Eggshells

My baby.

Losing you never got easier.

I just put an eggshell around the grief.

I can’t build anything thicker.

So I built an eggshell.

It’s not very strong, but most days it gets the job done.

I put all the hurt inside and pray nothing cracks it.

But then I hear your name.

Or hear a baby crying.

Or your sister mentions you.

Or I find something of yours.

Or I think about you too long.

And the shell cracks.

And all the pain oozes out.

And the cry comes.

I never knew cries could be so different.

But my cry for you always sounds different than any other time I cry.

It’s silent and then this almost scream comes out.

My baby.

And every time I hear myself making the noise I think this can’t be real.

I replay the mom I heard screaming over her dead newborn who passed away in NICU.

Her cries echoed down the hall and I hate that I held your brother closer to me and thought, I couldn’t ever do that.

That will never be me.

And then it was.

And everyone says it gets easier and it just doesn’t.

You manage it better.

You hide it.

You shove it into the eggshell and try to protect it all day every day.

But somedays you can’t.

Somedays you’re too weak.

And today is one of those days.

The days where the shell shattered.

And the grief of losing you poured out and I can’t clean it up today.

I hate missing you.

I’m so tired of missing you.

I hate still begging for you to come home.

Like it’s not real you’re gone.

I miss you, Aspen.

My baby.

{step}dad

There’s a lot of “crap” that comes with being a single mom.

I mean a lot.

It gave me some really tough skin though.

Today I was asked how active my husband is in my children’s lives.

And I’ve been thinking about it most of the day.

They aren’t my children.

They’re our children.

(disclaimer: This isn’t a bash at their dad. This isn’t saying he isn’t a part of their lives. This isn’t discrediting him I say that because a lot of coparenting is realizing that everything you do and say is usually twisted by some random person.)

This is saying my husband is just as active in their lives.

This is saying my husband is a parent.

This is saying my husband loves them as if they were his blood.

This is saying, my husband, as a stepdad has never once referred to them as “your kids”

I’ve had someone say it is disrespectful that they call him papa.

Someone who isn’t active in my kids lives.

Someone who doesn’t realize that he is around them day in and day out.

Someone who didn’t know that we didn’t start that.

That out of no where Ivy started calling him that.

We didn’t even realize she was referring to him at first.

And the other kids just copied her.

And if I’m honest it drives me slightly insane.

If you “cared” about my kids you’d have no issues with a man loving them as fiercely as he does.

The kids are thriving.

I think why it used to frustrate me so much is because anyone who actually had any role in my kids lives had no issue with him being a part of their lives.

But in 2019 everyone has an opinion.

He has never once complained when I ask for help.

Most of the time I don’t even have to ask.

Every single morning he takes Willow to school.

Every single day I work he watches them, even on the days that means going straight from work to pick them up from my mom.

He gets them to bed.

Feeds them.

Takes them to the park.

When we all had the flu, he took care of all of us.

Last weekend I worked all weekend.

He kept them.

They were at the beach all day and I said I wish I was off too.

And he replied I think it’s good that I have the one on one time with them, I want them to trust me too.

I have watched him rock Ivy to sleep.

And wrestle Reid for hours.

I’ve come home from work at night to him curled up at the end of Willow’s bed because she’s still scared of the dark.

He’s come to doctors appointments.

Taken the time to understand Reid who has a speech delay.

I’ve watched him put medicine on Ivy’s psoriasis.

Change dirty diapers.

Help with potty training.

When he leaves for work in the morning he one by one tells us all he loves us.

But it was hard.

When we started dating it was hard.

I didn’t want to “ruin his image” by him dating a single mom.

A lot of things were said that shouldn’t have been by people who didn’t really matter.

We kept to ourselves a lot because of this, but the moment I realized he was ours was a night in August.

He came over after I told him not to.

He’s extremely respectful of my space and if I say I need it he gives it to me but this night was different.

I told him I didn’t think we should see each other.

He knocked on my door.

The kids were asleep.

I opened it with a straight face.

I started listing one by one every reason we shouldn’t be together.

I can probably never give you kids.

You deserve that.

I’m a single mom.

There’s plenty of people who would love to be with you without kids.

I am not mentally stable.

I just lost a child.

I can’t defend myself and I won’t.

This isn’t fair to you.

I love you too much.

I can’t do this anymore.

I somehow managed to get this out without crying.

He stood there.

In my doorway.

With tears in his eyes.

I don’t remember all of what he said but I do remember this part of it.

