I miss you so much, especially today. I don't know what triggered it. I keep going through pictures of you and remembering your sweet face. Your crooked smile, your little scar above your eyebrow, everything. Sometimes it feels like a dream, like you were never really here. I hate the quiet in the house. I miss your noises and funny sounds that made you so unique and special. I hate doing things without you. The new 'normal' will never be normal. Just when it seems like I am feeling happier I fall flat on my face again. I know you are in a much better place and I am thankful for that. I know I will be with you one day but for now I just keep trudging along without you. I hate it and life is so unfair. But don't worry, I will be ok. I love you so much and my life is not and will never be the same without you.
I recently stumbled across a blog written by a mother who lost one of her twins at 24 weeks of pregnancy. I didn't spend to much time on her blog because, along with losing a child, losing an unborn baby, especially that far into a pregnancy, is another one of my biggest fears.
On her blog, she briefly talked about becoming one of 'those people.' You know the ones I am referring to. Those people... the ones who see, live and experience tragedy firsthand. Those people...the ones who you don't know how they do it, how they go on and wake up every single day after losing a loved one. Those people...the ones you hear about through a friend and hope and pray to God that you will never have to go through what 'those people' have had to go through.
I myself have thought the same thing. I knowfor certainthat you have too. When Karissa was in the hospital at 2 weeks of age, when we knew that she was going to be ok (or so we thought), I remember thinking "I am so glad we are not 'those people.'" Those people being the parents of the children in the pediatric oncology ward. The peds unit, where Karissa was admitted, was next to the peds oncology ward. There were several times where we would walk by the peds oncology unit to get to the peds unit. My heart just broke for the mommies and daddies who, I knew, may lose their child to cancer. For those, unlike me, who may leave the hospital without their precious daughter or son. I remember being so thankful that Karissa was going to be ok and that we wouldn't have to be like those mommies and daddies. I remember thinking that I didn't know what I would do if I lost Karissa. I shuddered at the thought of being in their shoes.
On July 8th, 2008, Mark and I became 'those people.' So many of you have told me that you don't know how I do it. How I get up in the morning and live my life without my daughter. Quite frankly, I don't know how I do it either. I just do.
Becoming one of 'those people' has given me an entirely different perspective on life. It amazes me the things people, mainly parents, complain and whine about. Are you really gonna complain about changing your kids diaper? Really? I don't get it. It makes me so angry and resentful.
Your whole world can be turned upside down in an instant. Life is fragile. I just wish I didn't have to become one of 'those people' to realize just how precious life really is.
This is the chair that I would sit in, holding Karissa, after a rough morning of seizures. I remember just holding her and stroking her sweet little face and hair. That is all she wanted after having a terrible morning of seizures.
This is the chair I would sit in to read "Goodnight Moon" to Karissa and sing her sweet lullabies. The place where I would hold her and do 'tickle arms.' The place where I would sit and work on different tasks with Karissa.
Or the place I would sit when I would visit with one of Karissa's Early Start Teachers. Instead of having our planned home visit, due to a rough morning of seizures, Karissa's teacher would bring over Starbucks and we would sit and talk while I just held Karissa.
This is the same chair that I sat in 18 months ago, on July 8th, 2008, and the weeks following, surrounded by family and friends, mourning our tragic loss. The same place we sat when we were planning Karissa's memorial.
I have had countless talks with different friends, while sitting in that chair...talking about all the good memories, crying, laughing and, if I am being completely honest, cursing God for taking my little girl away.
Now I sit in that chair and watch the world pass me by, even though it feels like time has just stopped. But time hasn't stopped...18 months have passed. It is the place where I think and pray, read and cry and I dream about the future.
There are days, like today, where I can sense her all around me. I swear, it feels like she is with me. I can smell her sweet smell and her the pitter-patter of her feet on our hardwood floors. I can hear her in her room, playing with her toys. She is following me all around the house as I do the laundry and other miscellaneous chores. It feels like she is right next to me. Right there. But she isn't. It is not a feeling I get all the time, just everyone now and then. It is rather strange, I know. Maybe it is just another way people grieve the loss of a loved one. Or just another way I cope with my horrible loss and try to get through another day without my Karissa.