Don’t lock up the garden

I haven’t been around much lately! It feels like so long since I have written here.  I’ve been a very busy girl.  The Secret Garden opened on Friday.  It went so much better than any of us expected.  All the “little ones” pulled through, and although they didn’t remember all their lines they managed to make it work!  (Let’s be honest not all of the adults remembered ALL their lines either!) It was a very fun, but exhausting week and weekend!  With that being said, lets get back to my lesson for today.

My friends, please don’t hide away your feelings.  Please don’t be afraid to share your thoughts, happy or sad.  Especially if they are thoughts of Kaiya, or other loved ones who have passed.  Kaiya is and always will be a part of my life.  I carry her with me wherever I go.  She will always be by my side.  I want to talk about her always, and I want you all to listen.

We must carry those who are not here with us, in our hearts always.  We must experience life through their eyes and always remember them!  Hiding away the things that make us think of them, and refusing to face life with out them is to do a dis-service to them and all those who loved them, as well as those who never had the chance!

“I locked up the Garden because I thought if I couldn’t see it, it would keep me from feeling heartbroken. All it did was cause me more misery” Archie Craven, The Secret Garden

Though locking up the garden may hide away the memories that make you sad, along with them you will lose all the ones that make you smile.

So please, don’t lock up the garden.  Tend to it when you can.  Take a break when you need to.  But, do let it bloom and grow.

Kaiya Rae, you are my garden.  You are every flower, and tree.  Every beautiful butterfly and tiny little lady bug. You are the magic in every day and I carry you with me where ever I go.

I love you more today than yesterday and I shall love you still more tomorrow.

Love always,

Kaiya Rae’s Momma

Another hurdle on its way

It is almost the 17th.  It doesn’t matter what month, or how old she would be.  Just that it will be the 17th.  It happens to be February and she would be 8 months old on Thursday.  I have been looking at the calander all month, watching it get closer and closer, and I wonder, will every month be like this?  Will there ever be a time when the 17th of the month will pass I wont notice?  I doubt it.  I just hope it doesn’t feel like this on the 17th of February 2020.  Irrational thoughts kreep into my head like “If our next baby is born on the 17th of a month, we will never be able to enjoy his or her birthdays” or “it will be bad luck.”  Also I think, it is one more month closer to the dreaded big day.  Her 1st birthday is only 4 months away.  How excited we would be if she were here.  Planning and pining over what the day would be like.  Wishing time would slow down, that she wouldn’t grow so fast.  Now I just want time to go faster.  I want the day be here and be over. 

Instead we are not planning a big party for her, deciding what her first cake will be like, who will help her blow out the candles, will it rain or will be play outside on her new slide? (Yes I bought her a slide for her first birthday when she was only 3 months old. It now lives in our basement waiting very impatiently for a day that will never come.)  Now wer are wondering what we should do, and who will come to birthday party in a cemetary, for a baby who is long gone? Will anyone else remember her birthday?  Will they send cards?

This is my life now.  It is 4 months away, yet is consumes my mind.  Even this blog entry was not supposed be about her 1st birthday, but as I said thinking about the 17th, no matter what month it is, ultimately leads me there.  I miss her so much.  It hurts just as much today as it did the day she died.  I have learned to function in the real world again, but inside I am still falling apart.  I have learned to laugh, and learned to hope for the furture again.  Yet, part of me will always be stuck in the past, stuck in a time when she was with me. 

You are the most beautiful thing I have ever known, sweet Kaiya Rae.  I miss you more than anyone could ever express in words. 

Love,

Kaiya Rae’s Momma

America, the….mannerless?

My husband and I had a date night today.  We started out at an afternoon movie.  Behind us sat a group of 50 something women.  From the minute they arrived they spoke loudly, laughed even louder and were just generally disrespectful as far as movie theater etiquette goes.  There were times we couldn’t even hear the movie!  I thought about a time in my life when I would have acted like that with a group of friends.  I think I was 12.  Now I am all for girl time, laughter and fun at any age, but these were grown women acting like 12-year-old girls.  In a movie theater, not at a bar, or in a home!

Next we decided to go to a nice, up-scale steak house called Ruth’s Chris.  It’s a pretty fancy place.  As I sat at my table, looking at all the silverware, and trying hard to sit up straight and not put my elbows on the table, I thought this must be what it was like for young girls, fresh out of Etiquette class, afraid to pick up the wrong fork.  “I am so not a fancy girl,” I said, as I wiggled in my seat, feeling slightly uncomfortable, “maybe this was a bad idea.”

