The mind of a child

 We spent the weekend surrounded by babies and children.  We went home to meet my new niece, Charlotte, perhaps my new favorite person in the world and spent tons of time with her and her big sister Annabelle (my other favorite!) all day on Saturday.  We also had a couple other little visitors too, baby Adam, just one month younger than Kaiya, and Salvatore, a little over a year old.  So all together on Saturday the house was filled with babies from 2 months to 18 months in age.  I loved every minute of it, and couldn’t have been happier, if not for that fact that my baby girl was missing from this mix.  This day full of babies was then followed by a visit with our other nieces on Karl’s side of the family, ages 2 and 4. 

The mind of a child is a beautiful thing.  It amazes me that my 18 month old niece knows Kaiya by name and can point her out in pictures.  She calls her “baby Kai-kee”.  It is the cutest thing in the world.  She talks to Kaiya when she plays, and called baby Adam, “baby Kai-kee” by accident on more than one occasion.  Afterall, they are almost the same age, and she has only seen Kaiya in real life twice.  At one point she was looking away from us all into a sea of toys and exclaimed “uh-oh baby Kai-kee!”  What did she see in the sea of toys that was invisible to the rest of us?  Perhaps she was trying to say “baby crying,” as it sounds very similar in 18 month old speech.  Although, none of the babies were crying at the time. Or perhaps she saw something the rest of us cannot.  Was my sweet Kaiya there, playing amongst the babies?  I’d like to believe she was. 

The following evening, our 4-year-old niece was playing with her Auntie’s old Little People play sets in my inlaws’ house.  She had picked out a little person to represent each of us, and some other family members, and two neighbor friends.  She was then looking for one more, and told me she needed “that little girl one of these.”  I found one last little person, a baby sized one with little sprigs of red hair.  I thought to myself that this one could be Kaiya, but didn’t know what she wanted and simply said “this is the only one we have left” and handed it to her.  She exchanged it for the little girl one representing her toddler neighbor, and exclaimed “this one can be Kaiya!” referring to the young girl sized one, with lots of reddish-brown hair.  She promptly set the Kaiya doll next the Aunt Andrea doll, telling me she should be with her mommy and daddy.  I agree, sweet girl, she should be with us!  She then changed her mind and placed her in a swing looking contraption.  She proclaimed “Kaiya will go here, because she is a big girl now.”  Now, she is only 4, but she does have a baby sister, other baby cousins, and neighbors.  She understands the concept of babies being little and taking a while to grow up.  The last and only time she saw Kaiya in person, Kaiya was an infant.  So what, then, made her think that Kaiya, who would only be 9 months old now, should be a big girl.  All other adults and children were age matched in her little people rendition of her family and friends.  Karl thinks maybe she views Kaiya as a big girl, because only “big people” go to Heaven in her mind. Though I think, perhaps, she knows something we don’t. 

I love that my nieces know and love Kaiya.  I love that they talk about and play with her as if she is there with us, always.  And I love that, perhaps, she is with us.  I like to think of her playing with her cousins and watching over them while they sleep.   She is our guardian angel, always.

She will always be missing, but never, ever forgotten. 

We love you Kaiya Rae, to the moon and back. Forever.  Always. 

Love,

Kaiya Rae’s Momma

Living without you

The day you were gone

I thought life was over

I’d never go on

I cried enough tears

To fill up the ocean

I wished for magical, miracle potion

I tried and I tried

But nothing would work

I could not bring you back

You were done here on Earth

I’ll never survive this terrible pain

I said to our family

Over and over again

I’ll never move on, I will never let go

I cannot forget you

For I love you so

This life, it is hard

Without you in my arms

But with your strength, I have come so far

Living without you, I hate it so

But I must live on

The whole world needs to know

I once had a baby, beautiful, smart

A true angel, you were

Right from the start

I can’t say that I’m fine

For I lost my sweet baby

My love, hope and pride

But I am trying, and trying

To live, laugh and have fun

With less sorrow and crying

This, my sweet baby

Is no small, little feat

But maybe, just maybe

If I try and I will

I can do it, if you help

Because you are here with me still

In my heart you are living

I know you are here

Always sending and giving

The strength that I need

To get through each day

And remember to breathe

I miss you my love

Every inch, head to toe

My sweet angel above

So living without you

As hard as it is

Is just something I know I must do

I love you with all my heart sweet Kaiya Rae

Love,

Kaiya Rae’s Momma

A bad day

Some days are just harder than others.  Most days lately are not so bad, ok, or even “good.”  Some days, though, are just rough.  Today was one of those days.  It started with me not able to sleep from 3-5am, then a rough morning running late for work and spilling cat food pellets all over the kitchen floor.  No day could end up good after that.  Add the power of grief, and returning stage of anger and you have a recipe for disaster!

