There is nothing I want more than to be around our family and friends and near my baby on her Angel Day. Being able to be there. Celebrating her. Having a day for her. Visiting her spot and having people come together just for her makes me so happy. This year like every year we have collected leggings throughout the year and on the 13th donated them to Primary Children's Hospital.
This year a sweet friend of mine talked to a local TV station about this project and they wanted to do a story on it. I was so excited to get some exposure for the leggings but I was terrified of being interviewed and on TV. I am not quick on my feet and I stumble over my words easily. I am not made for live TV.
The morning of the 13th we met Ryan's family for breakfast along with my Mom.
We all went back to my Moms to wait for 4News.
Shay and her camera man showed up and were the nicest people ever. They made me feel comfortable and had such sweet things to say. The interview lasted an hour and I touched on just about everything. I told Makenzies story and I talked a great deal about the leggings project. How it came to be and how 80% of the donations have come from all of YOU! That this is such an amazing thing that is simple. Easy. and inexpensive. 1 pair makes a HUGE difference.
I was rather emotional and of course stumbled over my words and didn't make sense at times. Sigh. Oh well. We got the story out. I was eager to get some more attention brought to our project for next year.
After the interview they followed us to Primary Children's. This place always holds so many emotions.
It was the last place we held our baby. It was the place she fought to live and the place she took her last breath. The people that make this place run are truly amazing. I cant say enough good things about what they did for our family. For me. For Kenzie. Daily. The support. The listening ear. The hugs. The fighting right along with me to find answers. They are amazing.
We met out front for some footage of us walking in.
Talk about being self conscious. Seriously it was really awkward.
We met with the director who takes donations. We have worked with her every year and she is just the sweetest. Every year she tells us how much they LOVE these leggings. How they are gone FAST.
This year she talked a lot more about how much these mean to families.
This is exactly the case for us.
It was a way for us to continue to "dress" Makenzie. It was a way we felt we were taking care of her and being parents. So much is taken away from you when your child is in the hospital. Esp. when they are hooked up to machines. These leggings give parents a little something extra.
They also do what they are suppose to do. They keep those little legs and arms warm. The rooms are freezing and there are only so many blankets you can put around your babe.
They have had SEVERAL requests for these leggings. So people know about them. Occasionally there will be a pair or 2 hidden away so they can let them last longer than a few weeks.
but they are used!
1 pair = 1 happy family
It was just another reminder how amazing this project is.
We were able to donate 780 pairs of leggings this year.
A few of those went to the Children's Hospital in Spokane Washington.
but seriously 780 pairs!!!!
This is amazing.
That means we have donated close to 4000 leggings to date.
This would not be possible without YOU. All of YOUR amazing donations have made this possible. You are doing something so great. You have no idea the impact you have made on these families and staff at the hospital. I have had more than one of their nurses or doctors tell me how they smile every time they see one of those pairs on their patient.
You are bringing happiness!
We also donated a few adorable blankets this year.
Thank you all so so much for your donations this year and in years past. You really are my hero's.
Thank you for continuing to support this project and please continue in the future. This is a project that will continue. For as long as I can do it. So basically the rest of my life. Or until leggings are no longer made :)
After the hospital we grabbed lunch and headed to Ryan's Mums house to make Hot Chocolate for the cemetery. Tracker got a little nap in which was a first for us to think about. Last year this kid could sleep in his car seat- anywhere. It was actually a great reminder how blessed we are and how lucky we are to have him on this day.
We left a little early to collect our mass amount of balloons.
for 148 days we had her.
Everyone of those balloons represents her life. The amazing and beautiful life we were given with her.
I am thankful. So so so thankful for every single one of those days.
We loaded up 3 vehicles with balloons and headed to her spot.
The usual crew got right to work writing names on every balloon. Names of other children that have gone too soon. Some that never even got to take a breath in this world. My heart breaks every year reading these names. and breaks even more when this list grows. Its not fair. I hate that any other parent knows this pain. That any other parent has to live their life with a huge piece of their heart in heaven.
The purpose to write these names on the balloons is to first have someone else- other than immediate family- say their name. Know this was a life. That lived. and is now in heaven. That they existed. and they are real. and they are LOVED. Its to remember them.
This year we remembered 119 children.
Please read through every single name. Just say that name. Because I know as a parent of a child that has died. Your worst fear is that people forget. That people don't know she existed. So please just take a moment and know every one of these names is of a child. They are real.
Brigham Var Selle
Landon & Luke
Kyle & Joshua
After balloons we let lanterns go.
This year we let 30 go.
Its always so fun to see. It lasts for quite a while since we are lighting them with usually 2-3 lighters and they end up floating up at different times. One of these years we will remember more lighters and get them all to go at the same time.
It was freezing the entire time we were there. I think the temps were somewhere around 5 degrees. Yeah I made everyone suffer through. I offered treats and Hot Cocoa but I think everyone walked away with minor frost bite on their toes.
Dear Makenzie Rye.
Oh my love I cant believe its been 4 years. The time is going by so fast at times but still seems like an eternity until ill be with you again. I pray you felt the mass amount of LOVE that surrounded you today. There are so many people that remember you. That think about you. You made an impact on this world and I am honored to have been a part of your story. Thank you again and again for choosing me to be your Mum. Thank you for continuing to teach me. I miss you. I miss you more than you could ever understand. I am happy. So happy with your Dad and your brother. He has brought so much light into our world and I know we never would have seen it unless we lost you. Its a hard reminder that Gods plan is greater than anything I have on my 10 year list. Its a reminder that he knew what my heart needed. He knew what our life was to be and he knew we would survive.
As much as I wish I could say I cant survive and I need a different road in life. I know this is mine for a reason. I need to embrace it. and live it the best I can. Do good. and prepare myself for the day I will be with you again. I have a lot of work to do. I have a lot of learning. Please help me. I need to be everything you want and expect me to be.
Makenzie love I dream about you daily. There is not a moment that goes by that I don't wonder how it would be different or how you would act if you were here. I wonder who you would be today.
4... You would be 4!!!
I love you. I miss you.
Please continue to be here. Know that even though so much of my focus is on raising your brother- I haven't nor will I ever forget you. I am doing what I think you want me to do. Be the best Mum to your brother. Love him in ways I have never loved before. and raise him to be an amazing person who does good in the world. He knows you. He says your name and he gets the biggest smile every time we say your name. He will always know you.
Dream with me baby. Ill met you there.