He said;

Mariah please don’t do this. I love you. I can’t lose you and the kids. I don’t care what anyone has to say. I care about the four people in this house…. can I at least come tell them goodbye in the morning?

My eyes immediately swelled over with tears and I hysterically sobbed while he held me.

That was the moment I stopped caring.

I stopped caring about the single mom stigma.

I stopped caring about what anyone thought.

About my own self doubt.

He loved us.

Endlessly.

He didn’t care about any of the other noise so why did I?

I replayed everything over.

We had been barely been talking and he took Reid and Willow to school because Aspen had an appointment.

When I was working he would offer to pick up all 4 kids so I didn’t have to pay a sitter.

He knew we were a package deal.

And he loved us.

So WHY was I letting everything get to me.

Why was I pushing the man who would move mountains for us away?

I don’t think I realized how much I didn’t like the word stepdad (stepparent) until we got married.

I feel like people take it as they are less of a parent.

And that’s just not true.

They love when they don’t have to.

They are parents.

They aren’t any less.

And I am so thankful my kids will never remember a time without him.

I am thankful they won’t remember a lot of things.

I am thankful someone loves the way he does.

I am thankful someone is just as dedicated to protecting them.

To shielding them from the world.

So how involved is my husband in our kids lives?

He’s as involved as any dad is.

And my kids are beyond blessed to have a papa who loves them so deeply.

Dear Aspen,

Dear Aspen,

It’s nearly 1am.

And I can’t stop thinking of you.

Willow still refers to you as Absen. If you ask her how many siblings she has, without hesitation, she says 2 sisters and a brother.

I wonder if she’ll always remember you.

Reid still does.

I didn’t know it until recently.

He’s in speech therapy.

So he’s not good at communicating.

But he says “one willow two babies” frequently.

I know he knows you.

Tonight I got your siblings to bed.

I was laying there watching Netflix.

With your stepdad I guess.

He met you a handful of times.

But I was still too timid to let you guys know him when you died.

I hate saying that.

When you died.

I don’t think I’ve processed it completely.

But as we were laying there the pain of you swept over me.

Like a hurricane.

The pain.

The anger.

The sadness.

You’re never coming home.

I know it’s wrong.

But I still go through the days like you’ll come home.

Like if I can prove your death was preventable.

If I can get better.

If I’m more mentally healthy.

You’ll come home.

But you won’t.

Because you, my sweet child, are dead.

I’m not saying it for anyone else.

I’m saying it for me.

Because you died 9.5 months ago.

And I still haven’t accepted it.

I keep thinking I can bring you back.

Obviously the logical side of me knows I can’t.

But the mom side of me thinks I can.

It’s so irrational.

And unhealthy.

But I can’t stop.

I tried so hard kiddo.

To save you.

To protect you.

More than anyone truly knows.

The day you left you were gone 22 hours before you died. It was supposed to be 72 hours.

I lied.

I said you had an appointment.

That you couldn’t go that long.

I got it lowered 42 hours.

To just 30.

On April 14th I laid next to you.

I kissed you over and over.

It just didn’t feel right.

But I told myself over and over it was just my anxiety.

No one would hurt you.

You were pure.

It wasn’t anxiety.

56 minutes before you left I posted a picture of you.

With the caption along the lines of:

Baby I promise we’ll be okay.

You weren’t.

You died.

The phone call I got.

I’ll never forget those words.

They’ll haunt me forever.

“How did you know I called”

My baby was dead.

And no one was going to tell me.

Because everyone knew.

They knew I’d dig and dig for answers.

Speeding down that road.

All the lights red.

Blaring my horn.

On the phone.

After I hung up on Mimi and grumps I called him.

Terrified

I didn’t know.

Maybe they brought you back.

Maybe you’d be severely handicap.

But it’s okay.

We can deal with that.

Please come to the ER. Fort Walton. It’s aspen.

That’s all I could get out.

My bare feet slapping the pavement over and over through the ER parking lot.

Because maybe if my feet carried me fast enough I could tell you goodbye while you were still alive.

The tears in that room.

The clothes I dressed you in the day before sliced off you and laying under your pale body.

Stop.

Is she gone?

Yes

Stop.

Stop hurting my baby.

Stop touching her.

Your eyes were open.

But they weren’t.

Your body was cold but I still sat holding you against me.

Maybe my mom instinct kicked it.

But I sat there trying to warm you against me.

Begging you to wake up.

My tears streamed down your cold face.

