Monday, October 7, 2019

Never knowing is hard

When my sweet Olivia died in 2012, she was just shy of 9 years of age.  At that time in her life, she was an active young  guitar player, elementary school student who loved art, a big sister, and a soccer player.  At the time of untimely death, those were the things that defined her  as an 8 year old girl.

But, as kids age/grow up, their interests start to evolve.  Those who once played guitar may now play trumpet.  Those who once played soccer may now be on a basketball team or cheerleading squad.

You never now.

You never know........  that's what is so darn agonizing.  Not knowing.  Not watching the evolvement, the growth, the maturity of my sweet  Olivia over the past 7 years now.

She would be 16years old.

Like I mentioned before, Olivia was a soccer player with a group of great girls.

Team name:  The Cheetahs!

They started out pretty flat but as a team, they really started to pick things up and improved tremendously.    It was such a fun time during her existence.

(Olivia - front row left)

It is now soccer season as well as Homecoming season, and I am drawn in daily of the reality of "what could have been".

About a mont ago, one of Olivia's former teammates/friend posted a picture on Facebook of herself and the rest of the Junior Class Springdale High School Soccer  Players.  But, there seems to be one thing missing......

My Sweet Olivia.

Would she have continue her soccer "career" and been  playing under the lights?  Would she be a guitar player, strumming along to Taylor Swift?  Would she be attending the high school Homecoming Dance?  With a boy?  With friends?

That's the thing........

I'll never know.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

New Traditions

Last month, I walked into the mangers office of the beach resort that we were staying at with my eyes welling up with tears of sadness.  "This is always a sad day for me."  I said.  "Checking out."  The lady behind the counter simply replied, "Family tradition?"  "Yes, this was our fifth time staying here,"  I said.

I hopped in our rental car that was waiting for me in the parking lot.  Erick and Ainsley were both stopped in their seat belts and ready to head to the Sarasota Airport.  Just like that our one-week vacation at our favorite sport in southwest Florida was over.  My eyes were still filled with tears which began to fall down my cheeks.  As I sat quietly in the front passenger seat of our tiny Chevrolet Cruze, I starting thinking about what  the office mangers said to me.......   "Family Tradition?"

I guess that is what this is.  It's a NEW family tradition.  One with just Erick, Ainsley and me.  No Olivia.  That in itself sounds awful, but its reality.  Olivia has never been to this part of Florida with us.  We never had the opportunity to make memories or build traditions at this beach resort that sits on the Gulf of Mexico, with its spectacular views or the sunsets, plus it's clear green waters and warm gulf breeze.

But, is that entirely heartbreaking?


It's actually necessary.  The three of us are a family with or without Olivia present.  She'll always be with us in spirit, but this special vacation destination that we began in 2014 is now ours - Mine, Erick's and Ainsley's - The Wade family.  Every time we visit our little slice of Heaven, we are happy and become closer as a family of three.  This is a good thing.  We are moving on because, well, that's what we have to do.

Before Ainsley was born, we started building family traditions to the beaches of North Carolina.    Then, we are fortunate enough that we had a few vacations as a family of four.  But, this new tradition opened my eyes to that exact thing - A tradition that the three of us will continue to enjoy for many, many, more years.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Turning 9

On that fateful, tragic day of March 23, 2012, Olivia was 34 days shy of her ninth birthday.  We were already in the midst of planning her party.  She had decided on a movie party.  She wanted to take 9 friends to see the newest Disney Planet Earth  movie, "Chimpanzee".    Movie theater was booked.

Now, let's flash forward to 2019.......

Ainsley is turning 9!

The anxiety of this birthday is unbelievably stressful for me.  Ainsley, on the other hand is thrilled that she has an upcoming birthday.  Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled too but it's all too familiar.  We've already planned the birthday party (NOT at the movie theater).

In my grieving mind, we've already gotten over one optical, Ainsley is now 17 days closer to turning nine, but the anxiety is still there.  I have to tell myself that Ainsley has a different fate than her big sister.

As I'm writing this, I just realized that on March 23, 2019- it will be 34 days until Olivia's sweet 16.

I am not writing this because I am searching for petty.  I write because it's therapeutic.

A word of wisdom.:

Be kind to yourselves.  Do something for YOU.