Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Race to Happiness

Have you ever been in a place in your life you felt like you were always chasing happiness?
I have. Most of my life. Its always been something that well when this happens then ill be happy. Or well when I finally finish this or get that job or quit that job or have a baby or move or run a 5k... then ill be happy. It becomes exhausting because its a race that is never ending. You get to where you thought you were going. What was suppose to make you happy and then you realize you're still not happy. So you keep running. For that next thing that will make you happy.
I can honestly say there was 1 time in my life I was actually happy. In life. With my life. In that moment. I always said it was because I knew my time was limited because I was going back to work but maybe it was God helping me because he knew my time was limited with her life.
After I had that little girl.
From the moment she was born. In the hospital. At home. On everyone of those doing nothing but sitting and watching each other days. Those sitting in the sun while I ate lunch and she got some fresh air. Those walks. Those late nights. Those early mornings. Those trips to the grocery store. That feeling of being able to say "Yes she is mine". Story time. Bath time. Every smile. Every snuggle. Every time she slept. Every movement. That girl was complete bliss. I had never imagined what real happiness was until I lived it every second with her. I remember on several occasions sitting there. Watching her. Thinking- seriously I would be okay if tomorrow never comes. I am so perfectly happy right now. I didn't wish for more. For the first time ever. I wasn't in a race to find happiness. I held it in my arms and I soaked it all in.
The moment we knew Kenzie was not going to leave that hospital alive was when that perfect, immediate happiness went out the window. I definitely was able to find it in moments. She totally gave it to me. I can tell you some of the greatest moments in my entire life- even above when she was home and "healthy" was in those early mornings. I was still in a fog from the little sleep the night before, I was trying to get my things together for shift change but I would stand beside her bed. She was always awake. Wide awake. I would talk to her. Smile at her. I would kiss her face and hands and tummy and legs. I would straighten her leggings. I would prop her toys and blankets to make sure she was super comfy. Then I would ask her. "Are you ready to go home to God today Kenzie?" and every one of those days that I knew she would tell me NO if she could gave me that perfect immediate happiness. Because I knew I had one more day. One more day to look into her eyes. One more day to touch her skin. To feel her toes and fingers. To try and get her to smile. To try and make some kind of memory. To give her some bit of happiness. To love on her the very best I could. Those moments in the morning when I knew my daughter wasn't going to die today gave me a the simplest happiness I could have ever learned.
I hate to say that simple happiness, that immediate joy hasn't been around since she left. I'm back to racing. Racing for what will make me happy. For the first year it wasn't a baby. The second year it was a baby. and now here I am. Learning to find that happiness in whatever stage I maybe in. Learning to be happy for other people. I feel like I am doing better than I have in the past. Stopping and seeing life.
Its so hard sometimes. I find myself in this hole of just wanting everything that's not.
Wanting Makenzie is the biggest obstacle.
Not that I will never not want her, but this wanting is unrealistic. Its so deep and its overwhelming. It consumes my every thought. It makes it hard to really enjoy and thank God for this new life coming into our lives. Believe me I am so anxious. I cant wait for this part of our life to begin again. Loving this new life. It will be amazing. but I guess the hurt and the missing Makenzie is just extra strong right now.
I think its another one of those firsts that you have to go through after a loss. Even though its been 2 years. This is the first time I have actually accepted that there is going to be a new life in our family. With Gracie I honestly wouldn't let myself think about much. I was so numb to everything else going on in life and then when that little one came along the feelings of fear were much more powerful than any feeling of hope, joy or even missing. Not many people in our life knew about her. We didn't know how to process things. We didn't know what to say to people until we could answer the questions we knew they would ask first off. Will this baby be sick to? We wanted to be able to say yes or no. We wanted answers for ourselves and once we had those answers. It wasn't long after that we lost Gracie. There was no time to find that joy or excitement or even experience the missing of Makenzie. Now with this one. Its a whole new set of emotions.
What I want right now is to stop running. Stop chasing the next thing that will make me happy. I have a good life. I have so many blessings and things to be grateful for. Its not that I don't see that. I guess its just learning to be happy with this. With the big things and the little things. There doesn't need to be some big life changing thing to make the difference. What I have is all that I need.
For the last few days I have put into my mind that I will be happy today. No matter what. I will do it.
I wake up and tell myself what a good day it will be. I tell myself things Ill get done and things ill do to relax. I talk to Makenzie.
I think about Ryan.
I think about this baby.
I see that what I have is pretty great. I see that happiness doesn't have to have be a lot of effort.
It can be that simple. Immediate. Seeing what you DO have that can make all the difference.
It doesn't take a lot but it take some. It takes wanting to see it as well.
I am so not there. Happy as a clam all the time. but I'm working on it. I want this baby to see happiness all the time. I want them to know what happiness is. Pure joy.
I don't want them to be chasing it.


The Pachuilo Family said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Also thanks for the reminder to be THANKFUL for what we do have, because I know we all have so much to be thankful for.

Jenn @ One Thrifty Chick said...

Kendra, first off, you are an amazing writer, and an even better person. I find your posts so comforting. Although I have never been in your shoes, you give me my own stength and hope to face my own struggles with my son. So I thank you for that. I think of you often, and wish you well on this journey we call life. Stay strong! Hugs to you.

Robin said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Kendra. I know what you mean about chasing happiness, and what it is to feel the pure joy and happiness from just holding your child or watching them play. When I was expecting my second baby, I thought there was no way I would/could love another child as much as I loved my first. Although my first was still with me, here on earth, I was certain. But everyone said I would, and they were right. I know your heartache will never go away, nor will any child ever take Makenzie's place, but you will feel the same love for this next baby. You will have that feeling that Makenzie gave you. The feelings that make you just love life without a second thought. I'm always praying for you!

Seeing Each Day said...

I'm probably going to comment ineptly but there's so much I'd like to say. Mainly that you are showing a maturity and a life lesson that in comparison to many, you are showing way beyond your years. Now, that sounds condescending which please know I don't mean it to be. Thank you for sharing your thoughts in particular during the last 12 weeks, which has been such a huge emotional roller coaster for you - what you say is so honest and heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. I most definitely wish for you that happiness- and peace.

Emma said...

This is a beautiful post. It is real, is shows your missing your sweet Kenzie everyday, and that won't change but I know that the love and joy this new little bundle brings into your life will help ease some of the missing-the missing of holding your baby, the missing of "feeling like a Mom". Will he/she ever take Kenzie's place? NO WAY, nor would you want them too-she is way too special and has such an incredible place in your heart but loving and feeling that joy again will be amazing and I'm so excited for you to have that. Thinkig of you always and loving to hear about this new journey. Hugs, Em

Helen said...

Just popped in this morning to see if you needed a prayer said and so I wanted to let you know I said one for you. Hope you have a great day!


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