The Minute My Heart Stopped…

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It was a beautiful August day in Michigan. There was a slight breeze as the sun warmed the air. It wasn’t humid or too hot…the weather was just right. We have family in town so it was decided to go to the Troy Aquatic Center for the kiddos. Emma loves the water and I was excited to take her.

We got there and she was pretty fussy and unwilling to leave my arms. After a while she got more comfortable and soon she was splashing by the fountain pads and laughing. I took her into the water with me and we played. She takes swim classes and loves being in the water so there wasn’t much concern for me there. However, there were a lot of kids swimming and splashing around so I decided to take her out, maybe grab a snack and just sit for a bit.

I placed her on one of the lounge chairs as her uncle and cousin were saying hello and engaging with her. Here’s where the mistakes start…

I didn’t ask them to watch her for a second. I didn’t even see if they were completely interacting with her. I didn’t take her down so she wouldn’t fall. I turned away. I TURNED AWAY! I hear a scream and see her face down on the cement. My heart stopped. I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe. I wanted to cry, scream, throw up and pass out all at once. I grabbed her. She was hysterical. I was hysterical. The blood wouldn’t stop coming from her mouth. I was a wreck, I still am.

Per our pediatrician, we took her to the ER. She was admitted, examined and released within one hour (great job Royal Oak, Beaumont!). No stitches, no CT scan. She is okay. That’s what my husband had to keep reminding me, “She is okay.” Her lips is pretty cut up and swollen and her chin is scratched up but other than that, she is okay. Thank you God, she is okay. I know it could have been worse. I know. But I can’t help myself. I can’t help but blame my stupid self for turning away. Why did I think that would be okay? What is wrong with me?!

I know she’s going to get injured. I know this won’t be the last time, but I could have prevented it and I can’t help but feel like the worst mom in the world. I close my eyes and see that image of her laying there. I cringe. My heart breaks. It makes me sick to my stomach. I want to permanently erase it from my mind.

While I realize it was an accident, I can’t help but feel angry at myself. It seems like she is continuously having these issues too. Her tooth incident at my mom’s house when she was only 8 months old, her chipping her front tooth with me in the bathtub (a week ago) and now this (by the way, her front teeth are a complete, chippy mess)! I wish I could just fix it all. I could just take a magic wand and eliminate the pain and the scars (these poor teeth!). But I can’t. This is a part of life. And as her mother, it’s important for me to stay strong which so far I have not been able to do…

The love of a parent is so amazing. It’s like my heart just jumps out of my chest for her. She has truly completed my life and if I never have another I will be okay because I have her. And that’s why I think it’s so hard for us as parents. We have this love that cannot be described until you actually experience it. And with that love comes this innate responsibility to protect. This responsibility is so strong that we would become superhuman if needed, we would do anything to protect them from all harm…but we can’t. It’s just not possible. Even if I bubble wrapped my child (I definitely considered it after yesterday), she would still get hurt. There comes a point when you need to have faith it will all be okay…whatever your faith may be. This is where I must learn to ‘let go and let God’.

Emma is okay. She’s alive and healthy with a few cuts and some chippy teeth (luckily these ones fall out!). I am very lucky it wasn’t any worse. It can always be worse…

So while I work on trying not to lose my mind when she gets injured, I think about how blessed I am that she’s okay. My advice for anyone going through something similar is this: Keep calm and ‘mom’ on 🙂 You’re a great parent. Be thankful for the blessings you have and continue to pray for all those suffering, it could always be worse!

To My Daughter…

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I love you. I love you more than words can ever explain. I love watching you grow. I love the way you know that I’m your mom, the way you smile at me and the way you snuggle with me. I love the way you get excited and kick your legs. I love it when I’m holding you and you squeeze me. I love your little face and your little toes. I love everything about you.

You are growing…and you are growing fast. It seems like just yesterday you were born and yet it already feels so far away. You will only continue to grow even in moments when I wish time would just stand still. A part of me never wants you to grow up. A part of me just wants to keep you as my tiny baby. A part of me will never forget these times and a part of me someday will really miss them. But you will always be my little girl, even when you’re no longer little.

I miss you on the days I’m not home with you. I can’t wait to see you. I think about what you’ll be like when you grow up, how beautiful you’ll always be in my eyes and the things you’ll do. I sometimes worry about raising you. Am I making the right decisions? Am I doing the right things? Being a mom is tough, one day you’ll understand it, and then you’ll know as I now know when my mother said it to me.

I want to tell you so much. I want to share the world with you. But I want to shelter you. I want to keep you away from harm and evil. I never want anyone to hurt you. I never want you to feel pain. I know this isn’t possible. I know this because it’s part of life…and sometimes life isn’t fair. Sometimes people hurt us and sometimes we hurt ourselves. Life is full of emotions. We feel a lot things. We feel love, joy, happiness, accomplishment and success but we also feel pain, loss, heartbreak, sickness and sadness. There is no limit to what we can or will feel.

