Monday, January 27, 2014

Learning to Get Through.

Its been 4 years. 1 month. and 14 days. since she died.

There is so much I have been wanting to write lately. So many emotions that have been swimming through my mind. I have spent hours. days. weeks. feeling out of control. Feeling like I am going crazy. Unable to really understand or make sense of these feelings. I push them out of my mind as often as possible because if they are there- I am drowning. I cant think about anything else. I cant function properly. My patience is minimal. My emotions are of either anger or tears. and I am just a mess.
As I try to make sense of what I am feeling. I feel its justified and I understand it. It makes sense to me. but I cant put it into the right words or emotions that anyone else could understand.
I put myself in their shoes and try to explain it so they can really get it. but it rarely works.
There are times I have said something. Expressed my feelings and it hurts someone elses feelings or they become upset with me. I am trying. I promise. I am getting through life and I am living with these emotions. I am trying not to make them interfere with anyone else but sometimes they do.
Feelings of jealously.
Feelings of frustration.
Feelings of betrayal.
Feelings of 'you just don't get it'.
Feelings of lonely.
Feelings of fear.
What are these feelings steaming back to?
That Makenzie died.
That I had a little girl. Who lived. Who breathed. Who started out healthy. Happy. and the absolute light of our life. and then she got sick. We saw her not act normal. We questioned doctors and ourselves. We followed advice. We didn't follow advice. We walked the road of first time parents. We held her as she declined in health. We knew her. We lived in a hospital room. We were given options of her life. We made decisions. We knew the day our daughter would die. We knew how many hours were left in her life. We had to say goodbye. We held our child as she took her last breath. We planned a funeral. We buried her. We picked out a headstone. We spend hours upon hours at her spot. The place her body would forever lay. and life has still continued. We have still woken up everyday. We have continued to breath. and we have spent the last 4 years. 1 month. and 14 days learning how to live with this. Learning how to live with a daughter who is dead. Learning how to live our life as if its okay. Learning to understand that we are now different. We see things differently. We talk different. We believe different. We love different. We see what it means to have life end. We understand the pain. Its not just a fear. A fear that every other parent has. Its now reality. and after all this time I still feel like I know nothing. Yet when I look back at the day after she died. I feel like an expert compared to that girl.
I guess everyday. every month. every year brings a new challenge. It brings a new person out of us. It brings new emotions and it brings new feelings. All that we don't understand. All that we cant explain. All that we are bracing to get through.
Every step of this road has been hard.
and even though I know how to get through the first year. the second year. and the third year. I have no fucking idea how to get through the forth year, fifth year, sixth year, seventh year, eighth year, ninth year, tenth year or any year beyond that. They will all bring new feelings. New challenges and we will have to figure out how to get through it.
Right now I am on year 4. I am only 1 month in and I feel I am failing. I spend many days. Many hours. In tears. Not able to function. and with a family and responsibilities to tend to. I cant live like that. This past month and half have been so confusing. They have been full of new obstacles.
and I might now be handling them the best.
or better yet. I might understand them as a beavered parent but I don't understand them as an everyday human being. and to try and explain them. is near impossible.
With year 4. My fears are of my Makenzie slipping further and further from the memory of not only myself but of everyone that knew her. Its been "awhile" now. It wasn't last year. or 2 years ago... Its been "awhile".
Awhile since she lived. Since she made a memory. Since she did something that we could talk about.
and its becoming clearer now more than ever. That this is only going to get worse. We are just getting further and further away from her. What she was. and what we all knew. We are meeting more people that never knew she existed and never will. We are around less people who held her. Smelled her. or made their own memory with her.
She had only so much that was her.
In our family.... If you hear or see leggings- most of us will think of her. That was a memory that was just for her. If you hear the song "Chicken Fried" by Zac Brown Band you will know that was the only song Ryan could play that would calm her down when he was alone with her for that hour everyday after work before I got home. and that is Kenzie's song. If you hear the word SMA/SMARD you think of Makenzie. because its rare. Its a rare disease that not a lot of people have heard of. When she was first diagnosed NONE of us had ever heard of it. so it was something that was JUST Makenzies.
In our family those are just a couple things that were just hers. It was something that no matter where you were or what you were doing it made you think of Makenzie. It made her real. It made her have a life and a story even for just a minute.
It was my life line. To know that Makenzie was still here. That she had a memory. That she would continue to have a memory and that she wouldn't be forgotten.

but we are going on year 4.
Leggings are more popular and more people wear them.
"Chicken Fried" has been played at various events where new memories are made so when that song comes on it makes you think of when so and so slip and fell instead of remembering how Ryan would desperately play that song to quiet a screaming baby.
and the advancements in SMARD/SMA are dramatic. Unfortunately many more little lives have been effected. Many more stories have been written. and research is being done. What was once so foreign is no longer.

