Friday, December 10, 2010

Today

It has been 1 year since I wrote THIS post.
The last post before I wrote THE letter to my baby girl.
This year. What a year it has been. A year I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever experience.
I could sit here and write a whole post about this year from HELL. I could cry and say how much life sucks. I could scream at God again. I could say how unfair this whole thing is...
But...
Instead.
I'm going to write about my last days with her.
Because of her- she changed me- to not only appreciate every little thing I have
(including cute stripped socks)
but to not waste my life away on the sadness. The unfair. The anger.
Never, not once, did she ever become the victim. She was far more brave, she had a far bigger mission and she full filled it with grace.

December 10 2009...
I wish I could remember every little detail of those last days. I wish I could remember every little thing I did. Every little thing she did. Every person who came to visit. It was a Thursday. We had our decision made but hadn't told many people yet. We didn't want a flood of family and friends coming up to say their goodbyes. We wanted to enjoy those last days. We wanted to experience peace and love and not worry about comforting everyone else. We had decided to have Makenzie blessed. We wanted to ask God in a proper way to take care of her. We wanted him to stay near and make sure she got home safely. We planned to bless her on Dec. 11th. I asked Ryan's Mom to find a dress for her. Something we could slip on her around the tubes. Something beautiful.

December 11 2009...
Friday. We had some good family and friends come up. We asked for no visitors on Saturday (the next day) because we wanted to spend her last day along with just the 3 of us. Those who knew came to say goodbye. Most didn't know it would be the last time until they were already there and we told them. There never were crowds. There never was to much commotion. There was this sense of peace throughout the day.
Friday was also Makenzie's blessing day. The dress was beautiful. It fit perfect. We had only a few people come. Ryan blessed her. He said a beautiful prayer. I remember standing there, not wanting to close my eyes, because I couldn't stop watching him hold her. Not tied down in the chair trying his best not to move an inch. He was holding her tight. Right next to his chest. Standing there, almost like everything was normal. After the prayer they put Kenzie back in the bed. Everyone just kind of stood there looking at her. She always had this special glow about her, but her laying there in white, was something extra special. I held her for a long while that day- throughout the day. 

December 12 2009...
We asked for no visitors. But we did have a special treat planned. There were 2 amazing photographers that came. One was a good friends wife who took the most amazing, most treasured pictures of our baby. The other was with Now I lay me down to sleep which came that day as well as after Makenzie passed to take pictures of her without the tubes. Before we started taking pictures a couple nurses came in the room and gave Kenzie a present. She really touched so many lives that many were attached and kept coming back for visits. The gift was a cute pink onesie and this beautiful tutu that one of them made. I was so excited. We slipped that whole outfit on her tiny little body. I was thrilled to see her in clothes. After the first photo shoot was over Ryan started taking some of our things out to the car. We had a months worth of "stuff" piling up in the corner. He just took the things we wouldn't use in the next 24ish hours. Later that afternoon the second photographer came from NILMDTS. She gave Kenzie and I matching bracelets. I love them. I don't wear mine anymore because it was starting to wear and I want to keep it perfect. I put Kenzie's on her right away and it never came off. Later that night we did our Christmas. Jill stuck around with us. We had a little tree with a little present under. That night we sat around with only the Christmas tree lights on. We listened to Christmas music. Teased about stinky feet, talked about different features of Makenzie. We tried to make light of the night. Jill held Kenzie for a while. She was so happy to be with her. She kept grabbing her 2 fingers and squeezing them tight. She would move them up and down. She was so content. So comfortable that night. We finally gave her the present we bought. Ryan searched for this gift for hours a few nights before. He wanted to find the perfect one. We decided to give her a locket and to put our pictures in it. We would make sure she took it with her and kept it always so she could have us close to her at all times. We unwrapped the little box and gave her the neckless. She held it, threw it around a little but never dropped it. She just stared at it when we put it in front of her face. After Jill left we got out these letters that we wrote for Kenzie and read them to her. They were pretty short but said so much. That night I remember feeling the first bit of scared, hurt, realization that things were happening. It was the first night I went to bed thinking about the next day because I knew that would be the last night I would go to bed with her. The hospital team brought a couch in our room a few days before so Ryan and I could sleep next to each other. Something we hadn't done in a month. We both laid there that night, with only the tree light on, watching her bed. Ryan was holding me and we both just watch her machines, watched her little body. We didn't actually get into bed for a while because I kept getting back up to stand by her side again. It was such a hard concept to grasp, to know this was it. I wanted that night to go on for forever.


Those last few days. I have no idea how I lived for just that second I was in and not a minute more. I lived in her. I breathed because of her. She gave me so much life. I remember thinking this was probably one of the only times God wouldn't allow Satan into the room. Into our life. He knew we needed that pure knowledge then. To have the strength to give her back. To have the faith to live for her.
I wish I could go back. I wish I could feel that again.

13 comments:

Shawna said...