At some point, you will feel angry at me, and maybe even resentful. You will tell me that I’m unfair. You will fight with me. You won’t like me. While I can never be fully prepared for this, I will do my best. I know when it will be coming. I know because I was once there. I did these things to my mom. I fought her because she was a good mom…in fact, she was and is the best mom. She had rules and consequences. She cared so much although I couldn’t see it at the time. She never gave up on me.

I will never give up on you. I will never stop being there for you, even when you don’t want me to be. This is my promise to you. I will do my best to be your guide through life. I will raise you hoping that one day when I’m not around (temporarily or permanently) you’ll make the right decisions, the smart decisions and the morally led decisions. I hope you will make these decisions even if everyone one else isn’t and even if it causes others to be mean to you. It’s never easy to go against the majority, but I hope you will be guided by the values I instilled upon you. I will make sure your faith is important to you. God will be your guide through life. You may not always like the answers to your prayers, but one day you’ll understand why things worked out the way they did.

My love for you is unconditional and knows no bounds. I cannot say what the future holds but I know that you will do great things. One day you will go off to college and exude your independence. You will begin figuring out what you want to do with the rest of your life. You will grow into a mature woman. You will be amazing, I just know it. I will always be proud of you, even at times when your feet aren’t firmly planted on the ground. You will make mistakes, and that’s okay. It will never change how I feel about you. I will give you advice when you ask for it, and sometimes when you don’t. I will never stop worrying about you. Never.

You will find a man that treats you the way you deserve to be treated. It may take you a while to find him, but don’t lose hope. I waited 29 years for your father and he was worth the wait…so worth it. I pray that you will find the love I have with him. We will do our best to set the right example for you. Then one day, you will get married. You will leave home permanently. I will have to let you go. I will know that you are safe and happy. You will have a new home but you will always be welcome to where you started. I will always be here for you.

God willing, you have children. Maybe one will be a little girl. You will love her beyond measure and you will truly understand the things I will have said to you all of your life. And hopefully I was a good mom to you so that you can be that same mom but better. We always hope for the best with our children and that I hope for you. And one day when I’m gone, my wish is that you’ll always know a piece of me lives inside of you, deep with your soul. This piece of me that will forever love you because you have made me whole.

Love always,
Your mom

Loss.

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Loss. We all go through it. There are a variety of ways in which we lose. We lose those we love whether by death, the end of a relationship or a friendship. We lose out on promotions or we lose our jobs. We lose an important game we’re playing in or watching our favorite teams play. In moments of stress and frustration, we can lose our patience and even our sanity. In moments of sadness, we can lose our strength. In moments of uncertainty, we can lose trust. And in moments of disappointment and despair, we can lose our faith.

I believe that loss is one of the hardest things we go through as individuals. I reflect upon this because as I have a daughter now my biggest fear is losing her. I realize that is not my choice, that is up to God, but I cannot imagine that kind of pain. I know others that have lost children in pregnancy, at birth, as children and even as adults. One of my best friends was diagnosed with cancer and passed away when we were 21 years old. I cannot begin to comprehend the loss his parents and family felt. The loss of child is something no parent should go through, but I believe God has a greater purpose for these very special individuals. However, that doesn’t ease the pain. While I feel that time does heal all wounds, there are still the scars that live as reminders of the hurt we once and maybe even still endure.

I think about losing my parents and I immediately start to cry. I can’t imagine when that day comes and I no longer have them to talk to, go to advice for, share in special milestones and moments with and just that constant and unconditional love our parents give us. My husband lost his father when he was 17 years old and it breaks my heart how much he misses him. I know many people that have experienced the loss of a parent and I just hope that you can continue to find the strength to know they are in the best place they can be and although they are not physically here, their presence lives on in your hearts and in many of the things you do. We not only inherit our parents genes but also many of their behaviors and mannerisms that I believe can be a source of comfort when the pains of missing them become stronger during certain times. I cannot speak personally on this, but I know when that day comes I will need my faith more than anything to get through it.

I have lost friends over the years, some by my choice and others by theirs. It hurts. It’s very hard to watch people change and see those friendships diminish. Some just fade as your lives go in different directions and you grow apart while others end bitterly. I miss some of the friendships I no longer have but I believe people come and go in our lives for a reason and those that stay are meant to. I have lost relationships but those were for the best, however, at the time it seemed like the end of the world. For anyone not married or not with the person they will spend the rest of their lives with, all I can say is that when you find the one you are meant to be with, that relationship will stick through good times and bad. And when they don’t and you so desperately wanted it to, try to remember that in the long run, you will be better off (I know I am!).

Loss scares me but I know that whatever is supposed to happen in my life will happen and I just need to accept that. It’s never easy but I believe that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. Yes, that seems silly to say because there are times where I personally felt like my life was unbearable, but that is when I found Him and trusted the most. Even if you aren’t religious, sometimes I think things happen so that you find a relationship with God, but maybe that’s just me! I know this post isn’t on the happy side, but I hope it helps you reflect on your own losses and accept that all things happen for a reason and to keep your head up!