I got angry when I saw pictures of a baby from Kaiya’s playroom (from an online mommy message board site I belong to) who looks so much like Kaiya.  She was standing up, looking oh so “grown up” almost 9 months old.  I was angry because I thought to myself “This is what Kaiya would look like now” and held a picture of my 4 month old little angel up to her face.  Angry because I have no idea what she would look like and will never know.  Angry because I tried so desperately to compare her to this baby, because I so badly want to see her, feel her, hear her again and know what she looks like.  Angry because all the babies from her playroom are turning 9 months old and are sitting, crawling, standing and even cruising.  All things I will never see my Kaiya Rae do.  But most of all angry because looking at them made me angry.

I love babies.  All babies, I can’t help it, I have always loved them.  I never, ever want the feeling of anger associated with babies again!  Since Kaiya’s death, I have still always felt a touch of happiness around babies.  I have held quite a few babies of all different ages since losing my girl.  Each one has brought a smile to my face and a feeling of hope.  I can’t get enough and I have baby fever bad!  Not once, during all the stages of grief I have been through, have my ill emotions ever been directed toward a beautiful, innocent baby.  It hurt so bad when this happened today.  Poor little one, I am oh so sorry.  You make me think of my beautiful little girl and for that I am so thankful.

As much as I miss my beautiful girl, I don’t just miss my Kaiya, I miss having a baby of my own.  I wish so bad I could have her, my Kaiya Rae, back in my arms again.  I know this will never happen, until I meet her again in Heaven.  But I long so much to have another.  A baby of my own, to hold, rock, feed and love.  I know a new baby will not be Kaiya.  I know I can never, ever, replace her.  I will ALWAYS miss my Kaiya Rae.  No baby will ever take that away.  A new baby will give me the gift of motherhood again.  I will always be Kaiya’s momma.  I have a beautiful baby girl who I love more than anything.  But I long for an Earth baby.  One who will stay, a long while.  One I can hold, and sing to.  Rock, feed, play with.  One I will see crawl, walk and talk.  I long to watch a baby of my own grow up.

Please God, bless us someday, with a baby whose soul is meant to stay.

Love,

Kaiya Rae’s Momma

Will I ever be more than just OK?

Every day people ask “How are you?”  Sometimes the person is genuinely wondering how you are.  Maybe you have been sick, and they are wondering if you are felling better.  Maybe, like me, you have recently been through something tragic and they want to know how you are holding up and if you need anything.  Usually though, they ask it just to be polite, because it is just the expected social greeting.  They expect you to automatically answer “good” or “well” because those are the socially expected answers.  Sometimes it is ok to throw in a “fine” now and then.  What they never expect is for you to say any of the following terms: bad, terrible, horrible, awful, sad, angry or anything else that might indicate that you are not doing well.  Most people don’t actually think about the possibility that you might say one of those words.  They don’t, generally, want to know how you are, really.  So why do we ask?  Why is it that we constantly ask everyone, including strangers, how they are, but never actually expect to hear how they really are?

I have come to despise this question.  I haven’t really decided why.  Maybe it is because I don’t really feel like explaining how I really am to everyone who asks.  

I know it is partly because I am annoyed by being asked day in and day out, by people who know what I have been through.  I know they care about me and do really want to know how I feel.  It is just that it sounds so pittyful, so condescending.  As if they are saying “aww you poor thing, how are you?”  Expecting me to be in a horrible, rotten mood all the time.  As if I should be doing aweful and suffering life long depression.

I also know it is because I have not learned to say “good” or “well” like I am supposed to.  I supposed I am well, I am not ill.  I don’t feel good or well though.  I am not sure why.  I am not “depressed”.  I am sad often, as I miss Kaiya very much and wish she were here.  In medical terms though, I am doing well and I am not clinically depressed.  I smile, laugh and have fun.  Like a normal person should.  So when I am having a decent day and not in a particularly sad mood at the moment and someone asks “How are you?”, why is that I cannot say anything other than “OK”?  I do not think I have answered this question with a word or phrase other than “OK”, “alright” or “hanging in there.”  (This was a big one close to the time of Kaiya’s death.  I didn’t even feel like I was “OK” at the time, only that I was simply hanging on to life by a thread.)  I honestly feel that I can not say “good” because, how on Earth could I be good when my baby is dead?  I have actually caught myself starting to reflexively answer “good,” stop, think and then change my mind.  As if I forgot for a moment that Kaiya died, and then realize “oh right, I am not good, Kaiya is gone, so I can’t be good.”

Then there are the times when I actually tell the truth, and when I am NOT feeling even the slightest bit OK, I say “not very well” or “terrible.” You should try this some time.  Watch the look on the person’s face and see them take a few seconds, maybe even longer, trying to figure out how to react.  It is just not socially acceptable!  People will freak out, and honestly it is kind of pleasant for me watch.  The world should figure out that if they are going to ask how someone is, they should really be prepared to hear how that person actually is!

So I wonder.  Will “How are you?”, ever feel like a simple social greeting again? Will I ever be more than just OK?

I long for the days when I can have a good day and actually say “good” when my husband says “How was your day?” instead of always saying that it was “OK.”

Perhaps if I just start saying it, even if I feel as though it isn’t true, it will start feel right again.  Perhaps if I say it over and over, it will be so.  Maybe one day I will be able to do it.  Today is not that day.  For today I am simply OK.

Faithfully,

Kaiya Rae’s Momma