And a nurse hugged me as I held you.

I’ll never forget it.

It was probably hard for the nurses to watch me.

Completely irrational screaming for you to wake up.

And then I laid you down.

I walked to a room.

Still barefoot.

Confused.

Your, now, stepdad walked in. (He was never your stepdad but I absolutely hate saying he’s your siblings stepdad but not yours)

And I never told him until now.

Because I didn’t want him to feel obligated to stay.

But peace swept over me.

It’s not okay.

It never will be.

But he’s going to carry us through this.

He stayed when I shutdown.

When I cried myself to sleep for weeks.

When I dropped to my knees as I hung up with the investigator.

Having a child die is horrid.

But I can’t convey the picture I have of you.

For hours laying alone.

Dead.

No one helped you.

No one called 911.

Because the only people who actually cared about you were right down the road.

Killing time.

Waiting for you to come home.

At the end of the day you’re dead because of pride.

You’re dead because while I said over and over I’d keep you.

Alone.

No money.

Nothing.

Just let us be.

Pride got in the way.

And now you’re dead.

Over a bottle of alcohol.

And that kills me every day.

So as I sit on this couch.

Because a man who loves us dearly agreed to give me a little bit of time to myself tonight I want you to know I love you.

Aspen.

My sweet girl.

More than I love anything, I love you.

It’s hard parenting your siblings.

Your death gave me some ptsd.

I’m scared they’ll go too.

It’s wrong.

But my every breath fears that.

But I’m going to write something my husband recently said to me;

“Let it out. It’s okay to feel this way”

He said those words as 9.5 months later I pressed my face into his chest and hysterically sobbed.

Because maybe if I pressed against him hard enough he could absorb some of it.

Because this pain is too much.

It came out of no where.

No trigger.

You just crossed my mind.

So this is me letting it out the best I know how.

Typos and sloppiness.

I just want you home kiddo.

I miss you little bug.

Those sweet giggles.

Your crazy eye.

Your stinky little feet.

I wish it had been me.

Everyday I wish it had been me instead.

I am so sorry.

Everyday I struggle with accepting that I couldn’t have saved you.

Regardless of how much interference I tried to run.

It was His plan.

And while I’ve spent a lot of time angry with the one who now holds you for me.

It was always out of my hands because it was in his.

And I’m learning to accept that.

I love you, Aspen Jayne.

Always.

and forever.

Until we meet again someday soon.

I will never be a“Christian”

People ask me all the time what I believe.

I struggled with it for a long time as I briefly wrote about before.

It took me a very, very long time to realize I put my faith in Christians.

Not God.

People who claim to love.

People who claim to accept.

People who claim to forgive.

People.

I put my faith in people.

And I realized I wanted nothing to do with them.

So for a while I wanted nothing to do with God.

Why is the atheist more loving?

Why is the felon more accepting of all people?

Why is the alcoholic more forgiving?

I quickly realized if that was Christianity I wanted nothing to do with it.

I didn’t want to be hateful. (Trust me I have been full of hate, I’m not saying I’m not guilty of this)

I didn’t want to judge everyone.

I didn’t want to sit on a high horse.

I didn’t want to claim to love all, but not live by that.

I think I found a lot of my frustration in being a young single mom.

And being judged.

Because you could see my sin.

It was physically standing in front of you.

I don’t hide my sin from people.

I think it rubs a lot of people the wrong way.

But that’s how I am.

So when you judge me for posting on my social media that I had a drink at dinner.

And you sit at home.

Judging.

Sipping your beer.

When you judge me for being a teen mother.

But we all know you committed the same sin.

When you judge me for being divorced.

But we all know what you do when your wife is out of town.

You see I was never angry with God.

I was angry with people.

But they’re flawed.

Just like me.

So I have started to relearn my faith.

Slowly, but surely.

It’s been hard.

And it’s taken a lot.

But I’m slowly finding my peace again.

The world stopped.

Getting that call.

The world stopped.

Is she alive?

The world stopped.

Ma’am I can’t tell you you need to head to the ER.

The world stopped.

My horn is blaring.

The world stopped.

My head is spinning.

The world stopped.

My feet are bare. Smacking the concrete.

The world stopped.

Is she alive?

The world stopped.

The hallways are cold.

The world stopped.

The door opens.

The world stopped.

Her blood is foaming.

The world stopped.

Is she gone?

The world stopped.

Stop. Leave her be. You’re hurting my baby.

The world stopped.