Now all of these little examples are part of life. They are bound to happen and they are just apart of living. but for me they are and ending. They are an ending to what I have feared more than anything since the day we knew Makenzie would not share her life with us. and that is she will not be remembered. That her life will have to be reminded. That when you hear her name you will have to stop for a minute to dig out that memory of who she was.
This year. I am understand how real this is. Not that anyone is trying to forget. Not that anyone is doing anything but be normal. and for me to be angry. or upset. or jealous. or frustrated. or scared...
It all makes sense to me. It makes sense in my mind. The mind of a Mom who's daughter is buried in the ground. but its harder to explain. and its harder for someone else to understand why something "silly" hurts me so much.
and right now I am trying to figure out and work through how I can accept this and be okay. because I cant stop life from happening. I cant make the entire world keep a memory that is forever changing.
I know I need to continue writing. Because even if it doesn't make sense to you. Its helping me understand it. and its helping me figure out how I need to change. How I need to understand other people. How I cant place blame or anger. That those feelings shouldn't be involved with Makenzie.

At the end of the day it still hurts like hell.
I am still living every day without her. and There is not a day or an hour or sometimes a minute that goes by that I don't long to be with her again. That I don't catch a smell of her lotion, or hear a song we danced to, or feel a certain fabric that I remember holding.
My memories of her are very sacred to me. and when something happens to them. When they are changed. When a new memory is made with something that was JUST Makenzies. I sometimes don't know how to handle myself. I don't know how to react. and I don't always do the right thing. but I am trying. and learning. I hope to figure out how to make it through the fourth year. before its completely over with. but then the fifth year starts. and that will bring all new challenges. So please forgive me. Know that I am trying and I am learning and I wont always write things that will make sense I wont always say the right thing.
Sometimes I need to be called out. I need to be put in my place and I need to be reminded I am not thinking or acting rationally. and other times I need to just be told I am right (even if I am not).

I miss her. I miss my daughter. I miss being her mum. It hurts to have her life over. and to live the rest of my life on 5 months of life. Its not enough.



Monday, January 6, 2014

Welcomed Pain

Sometimes. I really don't know how I can physically keep breathing.

and its been 4 years.
and it can still hurt this much.
Its usually in a moment where I am completely consumed in something else and forget. and then I am reminded. A trigger. Something is said. Or a smell. Or a look. Or a picture. Or just my own God damn mind trailing off and somehow she shows up. and in those moments when I am not expecting it. I just want to shut the world off. I want everything to freeze and I want to go back. I just want to go back to her. For a moment. I want to hold her and kiss her and smell her. I want to remember what her skin feels like in my arms. I want to hear her cry and giggle and I want to watch how she moves. I want to hold her body next to mind. I want to forget about this pain and this missing and live in the moments of her life. and when I realize I cant. That its over. and that its been 4 years. When I sit down and I pray and I beg and I try with all my might to remember those little things. and I cant. I feel like I just cant do this. I cant continue to live this life. Moving forward. Knowing more and more of the little memories I have are going to continue to leave me. I have never cried like I do when I think about this. This is a cry of pain. Not of physical pain. but of a broken and completely mangled heart. 
I watch her videos which only make the pain worse. but they also help me remember. They bring me back to certain days and certain moments. and I need to go back.
When those incredible moments of pain pass. My body aches. I am exhausted. Its like I have run a marathon. a few times. It takes all my strength just to move my eyes. Every limb is heavy.
and in these moments. I am usually headed to bed.
and I lay down. Still with that heavy heavy ache. and I feel warm. 
I know its her.
I know she knows how much I need her right now. and how I am having a hard time without her.
I usually cry again. Maybe a couple times. and I pray... I pray that I can see her. and hold her. and kiss her face... in my dreams. I also pray to remember those dreams when I wake. 
To this day...
I have only had 2 dreams that I remember with her in them.
Both were very soon after she died.
I still ask to dream of her. and remember it. I want to have that image. That we are together.
I feel like for the most part its been a while since I have the fear she isn't okay. I feel like I have entrusted God enough to know she is more than Okay. That she is perfect. So I don't feel I need those dreams to know she is okay. I just want those dreams to feel her. In my arms.

All of this might have come from earlier. Tracker once again has some little cold. We got in the shower tonight before he went to bed so we could just stand there. With the water as hot as we could stand it. and let the room fill up with steam so my poor boy could hopefully clear out that stuffed up nose of his. 
Showers have always been one of his favorites. When he was that colicky cry baby I would spend what felt like days just standing in the shower since nothing else calmed him. and he does the same thing now that he did then. His body is quite a bit bigger. Which makes my heart kind sad seeing how fast he is growing. but its also one of my most favorite things in life. He lays his head on my shoulder and his body is completely limp. We stand there until the water turns cold. Which is a while. I shouldn't waste so much water. I really should get out sooner. but its in those moments when time seems to slow down. I get to hold him. and feel him. and kiss him. and tonight as I was rocking my boy.
She came into my mind. I imagined what it would feel like if I was holding her. I tried to imagine how her body felt. I closed my eyes and tried to go back. I couldn't. I couldn't remember. So I stood there. and I soaked up the boy in my arms. The one who is here now. and I was full of gratitude for him. For his life. For his squashy little body that I got to snuggle. We stood there for a long time. He didn't move. My arms never got tired. After it got cold we got out. and it was soon after that the missing came. The missing of her. The missing of being her Mum. 

