Thursday, January 14, 2010

who am i?

I'm taking a public speaking class. I don't know why I signed up for this class.
Our first day we were assigned a topic to write about and speak on in class the next time we meet. The topic was 'WHO AM I'... The teacher asked the class to give some examples like what they did for Christmas or how many kids they had. I hate that no matter what comes up my mind always goes back to Makenzie and the fact that she isn't here. I have been stressing about what to write. I have no idea- Who am i? Ummm a lady who just lost her baby and really doesn't want to sit in a classroom listening to everyone else talk about their Christmas and their kids then get up and say mine died.
I thought about not mentioning she died but that would mean they would think I still had a little girl and maybe cause others to talk to me about it later. I could not mention her at all but that thought leaves my mind just as fast as it comes in. To not include her wouldn't effect my class, it wouldn't change how i feel about her or how much I love her but it would be me excluding her from my life in this paper and I refuse to do that. I will talk about her.

I started writing and came up with this...

Who am I?

This should be a pretty easy speech. I should be able to tell you about my family, life, experiences but to be honest it’s not that easy for me right now to come up with a talk on who I am.

Who am I?
On paper I am a 22 year old full time assistant, college student, mother and wife.
I work at American Express under one of their vice presidents- been there almost 4 years.
I have been attending SLCC for the past 2 years but only taking a few classes at a time.
In my spare time I like to be outdoors- 4wheeling, camping, boating, snowboarding. I like to travel and I love trying new things.
I come from a fairly big family- 6 sisters and 3 brothers. I’m the 2nd to the youngest. I have 16 nieces and nephews.
I am married to Ryan and we have been married for 3 years now.
In July we had a beautiful little girl named Makenzie Rye. She is the absolute best thing to happen to us. Unfortunately our little girl was diagnosed with a rare neuromuscular disease in November and passed away in December.
That’s where life has stopped.
I have been living the past month floating through each day. Floating because I don’t feel I have control over anything that goes on, I'm just doing things. I’m just repeating what I have learned to do my whole life. Get up, work, school, home, bed. Get up, work, school, home, bed.
I can write down what life was like before my daughter came into this world but to be honest I don’t remember living that life. I look back and it seems like it was all a dream of someone else’s life.
On July 18th I received the best title anyone could ever receive and that’s the title of Mom.
I have dreamed about that day for years and she turned out to be better than anything I could have ever dreamed.
All 6lbs and 19 ½ inches of her was simply perfect.
Full head of dark hair, long feet that we immediately started making fun of and saying it looked like a pair of skis. She was so cuddly from day 1. I know she was a mama’s girl- well until she saw her Daddy. Oh how she light up a room when he walked in.
Our little muffin started smiling EARLY. I mean a few days old early. No one really believes us and blames it on gas but NOPE this girl knew what was going on and who was around her and she wanted all to know she was happy. The first 2 months of her life were filled with kisses, hugs, story time, swimming, and picnics- pure bliss.
Once Kenzie was 2 months old she started getting sick. She had a hard time breathing and stopped gaining weight.
We took her to the doctors numerous times and after each visit we kept getting reassured she was fine and she will grow out of this. Over the next month she become very sick, lost weight and eventually had surgery to fix a problem they thought she had. November 17th our little girl who was 1 day shy of turning 4 months was checked into primary children’s medical center. She kept turning blue. No one knew what was wrong with her. She kept getting worse and very fast. Within 2 days they couldn’t turn the oxygen up high enough for her. She couldn’t get air. November 20th they admitted her to the PICU and finally entibated Makenzie (put a breathing tube down her throat)
Over the next couple weeks this girl was poked, prod at and had more tests run than anyone should have in their entire life. No matter what though- she would smile through it all. She smiled around those dumb breathing tubes; she smiled after being held down, she smile after another IV failed.
It was Dec. 2 when we got the diagnosis. SMARD or Spinal Muscular Atrophy with Respiratory Distress. Our options were options no parent should have to make.
We only had 11 more days with our beautiful little girl before she returned to heaven on December 13.
Yesterday marked the 1 month mark since I have held my little girl in my arms, since I smelled her skin, since I kissed her lips and since I have seen her eyes.

If it was a year ago, I could have written a totally different paper. I have no idea who I am today.

I chose not to read that.
I wasn't ready for the stares I would probably get. I wasn't ready to make my class uncomfortable. I wasn't ready to probably not make it through my speech without squeaking while crying. I know this is -who i am- but my public speaking class doesn't need to know all of that, I'm sure they all have their own problems.
SO I choose to write a simple- black and white- paper about who i am.
I talked about Makenzie but I didn't really say much.
I went to class this morning ready to get up and read it-
I was #16
Class ended at #15.
Ill read it next week.


Unknown said...