The investigator came.

The world stopped.

My head is throbbing.

The world stopped.

Your daughter is evidence.

The world stopped.

Screaming. Sobbing.

Surely the world stopped.

Losing my daughter.

The world stopped.

Losing a child is hell.

Indescribable.

Losing a child when it is going to trial is so unhealthy though.

I couldn’t grieve her right.

I poured all of me into proving her death was preventable.

She didn’t just died.

But my world stopped.

4 months later and arrest was made.

I called.

16 times.

Make it to the arrest and then it will be over.

But it’s not.

My world stopped.

It gets continued.

Every month I get a new trail date.

I don’t care any more.

I died that day.

My world ended.

When I see a death in that area I pray it was you.

It never is.

My world stopped.

My world ended.

Court isn’t over.

And a huge part of me.

Wrongly.

Sickly.

Thinks when it is over.

When the world knows.

Christmas mourning

Christmas morning has been anticipated for as long as I can remember.

My siblings and I would all sleep in one room after opening gifts from each other on Christmas Eve.

We’d stay up for hours.

So excited to wake up.

We’d wake up before the sun and just wait for my mom to give us the okay to come downstairs.

And you’d think it can’t get better.

And then you have kids.

And it somehow becomes a thousand times better.

Seeing their face.

Being Santa.

With that said;

Christmas is my favorite time of the year.

I absolutely love it.

I usually set my tree up October 1st.

I am done Christmas shopping before December.

My love for December is obnoxious.

This year I’ve done none of that.

I’ve tried.

It’s December 20th and I’ve barely Christmas shopped.

I’ve just felt so down.

And honestly wish we could skip Christmas from now on.

Because this Christmas morning won’t be the same.

It’ll be Christmas mourning.

There’s so much to celebrate.

So much to be thankful for.

And I can’t think past her empty stocking.

Past watching her siblings open gifts and imagining them helping her since her chubby little baby fingers wouldn’t be able to open them alone yet.

I haven’t made cookies.

I haven’t taken them to see Santa.

I haven’t taken them ice skating.

I didn’t even fill their advent calendars.

It hurts too much.

She’d try Christmas cookies for the first time.

She’d have her sweet little glasses on.

Maybe she’d be walking.

Maybe she’d still be crawling but that would be okay.

Maybe her curls would have grown in.

Maybe she’d have straight hair more like her sister.

I just don’t feel like having Christmas anymore.

It just feels so wrong without her.

I know Christmas is far better than I could imagine where she is.

And I’m trying to find comfort in that.

But it’s hard.

So thing Christmas morning please pray for those who are Christmas mourning.

Still.

Be still.

Be still.

Know.

Know this is out of your hands.

Be still and know.

I can’t.

If I’m still I’ll feel her.

I’ll still hear her cry.

I’ll think of the empty stocking.

If I’m still my head will wander.

If I’m still surely I’ll lose my mind.

Tonight I stood at work.

Hosting.

We were dead.

I retraced the servers names and “Wednesday night” easily 100 times.

Begging my mind to focus on something.

Begging my mind not to wander.

Don’t cry.

Trace the letters.

Don’t think about it.

Trace the letters.

I have stress induced seizures and was so worried I’d shut off at work and end up in the ER.

Trace the letters.

Breathe.

In.

Out.

I’m drowning.

I reread the tattoo on my wrist a million times.

Be still and know

that I am God.

And I’m trying.

I am.

But some days it’s hard.

I want to fix everything myself.

He’s not moving at my speed.

He’s too slow.

Or even too fast.

Even though I’m well aware my timing is flawed and His is perfect.

Be still.

Why is that so terrifying to me?

Be still.

Why does it feel like the air is being squeeze out of my lungs if I am too still.

Be still.

I’m learning.

To be still.

To not run.

To let people in.

To love.

To trust.

To find the good.

I’m learning how to finally be still.

Please.

Be still.

alone

I’m not alone.

I’m surrounded by my kids everyday.

I’m surrounded by people who love me fiercely.

If I’m ever alone it’s by choice.

And yet I’m less alone when I’m alone.

Because sometimes sitting with people is more lonely.

Trying to talk to them.

When you’re drowning.

They don’t understand that.

When you’re missing you’re late daughter.

As hard as they try. They don’t understand that.

When you’re trying to cope.

When you’re in the middle of a mental breakdown.

How can you explain you need them.

But not here.

Not so close.

But hold me.

But leave.

But please never leave me.

