Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Anniversary

Tomorrow will be four years since my sweet Olivia took her last breath.  March 23rd will always be a date that will burn in my brain.

Five years ago, March 23rd meant nothing.   It was just an ordinary day.  I probably went to work and Olivia went to her second grade classroom.

Today, March 23rd churns up terrible memories.  It's a day that changes the lives of so many people.  Not only me, Erick, and Ainsley have been traumatized my the death of Olivia but so have my Uncle and my cousin and my dad who were all of the boat with me and Olivia that dreadful day.

March 23, 2012 will be an anniversary of such profound sadness.

What I find myself thinking of is that it's been four years ago that I had a hug, a kiss, a "mommy, guess what?' from that sweet little girl of mine.  It's been four years since we've heard her sweet voice and laughter.  Four years since she played in the backyard with her baby sister.  Four years ago since we said our bedtime prayers.

Next year will be five years, then six, and then seven.  I don't even want to think about how this will feel ten years from now.

How I long for those days back.

The problem with March 23rd is that it's inevitable.  I can't keep it from coming but I can make it something different.  tomorrow, we will gather with our close friends have have a lantern launch sending our love up to Olivia.

We'll light the sky just like she lit up our hearts.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Starting off our week with a bang..... or maybe a bump.

Today was any typical Monday morning at the Wade house.  We're all a little tired because it IS Monday after all and it's that first full day after day-light savings time.  Rain is now adding to our tired morning so I let Ainsley sleep in for another 10 minutes.

I opened her door to notice that her room was still so dark due to the clouds and the change in time.  I rubbed her belly and she woke up with hardly any trouble.  I continued to do my normal morning routine and headed out to the kitchen to turn on the coffee maker.  After a few minutes, I noticed that I didn't hear Ainsley so I went back into her roman she was still laying in bed.  No big deal, we have time......  Erick drives her to school so there is no concern about catching a bus.

Finally, she gets out of bed and goes potty.  I poured her a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats (with Almonds) and she sat at on the floor in the living room by Erick to eat.  Penny cuddled up right next to her to do a little begging.  I did notice that Ainsley only ate half of her bowl, which is unusual because she LOVES this cereal and on most mornings she'll ask for a refill.  I didn't think much of it because we're all tired.  I know that when I'm tired, eating breakfast isn't my top priority.

Erick takes her to school and then returns home because he decided that he would work form home today.  He does a little work and then I ask him if he wants to get out of the house at all today.  I wanted to walk around at our local mall so he agreed to drop me off and he would run some errands.

I walked the mall for about 30 minutes then entered the store Justice.  I'm usually not a Justice shopper but I thought I'd try something different.  I was looking for birthday gifts for my niece but of course got side tracked by some really cute clothes for Ainsley!


My cell phone rings.......

It's a number that looks like Ainsley's school.


"Hi Mrs. Wade.   It's Amy from the Nurses Office."

Now, if you're a parent, you know that call is always one that stopes your heart for a bit.  

"Ainsley was on bathroom break and she slipped on water while in the bathroom and she hit her head on the floor.  She has a red mark on her head.  She's stopped crying.  Her pupils look fine."


I asked if Ainsley wanted to stay or come home.  She wanted to come home.  I called Erick to see where he was in his errand duty and told him that he needed to pick up Ainsley from school.  I'm now in a full on panic.  The worst possible is running through my head.  I'm walking through JCPenney in tears.  Not having control over a situation sucks.  I decided to call Ainsley's doctors office to speak to a nurse.  I told her the story and she proceeds to tell me what to look for......  drowsiness, fatigue, vomiting, and don''t let her sleep until an hour after the bump.

Erick picked up Ainsley then they picked me up at the mall.  Ainsley is in her seat practically falling asleep!  Erick NEVER thinks the worst so he's calm.  I told him what the nurse had told me so we decided to head over to LOWES to walk around.  Ainsley is sitting in the cart and has chills and wants to sleep so I PANIC!  I can't handle this.  I called and got her  an appointment for NOW.