You should read the speech you shared on this blog. It will help you in the healing process. Who knows who you might meet or encounter after others know your story. Their is a reason you are in that class and a reason you were asked to share "who you are" I always feel it helps when others know what I am struggling with. Your sweet baby girl is a huge part of who you are and always will be!

Anonymous said...

I totally think you should read it too! It is an integral part of who you are and you shouldn't have to hide it or dillute it. Plus it is a beautifully written and inspirational story from a strong, beautiful and inspirational woman!

starnes family said...

I am blown away by your writing, your honesty and your self-awareness, Kendra. I, too, believe you should read it if you feel can. Maybe they stopped at 15 for you to give it some more thought.

I'm proud of you, regardless of whether you read it or not. Your words are beautiful and heartfelt.

Jenni said...

I totally think you should read the first one...totally! You have the ability to touch people so much with your story. That is who you are! You are the wife and mother of an incredible husband and baby. I can see where it would be very hard but wow, if that were me in that class, I'd never forget you and who you are. You're amazing for having gone through this! Amazing!!!

Jenni said...

Let us all know what you decide to do (but I really think you should read the first one!:))

Chels said...

I think that was Kenzies hands helping you through a difficult time by making it be the 15th person and not letting their be time for you. She knew you needed more time and she gave it to you. She does hear your prayers. Maybe next week you will know exactly what to do and be able to go up there and speak about what an angel you have in heaven.

The Call's said...

The speach on this blog is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing it. I cried just reading that myself so I am sure it would be much more difficult for you. I do agree with the others.. I think it would change someone's (if not many)life. Thank you again for sharing something so wonderful!

Anonymous said...

If I was in your class and you read that heart-felt "Who Am I," I would have empathy and respect for what you are going through now. The words are about a beautiful baby and the heartfelt pain you are going through. I think you'd be surprised how much compassion your class would give you. Your choice, do what feels right for you.

Katie Danner said...

This is so moving Kendra. I love it, and I want to tell ya how fun that will be to be in the public speaking class. I took public speaking last semester and for me, it was life changing! We read a book in there that repeated over and over again to speak about what life has taught YOU. People are craving and yearning to know what is in your heart, what has moved you, and made you you. That is why so many people follow your blog, because people want to feel something, and when people open up their personal stories, it touches hearts. People rarely remember things people tell them, but they ALWAYS remember if someone made them feel something. Anyway, I am going on and on, but I was just going to say as you go through the class- (I mean if you feel comfortable..) don't be afraid to share these experiences. Don't be afraid to do a persuasive speech on teaching others to appreciate their children more-and people will trust you cause you have authority on the know more than anyone how precious life is. Anyway, I am really going on and on- but I am so proud you're taking that class. :) Good luck cute girl!

Stacy said...

I totally agree with chelsieaw. I couldn't have said it better myself. Kenzie is such a special girl - you need to share her with everyone. That is the reason I love your blog - your oozy-ness over her, over your marriage. Let your class see who you are! You are Kenzie's mommy! {hugs} for what ever you decide to do!!

Anonymous said...

One thing for certain and something that can never ever be taken away from you is the fact that you are a very special woman, a mother who will always and forever love her sweet little girl. I am sure that Makenzie is looking down on you with so much love and admiration right now.

Emma said...

Your speech is incredible, so honest, so full of love and life. If you dont feel you are ready to read it, so be it, but I hope one day you do...I think it will help in your healing and also help so many others. Maybe there is a way to incorporate some of the speech you shared with some of the one you intended to read to make it easier to read but still be true to who you You are right, your life has changed, I think your reference to feeling like you are floating through life is an incredible one...but no matter what you ARE Kenzie's mom, and the best one she could have ever asked for. Good luck next week, I too feel like there was a reason they didn't get to you today....good luck in finding out what that is. My thoughts are with you, Em

Alerie said...

Wow!! That was so beautifully written. I am with everyone else and think that there is a reason they didn't get to you today and that you should read what you wrote on here. I really do think you would touch the lives of someone in that class if not many people. You have changed my life and I don't even know you. BUT you do have to do what you feel is best for you and we will all support you with whatever that may be. I think you are simply amazing!! I know that Makenzie is sure proud of her mom and bragging to everyone in heaven that she has the best mom in the world!! I have no doubt about that!!

Amie said...

Hey Kendra, GOOD LUCK on your speech next week! You are honestly an amazing writter! You have this way of pulling people into your "stories". I think your 1st letter was very real...very you! Even if you cannot read that to your class, I believe it was something that was good for you to write, even for yourself. We should all write a "who am I". Hey, by the way...I see you still work at Amex...ME TOO! Anyway, make today a great day! Many smiles. :)

Marcia said...

very nice writing :) I believe she was smiling so young. My youngest smiled at days old too and people were flabbergasted. When the nurses saw it at two weeks they kept insisting she must be older (seriously???). She sounds like such a sweet little girl.


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