Then I looked to my left.  There I see a black, velour sweat suit, complete with zip up hoodie reading “Be Be” across the chest.  “Wow,” I mouthed to my husband “I don’t feel so bad about not being fancy anymore.”  Then he gestured to me to look again.  There is was, written in rhinestone, “Be Be” across her ass.  We had a nice chuckle at the poor girl’s expense.

Don’t get me wrong, I own a black, velour sweat suit myself.  I don’t want to judge or be a mean person.  My sweat suit doesn’t say “Be Be” on the ass and, I would NOT wear it to a place like Ruth’s Chris.  I’m sure she was probably a very nice person.  So what made her think it was “ok” to wear a velour sweat suit to an upscale restaurant?  And what about the girl next to us shouting “Can you hear me? Hello? Are you there?  I don’t think he can hear me,”  into her phone.  Not to mention the countless men in jeans, women in “hooker” boots, oh, and the man in the “fancy” Civil War reenactment coat.  Why was I sitting there feeling like I should be sitting up straighter, hands in lap, ankles crossed and picking up the right fork at the right time?

What has happened over the years?  Have we all become so comfortable, so casual, that we have lost our manners and our sense of social etiquette?  Somewhere along the line it became ok to wear pajamas to fancy restaurants and speak as loudly as possible on our cell phones in public.  We don’t speak in full sentences, we write in “text message” code, we put our elbows on the table.  Oh how inappropriate all these things would have been for a person 100, 50, or even just 25 years ago!  Small children were punished for lesser offenses.

I’m not sure whether to laugh at what we, as a society, have become, or to cry in embarrassment!  All I know, is it makes me want to stand a little taller, sit a little straighter, speak a bit quieter and keep my elbows off the table!

I think my sweet Kaiya Rae would have had better manners and more proper social etiquette at almost 8 months old, than the majority of the adults I came across today.

Ponder that for a while, as I leave you with this:

“One of the greatest victories you can gain over someone is to beat him at politeness.”  Josh Billings
Respectfully,
Kaiya Rae’s Momma

Oh the hurdles you will cross

I find myself thinking today of the book “Oh the Places You’ll Go” by Doctor Seuss.  Only I think I should re-write his book.  I would call it “Oh the Hurdles You’ll Cross” by Grieving Momma.  It would be a book encouraging SIDS moms and other moms who have lost children, to trudge on.

All the hurdles

Big and Small

Yes, oh yes

You’ll cross them all

 

Do you think Dr. Seuss would be offended if I kept going?  Kaiya, can you find him and ask him for me? I am sure he is up there in Heaven with you.  I think it would be a big hit.  Maybe that is a project for another day!

Anyway, this is all brought up because I crossed another hurdle today.  I did something I didn’t think I would be able to do.  I made it through a session with the little boy with whom I was in the middle of a session the day my water broke and I was about to give birth to Kaiya.  I remember saying to this little boy’s mother “I will never forget you guys, for as long as I live,” the first time I saw them after returning from maternity leave.  It was just such a pivotal moment in my life.  My life would change forever that day, and that little boy was in my office when it all began!  I didn’t think I could ever face him again.  I thought for sure I would break down in tears at the sight of his face.  I got away with not seeing him until now, because he only attends therapy 1x per month, and he couldn’t make it in January due to scheduling issues.  Today was the first time I have seen him since Kaiya died.  This probably doesn’t mean much to most of you.  If you were in my shoes you would totally understand.  Any little thing you over come that you thought would be way to hard to face, is another mini victory in the life of a SIDS mom.  So are you anxious for verdict? Did I cry?  I did not.  My head went round and round the day my water broke, Kaiya’s birth, and straight up to the day she died.  But, I did not cry.  Was it the best therapy session this little boy has ever had? No it was not.  But, I made it through.  I did not cry.  We did get work done.  He is no more worse for ware.

Thank you my guardian angel, for watching over me every day.  Thank you, God, for the strength and courage you send me every day.

I love you Kaiya Rae.

Forever Strong,

Kaiya Rae’s Momma.