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't wonder what life would be like if she was here. but I have also accepted that it just couldn't happen that way. If she was here we would not have Tracker. We would not have used a sperm donor which would mean he would not exist. and I just cant imagine a world without that boy. So I accept that what has happened in life has happened for our plan. For Gods plan for us. For our family. So even though I wonder what life would be if she was here. I try not to dwell on that much. I think of it more like--- wow, how would I manage 2 kids in this situation? or We would have to buy 2 of those things if she was here. but what weighs heavy lately isn't the wondering what life would have been like if she was here. Its just the missing what was. Its missing the life we did have with her. Wanting to relive that life. Even though it ended. I wish I could relive every single one of those days again. Even the bad ones. I wish I could be in those moments and soak up every detail.
Its wanting to be in her presence again. Its wanting to hear her coo's and to change her diapers and to tickle her feet and to smother her face with kisses. I would give anything to go back there. 
I miss her.
I know I will always miss her.
and I know this pain... Doesn't come as often as it once did. and in the future might not come as often as it does now. and as much as it hurts. Its kind of welcome. because it makes me stop. and it forces me to sit down and cry. or to ball up in the fetal position buried in her clothes. or to watch her videos over and over for hours all while sobbing uncontrollably. The pain hurts. and its hard to get through.
but at the end.
when I go to bed.
which I'm going to do now.
I get that peace.
and I know its her.

I put this video together for Makenzie's 2nd birthday. I almost cant sit through it because I didn't do the best job on it. I have learned a lot and still have a lot more to learn about putting these things together. The video's I put on there because I loved them at the time for certain reasons. Today--- I am not certain why I loved them so much then because I have others I love more... but whatever. Sometimes I like to share these because I like others to be able to see her. and almost know her. You will notice in the second video-- the one that is wayyyyy to long that I should have trimmed down-- how her breathing was. I look back now and cant believe I wasn't banging down every doctors door trying to get answers for that but I tell you being a first time parent and doctors and even family telling you all the time that its "FINE" and she will grow out of it and "so and so breathed like that"... You tend to doubt yourself. Something I try really hard not to do with Tracker. When I have a fear or a worry I don't listen to what everyone else thinks if I think its wrong... enough of that... Hope enjoy getting to know Makenzie a little better.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Sayonara 2013 * HELLO 2014

Sayonara 2013
HELLO 2014

How has another year already come and gone. Fewww... Its absolutely insane to me how fast time is going especially now that Tracker is filling our every moment.
Its been a great year and one with much adventure. Lots of changes. Highest of highs. Life adjustments. New goals and dreams. Relationships built and lost. New friends.

Its been full of firsts and new beginnings and new challenges and growth.
Its been a year full of growing closer as a family of 4.
Its been a year full of learning how to relay on each other in ways we have have before.
It had its hardships and we learned how much it sucks to be away from family when they really need you or when something amazing happens and you are not there to celebrate.
We have learned to create our own family traditions and how important it is to begin them now.
We had so much fun this past year. Tracker kept us on our toes and gave us more laughs, smiles and memories than we could have ever dreamed. He has given us so much life back and its been amazing to really LIVE. We have missed being near Makenzie. It was our place of comfort and to find peace. Its been a challenge to not go anytime we want but it has forced us to find those moments of peace and comfort in other ways.

Top 13 of 2013
13. Ryan got a new position with Pacific Steel relocating us to West Richland Washington.
12. Sold our first home.
11. Kendra continued working with the same company and started babysitting as well.
10. Survived more sicknesses than I would like to remember.
9. 4 trips to Utah, 2 trips to Tacoma, 4 trips down to the cabin.
8. Had the absolute best summer ever. Swimming daily, long walks, endless park visits, BBQs....
7. Makenzie turned 4 and we have missed being near her spot nonstop.
6. Tracker learned to crawled... Then learned to climb... Then learned to Walk... Then learned to RUN
5. Tracker said his first words and got his first haircut and went on his first plane ride... basically it was a whole year of FIRSTS.
4. Tracker turned 1 and we had a great party in Utah to celebrate.
3. Made lots of new friends in Washington.
2. Celebrated 7 years of marriage.
1. Made it through another year without Makenzie.

We have so much to look forward to in 2014.
There will be even more changes and adventure.
Top 14 goals for 2014
14. Continue running and challenge myself even more
13. Explore Washington
12. Take the boat out more
11. Have more moments of quiet time
10. Plan more dates with Ryan
9. Celebrate big for Ryan's 30th
8. Continue building my relationship with God and learning who he is and who I am through him
7. Laugh more
6. Make more messes
5. Compare myself less
4. Serve more
3. Grow the leggings project
2. Invent some patience pills because God knows I need them BAD
1. Meet Ellen

Bring on a New Year.
It might only be the day after yesterday but I am one of those cheesy people that does think of it as a new start. It makes me feel better to know I can have a fresh start. Every morning is a mini fresh start but every year is a big fresh start. I cant wait to see what this year will bring.
I pray to see more LOVE, ACCEPTANCE AND GIVING in this world. I know I will strive everyday to do my part.
Happy New Years!!


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