Everything changed. Every. Single. Thing. All that had been, all that would be and everything in between. Our lives were changed irrevocably in an instant with one phone call. Five years ago today, our sweet little two-year old baby girl was diagnosed with cancer.
It hasn’t happened like this in a long time. I found myself lying awake, writing in my head. I pay a really wonderful lady a pile of money to listen to me week after week so it seems writing doesn’t come as easy these days simply just because what I used to write here day in and day out…now I say to her.
I was thinking about J35, the beautiful momma whale carrying her baby now into the second week since it passed and I thought…”we’re really not so different, you and me, momma whale. Only difference is that the world seems to understand you and feel your grief.” It got me thinking: is it because people can see her calf? Is it because people can imagine carrying the physical weight of a lost child? And now, on the eve of two years and seven months without her, I’m here to tell you. I still carry Kate, too.
She isn’t a newborn bundled in sweet blankets, just up from a nap. She isn’t a squirming toddler ready to explore but unsteady on her feet. She isn’t sleepy and smelling divine, fresh from a bath. No, she’s not in my arms. She’s not got her head on my shoulder, breathing sweet breath on my neck. She’s not giggling into my ear, sending goose bumps down my spine. She’s not so tall with such long legs that her feet bang against my knees as I creak up the stairs, weary under the weight of her. But I carry her.
I carry Kate into each and every thing that I do. Her life is my life’s rose-colored glasses and now, I see everything through her. Should I be lucky enough to see the sun rise or a morning-glory in bloom, I speak to her about it. I speak to the bunny in my back yard, munching on clover as if she’s with me and we’re watching it together. I don’t make a change to the sheets on our bed or buy a new set of pillows without thinking about how I’ll part with the old ones…because she knew the old ones. Her physical presence existed with the old and anything new just HURTS. I don’t visit a new place or think about my future without her being intimately involved.
I seem to have what I now refer to as “Kate Colored Glasses.” They are part of me and I cannot seem to see without them. Every choice. Every thought. Every new experience. Every memory. Every plan. I wear them with her in my full front view. I involve her in everything. I carry her. Oh, yes, I carry her with me. You may not be able to see her, but I can.
I am her mother. And just like J35, I will carry her long from now. Forever. I have been all along.
For the third year in a row, you nudged me awake right at 4:04am, the very moment your beautiful face entered this world. For the third year in a row, it’s bright and beautifully sunny outside instead of the forecasted gray and dreary. For the third year in a row, I have walked to your room and wished to the heavens I’d find you there. But for the third year in a row, you are gone on your birthday and I’m celebrating for you instead of with you. Continue reading “Seventh Heaven”
This past Saturday, almost one year to the day of our official launch, we celebrated the first birthday of Kate’s Cause, our foundation built from love and heartache. We gathered with 254 of our closest friends, family and new faces alike and we celebrated our birthday. We celebrated Kate.
BECAUSE OF YOU, IN ONE YEAR, WE WERE ABLE TO FULFILL OUR PROMISE TO KATE.
Because I am at a loss for words, a rarity for me, I thought I would share my speech and our news with you here, since it expresses what I so wish to say. Continue reading “A Birthday of a Different Sort”
People tell me…”you’ll always be Kate’s mommy!” I know this is true, but there’s something about the statement that hurts in a way I can’t quite explain. Don’t get me wrong! I’d much rather people recognize that YES! Yes, I a AM her mommy forever! It’s complicated.
My daughter loved my jewelry.
She’d play with it hanging on the hooks in my closet from the time she could stand, and she’d often be found on my lap playing with my bracelets & necklaces but ALWAYS commenting on what she liked best each day. Last night, the fine folks at your store in Reston Town Center invited us to partner with them to launch your gorgeous summer line. This was a big honor for us on many levels – it’s a big and exciting day for your company, and I’m told that we were chosen because the team loved our mission, loved our people and have enjoyed us in the past. To do an event like this where we remember Kate, raise funds for research AND have the opportunity to give back to other moms of patients with childhood cancer means more to me than you could ever really know. Continue reading “An Open Letter to Kendra Scott”
This one got me. Right in the heart and in the gut. Sure, I’m the one who created the Wish List, so I knew what I was adding and I know what items the clinic needs and wants, so when this brightly colored little ball showed up today, it was really no surprise. Something about it, though, gave me pause and made me cry. Continue reading “Our Toy Drive Made Me Cry”
Why is it, that at two o’clock in the morning, I cannot conjure up a memory from the day she was born? Why can my brain not allow me the pre-dawn hours still & quiet to recall any ONE of the 802 days of life that she had before cancer? Why, when my husband sleeps soundly beside me, must my eyes fly open and see what I see?
Kate loved the song Happy by Pharrell Williams. Her mommy and Aunt Jamie really disliked it up until the day Kate and her Grandma went for ice cream and the song totally changed our minds. Kate had just gone toe to toe with chemo the day prior and having had just an awful time of it, Grandma thought she could use a little treat. Right there, in the middle of the ice cream shop, the song came on and Katie just danced. No care for what happened yesterday. No worries for what tomorrow might bring. She just danced her cute little bob up and down and shimmy her arms to-and-fro dance. It’s a favorite memory of mine and I wasn’t even there for it.
“Clap along if you fee like happiness is the truth…”