There really are no words

A widow is a woman who has lost her husband.  A widower, a man who has lost his wife.  An orphan is a child who has lost his or her parents.  But what do you call a parent who lost a child?  There are no words.  There is no title for a parent who has lost a child.  That is how terrible this tragedy is.  That is how backward it is.  A child is not supposed to die before it’s parents.  It just isn’t supposed to happen.  But it does.  So why don’t we have a name?  What would you call us?

If someone asks a man if he is married and he responds “I am a widower”, it is easy to understand, he had a wife, but she passed away.  Same for a woman who has lost her husband.

How than do I answer the question “do you have children?”  I don’t, literally, have a child, but I am a momma.  I had a baby girl and she was with me for 5 months.  So how then do I answer this question truthfully with out opening up to never ending discussion of my dead baby?  How do I say “yes” so as not to discount her existence, while still implying “no” because she is no longer here? I cannot, because there are not words.

So far I haven’t had too much of an issue.  People who have asked me have been mostly at work (patient’s parents who knew I was pregnant, or are aware I had a recent maternity leave).  They will ask “oh, you just had a baby this summer right?” or “did you have a boy or a girl?” and if I don’t think I will see them again I will say “yes I HAD a baby girl.”  They don’t get it, they never assume HAD means she is gone.  They assume it means I HAD her, as in I gave birth to a baby girl.  No one has pried about name, age, or pictures yet.  I suppose if they are ever in my office again, they will realize that the pictures of her there have not changed, that she never gets any older.

If, however, it is a new a patient that doesn’t know, but one who I will be treating for a while, I tell the whole truth.  I say “Yes, I had a beautiful baby girl, she passed away in November.”  Typically they have simply said “oh I am so sorry” and we move on.  Sometimes they ask what happened, and I say “it was very sudden” and only explain more if they ask, but try to move on.  I am there to treat their child, not talk about mine.  So far I haven’t had a tough situation regarding this issue.  I know over the course of my life it is bound to happen.  Someone that I don’t want to share my life story with will ask and I will want to say no, but how can I do that?  How can I discount the existence of my daughter, my angel, my everything?  I cannot. I will not.  I will always tell the truth and when they give me that look, like “that is not what I wanted to hear” I will simply smile and walk away, while I think “I didn’t ask for this either, but it happened!”

So I leave you now with this

“Do not judge the bereaved mother.
She comes in many forms.
She is breathing, but she is dying.
She may look young, but inside she has become ancient.

She smiles, but her heart sobs.

She walks, she talks, she cooks, she cleans, she works, she IS,
but she IS NOT, all at once.

She is here, but part of her is elsewhere for eternity.”
–Author Unknown

Forever Faithful,

Kaiya Rae’s Momma


I don’t want to, but I must

Another baby has died.  Another little angel, flown off to Heaven to get her wings, leaving her momma here on Earth to cry, wondering, why?  How does this happen?  How is it that I had only ever heard of 2, maybe 3 infants dying from SIDS in my entire life, but now that I have gone through it, it is all around me, happening what seems like every day??

It’s like when you buy a new car.  You don’t know anyone who owns the same make and model as you.  You have hardly ever seen one drive by you on the street.  Then, on the way home from the dealer you see 20 of them.  If only this were exciting and fun, like buying a new car.

This new life, this new title, SIDS mom, isn’t exciting.  It isn’t fun.  I hate it.  I don’t want it.  I want my old life back!  I want my baby back.

I spent some time talking with a momma who just lost her baby on January 29th.  So far they don’t know what caused her death, but believe it might due to SIDS.  She was only 2 weeks old. Here I am, less than 3 months after loosing Kaiya Rae, attempting to be a support system to this woman that I have never met.  She can’t breathe, she can’t stop crying, she wants to sleep through the pain and never wake up.  This all sounds so very familiar, and not so very long ago I was her.   I don’t want to be the one that knows what she is going through.  I don’t want to know what her pain feels like.  I don’t want to, but I do.  I have been there, not so long ago, and I know how much she needs me.  I want to scream and cry and ask “WHY GOD, WHY?”, all over again, for her.  I cannot.  I must be strong.  I must tell her everything she feels is normal and that the pain will ease and she will breathe again.  It’s true, if she takes it one day at a time, she will be ok.  She can do it.  I know because, I am. I am doing it every day.  I don’t want to, but I must.