How can you tell them when you tell them to go, you’re screaming for them to stay.

How can you tell them when you’re silent there are a million words racing through your head, but you can’t sort through them enough to speak.

So you sit.

Silently.

Until surely you’ve pushed everyone out.

Until you’re with the only person who understands.

Sometimes I’d just rather be alone.

It’s less lonely here.

An open letter to the man who chose to love the hurricane

My parents jokingly refer to me as a hurricane. I’m usually late. I’m a mess. I’m clumsy. I bounce from one topic to the next. And I sweep through life, very similar to a hurricane.

And when we started dating I felt like a hurricane barreling through your life.

And honestly it scared me.

A lot of me wanted to run.

To spare you.

You were so kind and understanding and right off the bat treated me so well I didn’t know how to process it.

I didn’t want to hurricane into your life.

But I also didn’t want to lose you.

I remember sitting on the couch and saying I have kids

And you looked at me funny and said “I know?”

And I said it’s not just me. I don’t want to waste my time or yours.

I don’t want to hurt you.

I don’t want to hurt them.

It’s a lot.

It’ll be hard.

And I’ll never forget you looking back almost annoyed and saying “stop. I love the kids”

I started casually seeing you a little less than a month before I lost my daughter.

At the time, you looked at a single mom of 4 kids, with a boat load of issues, and who struggles severely with her mental health and decided to give her the time of day.

That alone made me fall at a stupid speed for you.

But you didn’t just date the young single mom and “deal” with her kids.

You made her kids fall in love with you too.

You never made them out to be a burden or an inconvenience.

Then she lost her 7.5 month old daughter.

And you stayed without question.

You left work to come to the ER.

You held her while she learned her daughter was evidence.

While she became furious with the investigator.

While she hysterically screamed and cried over her child.

You held her up as she walked out of the ER without her.

You stayed.

It would have been so easy to leave.

When she learned an arrest would be made 2 days after she died again you held her up.

When she learned that arrest would be postponed 4-6 month waiting on lab work again you held her up.

You spent months filling her days with as much happiness as you could.

You held her through seizures and hysterical crying fits.

On her daughter’s birthday you brought flowers and a balloon.

When she was struggling to accept what’s about to happen again you were her calm. Her solace.

You come actually play with the kids.

You’ve taken the time to understand my head.

You know when I’m shutting down.

You know when I’m sad and don’t want to talk.

You know when I’m angry and just need an ear.

You know when I need held.

You know when I need reminded you’re here.

You know when I just need a shoulder.

You know when I’m stressed and at a high risk of seizing.

You know when I need drug out of the house.

You know.

Because you’ve taken so much time to understand.

You come over without me asking when you know I’m down.

You’ve stayed when I told you to leave.

You’ll bring flowers randomly just to remind me you care.

You are the only person who know the absolute darkest places I’ve been.

My biggest regrets.

My biggest hurts.

You just know.

And you know and haven’t held a single thing over my head.

You don’t judge me.

You don’t ask me to change.

But you’ve made me a better person.

Some days I think you understand me better than I do.

And honestly it scares me.

Because I’ve spent all my life convinced no one could love a hurricane.

What I didn’t know is at the center of a hurricane it is calm.

There is peace.

You taught me to be the center of the hurricane.

You’ve taught me to be slow to anger.

You’ve reminded me how to love.

You’ve shown me how to talk through things instead of shutting off.

You have loved me so deeply and so purely I am finally at peace.

I don’t feel like a hurricane anymore.

So to the man who loved the hurricane…

I never have and never will love another soul as purely as I’ve loved you.

Happy birthday Angel

Aspen,

I thought about what I’d want you to know if I had one more chance to tell you. But no earthly wisdom I could give you would mean anything. So instead I want to tell your story. I want people to remember your life.

Last March I went to the ER. I was told I had a threatened miscarriage. I won’t get into the gross details but pretty much she didn’t attach correctly. Subchorionic hemorrhage’s are fairly common. The issue with yours was that it was extremely large and while most heal before 15 weeks yours never did.

Pregnancy was rough, but your kicks were always so strong. Honestly sometimes I was grossed out watching you stretch in my belly and watching your limbs move from one side of my stomach to the other. I gave myself shots weekly to help you stay put. I was at the doctors or ER every week. I was always sick. I started contracting early.

But you fought.

You fought to live.

At 29weeks I raced to the ER as I bled out.

I’m thankful that at the time I didn’t realize we were both bleeding out.

