Friday, July 2, 2010

Dear Kaia, Today is your one-year angelversary

Two days ago, I was driving your little brother or sister to St. John's for his/her 33 week check-up. As I was nearing the hospital, I heard an ambulance siren. I looked in my rearview, and there were the lights. An ambulance was going to the same hospital that I was. This is the hospital where you were born. All of a sudden, this wave of emotion came over me. The last time I was here and heard ambulance sirens, it was your ambulance transferring you to Rainbow Babies. The hospital wouldn't let me ride in the same ambulance with you because I was a "different patient" and we were going to two different units of the hospital. I laid in that ambulance and strained to watch your ambulance the entire way. Our ambulances rode side by side the entire way. Twenty minutes felt like a lifetime. I couldn't stand to be separated from you like that. It wasn't fair. I cried and cried, only to get there to find you laughing and giggling.

It was midnight, and I still couldn't sleep. So many nights with no sleep, and I was so tired. But I could never sleep when I knew something was wrong with your heart. It wasn't until the next morning that they told us you had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. The whole next week we spent with you in the NICU. You smiled every day and would stare at us the entire day, until your eyes got so tired, they had to rest. June 9th, you laughed and giggled all the way to surgery. You always made mommy feel okay about what you were about to face. Your attitude was so light. I lost family members trying to keep you that way that day of your surgery. And I don't regret it. Your happiness and lightness was and is my only concern.
It wasn't until two days before you passed onto your new life, that I saw you laugh and giggle again. The pain was too big for you to laugh through. I understand. 

On this day, one year ago, at 10:02 pm, you looked me in the eyes and told me you were leaving. I didn't believe you. I wish I had believed you because I would never have left that room. I want you to know it's one of my biggest regrets. The next time I saw you, you were gone. I held your body and screamed that it wasn't so. I wouldn't let you go until you were cold and stiff. To this day, I can't watch the videos of you yet. Someday I will be able to. I hope. This doesn't mean I don't love you. It means I'm a human who longs to be able to hold you and watch you grow as a human. Instead, I watch you grow as a soul....a divine spirit that envelopes our family and continues to reach families across the world. I talk to you and you use my hands to do the work that requires hands, and you take care of the rest. This is your first angelversary, and I remember you for all that you were, but also, for all that you continue to be as you grow in ways that are larger than inches.

I want you to know that I see you. When I think of you, I see you laughing and picture you playing with butterflies. I know you. I know your soul was/is pure and true and good. You are very much around. I feel you. I know you show yourself to me in more ways than I actually recognize. But you are everywhere and in everything. There's rarely a day that goes by that I don't tell your story. Just yesterday, I was at the store when a woman asked if this is my first baby. When I said "no", she asked (just like everyone does) how old you are. My answer is "ageless", and then I tell your story. I've gotten it down to a short version, so as not to drown people in sorrow. I don't believe your story should be one of sorrow, even though you make me cry often. I want the light that is you to always come through. After I told your story, the woman said, "I have goosebumps. That is so amazing." And I say, "I know". Because I do know. You ARE amazing. Someone once told me that goosebumps are a sign that those who have passed are right next to you. Each time I tell your story, the person says "I have goosebumps." I take that as one sure sign that you are there, telling your story through me.

As the days go by, you don't diminish. You seem to grow bigger and greater with every person I meet and every woman, man and child that has come into our new path. Your story has raised a good chunk of money for research, so far. You have changed lives emotionally, physically and mentally. I know how proud I am to call you "daughter". And, even though I will never understand fully why you had to go, I do see how powerful and completing your life is since you have moved on. Maybe it was the only way to finish your life's work.

As long as I live, I will never stop living with you and beside you. You guide us in your light. And we know God will take good care of you until we can be fully reunited again. We are a family of four, and we are on a beautiful path, of which you built.

All my love,
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