredit that because we lost a child. That’s not fair at all. There is no comparison though. Regardless hug that person and apologize for their suffering and don’t throw out the “well I lost my child so my pain is worse”. Don’t do that and also in return, people who haven’t lost a child don’t throw out the “well when my dog died”. I can promise you will get back the most confused look of “what in the actual hell did u just say to me” that you have ever seen. It’s a reminder that life owes you nothing. Yes you will be forever changed. Will you change for the better or for the worst. Here’s a hint. IT’S A CHOICE!! Yes this happened to you. Yes you have to endure it. But. You decide how the rest of your life goes. Does it get better or does it get worse? PLEASE let it get better. Funny, how can anything get better from this? I’m not sure that it does actually get better so to speak. I think… Well ok… Are you still alive? Yes? Well alright then. I know sometimes you don’t want to be. I can relate. But look around you at all the things you could be missing. Things can’t better if you cease to exist both literally and metaphorically. Don’t just exist, live. You still have endless possibilities. Please live. Be gentle to people and try to understand when people say dumb things to you like “well you can always have another baby” and I know in your head your thinking “I DON’T WANT ANOTHER BABY! I WANT AND WANTED THIS BABY!!“. I promise you that they have no ill intentions and they don’t even realize what they are saying is hurtful. Please don’t be so triggered by every little single thing. Life is way to short for all that. I know it’s hard to not find the stupidity in their words but they literally don’t know any better. You don’t know until you know. I’d rather take their words and be happy that they don’t know what this is all about. I wish this on no one.

I’ve got nothing left for today. That’s all she wrote for this evening. Sometimes these posts take a lot out of me. IF I can reach just one person then it was worth it to write it. Be blessed see the good in things. I’m NO pro and my journey is just starting but I’ve learned more from this than I have in anything else so far.

 

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