I remember not being able to get out of bed.  I remember waking up in tears morning after morning.  But, life goes on, and we must too. We must learn to breathe, learn to live, learn to laugh again. We will never be the same.  We will never be whole.  It will always hurt.  But, we will be ok.  I don’t want to know this, but I must.  I didn’t choose this life, but it is mine.

“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only option.”

I am strong because I must be.  I have no other option.  I am strong for this momma who needs me now.  I am strong, because God has made me that way.

Kaiya Rae, Momma has a request for you.  Please baby girl, be the angel we know you are.  Open your arms and welcome baby Lydia into Heaven’s nursery.  Show her the way, just as I must show her momma the way.  I love you my sweet angel, momma’s little lady bug.  Forever and Always.

Love Always,

Kaiya Rae’s Momma

Magic

“I am sure there is Magic in everything, only we have not sense enough to get hold of it and make it do things for us–like electricity and horses and steam.” -The Secret Garden

Magic is everywhere.  I see magic in the way the snow flakes fall from the sky and land gently on my wind shield.  There is magic in every garden where flowers bloom.  There is magic in the way that lady bug fell from the sky in the room that night my sister and I were talking about Kaiya after she had died.

We can’t make magic, all of us.  Only some people are given that special gift.  But, if you look closely and have faith, you will see it.  You will see things you never noticed before.

Magic is prayer.  Magic is love.  Magic is whatever we believe in that makes us feel good.

I am in the play The Secret Garden, which we have been rehearsing for since late December.  I wouldn’t be in this play if Kaiya was still with us.  Believe me, if she could still be here, I wouldn’t care a lick about a play right now!  However, I believe there is a reason I am in this play.  There was magic with me the day I auditioned, and the day I got that part.  Magic named Kaiya Rae.

I play the part of Lily.  If you know the story, you know that Lily is Colin Craven’s mother, who died when he was born.  I play a ghost.  I make magic. It is Lily’s “unfinished business” to bring her family back together.  To make her widowed husband want to be at home with his son again, and welcome his niece (who lost her parents)  into the family as well. She is the magic that brings all these people into each other’s lives and helps things fall into place.

I believe Kaiya is my magic.  Grief has a way of bringing people together.  People who were not so close, become best friends.  People who have never met, meet in unexpected ways.  Is this grief seeking company, or is it magic?  I think loved ones send us magic after they pass.  They send us lady bugs, and snow flakes.  They make people we haven’t talked to in years, send us Walruses!  Most of all, they create the magic of love.

Thank you Kaiya Rae, for your magic.  It helps momma get through the day, because with out it, I would forget how to breathe.

So don’t forget to look for the magic in every day.  See it.  Believe it.  Spread it around!

Love,

Kaiya Rae’s Momma

I have to belive in this

There is a woman named Katt Kerr who wrote a book about her experiences in Heaven.  She claims that God came to her and chose her to be given tours of Heaven to deliver the messages of what she saw to Christians here on Earth. You can see her interview here:

http://www.wbir.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=155000

“Children play,” she laughed. “They’re like kids down here and your child misses nothing. God is so good that when you go to Heaven you finish raising your child. Your children if they’re older they live with family members. If they’re little babies they have beautiful fantastic nurseries where angels care for them and family members visit them,” she said.

I have to believe in this.  I have to believe that God brought her to see Heaven and that she saw babies playing in nurseries with Angels.  I have to believe that God sent an online friend to me, who would share this woman’s story with me.  I must believe that it is through these people that he has chosen to tell me that Kaiya is with him. That she is happy and plays with Angels!

You can think that I am crazy. You can think this woman is a lunatic.  You can think whatever you want. But, I choose to believe her.  I know that Kaiya is in Heaven and choose to believe that Heaven is the way Katt Kerr describes it.  I know that my baby is worthy of being cared for by Angels and that is just where she is now.

Kerr says that when we get to Heaven, if our babies and children have gone before us, we get to continue raising them.  How awesome is that?  I will again be Kaiya Rae’s momma.  I am and always will be her forever momma.

Thank you Katt Kerr for your message of hope.  Thank you Angels for taking care of my baby until I am there someday to raise her again.  Thank you fellow bloggers and blog followers in advance for not calling me a raving lunatic for believing in God’s wonderful message of love, hope and Angels in Heaven.

With never-ending love,

Kaiya Rae’s Momma