Long story, really short!  Ainsley actually had a temperature of 100 which was just coincidental to the head bump.  She doesn't have a concussion but it was enough trauma to my psyche.  I'm up waiting to go in and check in on my sleeping angel to be sure she's ok.

Ainsley is thrilled that she's staying home tomorrow because she can watch movies.  Now, that's the girl I know.  Same response Olivia used to give me on sick days.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A kind soul

There are some conversations that just seem to stick in your brain for a lifetime. I have one that I had with Olivia when she was in 3rd grade (the last grade that she would attend).
Every night at bedtime, I would kneel next to her bed while she would say her prayers and we'd talk. Some talks were attempts to just stay up a little later but others were true heart-to-hearts, questions of life, friendship dilemmas, and addressing issues that arise on the school bus.
Some kids that sat in the back of the bus had learned that sticking up your middle finger was bad. It was disrespectful. I don't know if they knew what it actually said but they knew that it meant something wrong. 
Olivia was troubled by it because sticking the finger up in the air was sticking up to where God was. It was suggested to her to simply turn your hand upside down.  
Olivia didn't like that solution because the middle finger was then pointing toward loved ones that were buried in the ground.......
What a respectful little girl she was.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Happy Birthday Ainsley

Day 5 in our new chapter of life.  The life we now have to journey through with baby steps, one step at a time, one breath at a time, one hour at a time.......

March 28, 2012.  It's Ainsley's 2nd birthday and in all honesty, it's not very happy at all.  I think deep down inside, Ainsley herself felt that it's not very happy but we all try our best.

It's a Wednesday, a day that Erick and I would be going to work, Olivia to school, and Ainsley would be going to day care.  But instead of Olivia going to school, her body would be on a plane and would arrive back in Pittsburgh.  For several months after this day, I would look up at airplanes flying over me and think of her lifeless body on an airplane, cold and alone.

We decide to keep things as normal as possible today for Ainsley so we get ready and we take Ainsley to day care but a few hours late.  Just as Flo had made cookies for Olivia when she turned two, Nancy had made cookies for Ainsley to take to day care.  Nancy, Flo's daughter, kept the tradition going by baking cookies shaped like the number 2.  Erick, Ainsley, and I  drove down to day care to celebrate Ainsley's birthday with her teachers and classmates.  The teachers had all learned of our tragedy but it's still so awkward at this early stage to walk into a room knowing that everyone knows our loss.  Everyone sings "Happy Birthday" to Ainsley but the lump in my throat is overwhelming me so I'm whispering it as Ainsley sits on my lap and Erick is taking pictures of this, what should be joyous, day.

Later that day, we went into Olivia's room with Ainsley and reached underneath her bed to grab the birthday present that she had waiting for her precious baby sister.  It was the Sing-a-ma-jig that Olivia bought a few weeks earlier.  There it was, in a gift bag, with a card that was decorated and signed by Olivia and Hannah.  "This little light of mine"would be sung when you pressed the Sing-a-ma-jig's belly while it's mouth moved.  What an appropriate song to give to her cherished little sister.  Olivia was so excited for Ainsley to turn 2 but she would miss this day and every other birthday to come.

Family and friends start to arrive at our house once again and one of my friend's aunt bought a cake for us to all continue to celebrate Ainsley's big day.   I didn't even think to have a cake. Once again, the generosity and thoughtfulness continues from all around us.

I have no idea how we can mustard up a smile but we did.  Trust me, it's completely forced.  

We continue to celebrate like it's any other normal birthday.  Erick and I bought Ainsley her own scooter with 3 wheels so that she could follow Olivia and Hannah around on their scooters.  She would have loved that.  Ainsley loved to hang out with Olivia and Hannah but just couldn't keep up with them.  Now she could.  It's funny how everything you do revolves around your children.  What would make them happy?  Six days ago, this scooter would have been the best gift ever.  Today, it's just a toy.  It's now a reminder other absence.  To this day, sAinsley still scoots around on her 3 wheeled scooter and I follow on Olivia's.  She has no idea of what could have been, but I do.