I had blood on my feet and the man at the ER threw me in a wheelchair and raced me to labor and deliver.

It was too soon.

I remember arching backwards in the car when I had contractions and I kept saying she can’t come she can’t come she won’t be able to breathe. I was crying due to pain and terror.

The man who raced me upstairs at one point was “smacking” my face. He kept saying stay awake stay awake.

I went into delivery.

My water broke.

Your heart rate plummeted.

They raced me back for an emergency csection.

As they put the mask over my face I grabbed his hand and said promise me you’ll save her.

I saw his face and knew he couldn’t.

He said we’re going to do everything we can.

He put the mask over my face as tears poured down my face.

I was terrified.

I woke up.

My stomach was small.

The first thing I did was reach down and touch my stomach and started crying immediately.

I was in so much pain.

The room was dark.

I had been intubated so I struggled to talk.

The nurse had her back to me and when she heard me trying to get her attention she came over.

She was trying to explain what to do and I said is my baby alive.

She nodded.

I said is she going to be okay.

And she said we’ll let you go to NICU soon right now you need to rest.

Later when they finally let me see you I marveled at your tiny hands and feet.

I watched your chest move up and down.

I smiled and said she’s a fighter.

She’ll be okay.

You spent 2 long months there.

Then you came home and our house was full.

Willow fell in love with you immediately.

Reid wanted to snuggle you always and show you his toys.

Ivy who at first was scared of you eventually wanted to feed you and give you your binky.

During the 6 months you were home I struggled with PPD.

It was severe PPD and I’m going to be honest with you I’ve never been that low.

I used to get your siblings to bed and hold you against my chest and cry my eyes out.

I’d tell you how sorry I was I couldn’t be happy.

I’d tell you my hurt.

You were so sweet and pure.

You healed me even through the darkest days you reminded me life is worth living.

You loved baths.

You loved watching your siblings play.

You thought willow was so funny.

You loved having your chunky little neck kissed.

You had just started sleeping through the night.

You had just started crying for me and selfishly I loved it.

You craved my touch and my voice and I loved that you wanted me.

Your laugh was the sweetest and softest sound I’ve ever hear.

Your crazy eye was my absolute favorite.

Your smile was the sweetest smile I have ever seen.

You were and are so incredibly loved.

Willow woke up today and yelled “it’s Absens birthday!” And ran outside to look for a butterfly to whisper a secret to so they could fly it to you. She said she has a message for you on your birthday. When I asked what it was she said “mom. It’s a sister secret I can’t tell you”

She was at the dentist last week and when asked how many siblings she had she said 2 sisters and 1 brother.

She talks as if you’re still here.

She gets it more than I do.

Reid saw your picture the other day and said “Awh baby! Cuhhhhte” and my heart shattered a little.

I’ve tried to find meaning in your passing.

And I know His plan is greater than ours but I struggle to accept that some days.

You fought.

So so hard.

You overcame so many odds.

You fought to live.

And you had that chance stolen from you like it was nothing.

And the rage I feel is indescribable.

But the heartache I feel is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

I replay that day every day.

I wonder if you hurt or suffered.

I wonder if it was quick.

I wonder who greeted you when you arrived in heaven.

Was it Aunt Kim’s baby?

Or pap?

Or pop?

Or gram?

I know you still have your crazy eye up there.

I see you in my dreams often.

I’m not a supernatural person but somedays I know you are sitting with me holding me together. I can feel you.

The details of that day can’t be shared but I’ve thrown up many times when I think about it.

I’ve cried more tears than I thought imaginable.

We have a brick in our back yard and it’s become a therapy corner for me.

I have never struggled with anger issues but the past 4.5 months I’ve been so angry.

I go out back often.

Once your siblings are asleep and I’m alone just to break dishes and cry.

That sounds ridiculous I know.

I sound like a crazy person.

I go out to cry.

When I think about all the things you’ll never experience.

When I think about how your life ended.

When I think about how I only put 3 babies to bed.

I know I sound crazy but getting the anger out helps.

You were my baby.

You fought.

And you are gone.

It’s not fair.

It’s not right.

I look at your pictures and beg my mind to never forget.

Your laugh.

Your smell.

Your smile.

Your coos.

Aspen.

You changed me in a way I can’t truly explain.

We went through so much together.

This life wasn’t fair to you and every single day I wish it had been me.

You deserved to live.

You deserved a life.

I love you so much little bug.

Fly high baby!

Happy 1st birthday Aspen Jayne!