Oh Kendra, I have been thinking of you this week and praying as you go through what I know must be a difficult week for you. As usual, your words are touching and made me cry. Through your pain and sadness though, I hear strength. The strength of knowing that God was and is with you and MaKenzie. I can't really articulate what I want to say better than that -- but you sound like you have grown so much in just the short time I have read your blog. And there is now such peace in what you write. May you always find that peace; though the difficult moments will still occur, may peace always be the end result of those struggles. I pray for that for you, in these next few days especially, but for your lifetime as well.

debbie said...

very beautiful. As always, thank you for sharing.

Carley said...

I want to comment on everyone of your post and even when you don't post. I think about you and your family often but everytime I start to comment I feel my words to be inadequate. Not that my words are any different today I just feel so much love for you. I'm sorry you have a day like today and it's not just another regular day spent with your beautiful daughter. Thank you for sharing her with us and letting us know her. I think she's pretty amazing and I KNOW that she chose you and Ryan to be her parents. Just as amazing as she is I believe her parents are as well. When you describe her strength and bravery and the grace she has I can't imagine her getting that anywhere else beside from you and Ryan. I hope you see that even during difficult times. sending love today, tomorrow and all the rest of the days.
-carley

Emma said...

Looking back on those days, those last days with Kenzie, I hope you can see you filled them with so much love. Every step of the way was about Kenzie, from keeping things calm, to giving her such a special gift, to just having time for the 3 of you...every step was so selfless and filled with a love like no other-you and Ryan are Makenzie's perfect parents. You were chosen for her and it is more and more evident to me why as time goes on-you have not let her spirit go, you carry on her strength and bravery and are even planning your life's occupation around helping others, something Kenzie and her story continue to do.
I can't even begin to imagine how tough these days, as well as the last year, have been or are. I wish there was something to ease the pain but I hope you know that Makenzie is NOT and will NEVER be forgotten! She has touched so many, changed so many lives and will live on in her incredible parents and you sharing her journey.
WIshing you peaceful moments where you feel the love you gave to Makenzie overcome you. I know she is by your side and I hope these coming days you feel that more strongly than ever before. Love and hugs, Em

Cassidy Ratliff said...

I love you Kendra and hope that these next few days pass with ease and peace. You are such an amazing mom and Ryan such an amazing dad.....your strength continually helps me through any rough days. You make such a different to so many around you. I am sure you will feel her hug you everyday through the next week...I am sure she is so thankful for you and Ryan. For being such wonderful parents. Our Heavenly Father is proud of you and is taking good care of her. If you need to talk you know where I am!

Victoria Strong said...

I just want you to know that I think you are amazing and brave to write so openly and honestly. You are an amazing mother.

Sam and Julie said...

Im so blessed to say that because of Makenzie I 'met' you a year ago today. Just as my first comment said in 2009, Kenzie is a beautiful and precious gift and I thank you for sharing her with us.

What a blessing you all are to everyone who has the privilege of getting to know you. Your words remind me to hug my son a little tighter, a little longer, gives me patience when the 100th tantrum of the day comes, gives me wisdom to look at the moment Im in with him, and cherish it. Thank you for making me a better Mom.

You three are amazing. I am thinking and praying for you this and every week.

xoxo

the Sorensen's said...

Kendra,
I read your post with tears streaming down my face. Thinking of the emotions your going through. I understand your hurt. Your loss. You are a one of a kind, amazing person. Makenzie is such an angel and so lucky to have you as a mother. She is smiling down on you and is always with you. You really are one of the strongest people I know. Thank you for sharing your most personal moments; the most difficult moments; the best moments. You truly are an inspiration. If you ever need anything, don't hesitate to ask.

Emma said...

Just wanted you to know I am thinking of you. I know these days are tough, tougher than I can imagine, but I hope you feel the love coming to you. You are so incredible, so inspirational and are making so many of us better people because of your story. You make us appreciate each day, each breath...thank you to you and to your sweet, beautiful angel. Thinking of you all, love and hugs, Em

butterflymom said...

Thinking of you lots this week and all month long....sending prayers your way as you remember your last moments with your little girl on Earth. You are an extremely strong momma...and such an inspiration to us all. Know you are loved and supported...((Hugs))

Lucy and Ethel said...

Sending big hugs for your sweet Makenzie's first angel anniversary and hoping you have some special signs....

'Lucy'

Brian and Rebecca Nate said...

What an amazing post Kendra. You are truly an amazing person as is your little angel. I sit here with tears running down my face because my heart aches for you. I wish you some peace at this wonderful time of year. Take care.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you, Ryan and Makenzie today - December 13th. I love you guys and I love your baby girl. I am grateful and so blessed to be part of such a wonderful family. Thank you for allowing me to spend some time with your angel. I will always remember her the last night I saw her - dressed in her pretty white dress, so perfect, so beautiful. Kendra, you have made such a difference in the lives of so many of us. You and Ryan have set the bar very high in the way you have dealt with one of life's most difficult challenges. Remember.....the love never ends. My thoughts are with you today and always. {{{hugs}} Love Auntie M

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