The Day Our World Changed

It was two years ago that Ava took her last breath.  It seemed to happen so fast.  We found out her tumor had grown and two days later she was gone.  There were signs that she wasn’t getting better.  I don’t think we wanted to see them.  She wasn’t eating or drinking.  There was talk of a feeding tube.  She couldn’t void her bladder.  Her little body was shutting down.  I was so angry at her body for failing her.  It wasn’t supposed to grow a tumor that would kill her.  It was supposed to be healthy. 

I haven’t let myself feel all the emotions that come with Ava being gone.  I’m trying to remember that’s okay.  That my mind will allow me to feel what I can handle.  I guess right now I can’t really handle much.  It just hurts so much to know she isn’t here.  I can say the words but I don’t really believe them.  I still feel like I’m in a dream.  It didn’t happen.  I will wake up and she will hug and kiss me and everything will be okay.    

She finally got the baby brother she wanted, only he won’t know just how awesome she was.  He will have to hear from us about her instead of getting to know her himself.  This is not how it should be but this is our life now.  Forever thinking of how it would have been.  What funny things would she be saying?  Who would be her favorite characters?  Would she be looking less like a little girl and more grown up?  Would she still love puzzles?  The questions are never ending and I don’t have any answers to them. 

I do know that she loved us and she knew how much we loved her.  I can take comfort in that.       

While your child is starting school...

While your child starts school today, we are thinking of a sweet girl who would have been starting 1st grade.  Ava loved school!  She would come home each day wilth her assignments and crafts and tell me all the fun things she got to do each day.  One of her favorite things about school was picking out her outfits for the week.  She really was such a  fashionista!  She had to wear a dress and a pretty bow.  

Ava and her friend Chloe. 

She had a special friendship with two of her classmates, a little girl and little boy.  It was so sweet how she would talk about her friends so much and i can imagine all the classroom fun they had!  

The first day of school is a very exciting and sometimes nerve wracking time.  We would love for Ava to be experiencing her first day.  Of course this is sombering for us.  We miss Ava so much and know that there will be many "should of" milestones that we must face without her.  Take the time today to think about how lucky you are that your child is growing and you get to experience firsts with them.  You know we would give anything to do that.   

Never grow up

"It kills you to see them grow up, but I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't."- Barbara Kingsolver.  

That statement sums up so much for me.  I would give anything (I mean ANYTHING) to watch Ava grow up.  Her childhood was stolen from me.  There is no first day of kindergarten or learning how to ride a bike.  She won't get to drive a car or go on a date.  There is no walking her down the aisle or watching her become a mother. 

I used to be that parent that got a little heartbroken as their child grew.  As we continue on without Ava I see now just how lucky parents are that get to experience each milestone with their child.  Do you really wish your child would stop growing?  Think about that for a minute...  

Ava stopped growing and she will always be five years old.  No longer here on earth with us but in heaven.

Cherish each new phase with your child and don't be sad to watch them grow.  Think about just how fortunate you are to have them with you. 

Birthdays in Heaven

Ava loved birthdays.  Her social calendar seemed to be filled with lots of parties and she learned fast that birthdays meant presents and cake.  She loved being the "special helper" and give her friends all their presents to open.  She was always so interested in what they got and how neat their new toys were.  I think her favorite part of the party was watching them open her gift.  Her face would light up as they opened it and she would tell them all about their presentWhen her friends would have a birthday she was always very specific in what to give them and she could not be talked out of what she had set her mind on for their gift.  I enjoyed watching her pick gifts for others!  It was fun to see what she would choose.     

Now if she loved other people's birthdays so much imagnie how she felt about her own!  I think her favorite birthday was last year when she turned 5.  We had been in Arizona for a few months and it just so happened that her break from treatment would fall on her birthday.  We came back home to Texas and threw her a huge, and I mean HUGE party!!  It was the first time we could invite everyone she knew and she was the star that day.  

My favorite birthday was much more low key.  Ava was turning 3 and I was pregnant with her sister (they had the same due date!).  We started to think about what to do for her birthday.  My due date was a week before her actual birthday and we didn't want to deal with the stress of a party during an unpredictable time.  It turned out Myla was born exactly one week before Ava's birthday so just the four of us celebrated with her.  We took her to a restaurant (her pick) and let her order anything on the desert menu.  She got a "loaded" cookie.  It must have been the size of her head and covered in ice cream and chocolate sauce.  The look on her face was priceless!!  She was so happy to get such a yummy treat all to herself.  

I look back on these memories with happiness but I am so sad that we don't get to celebrate anymore birthdays with Ava.  Today she would of been six years old.  We are planning to have crab (one of her favorites) and cake, something we would do if she was here.  Also, at sunset we will be releasing paper lanterns just like they do in Tangled.  We think she would of liked that and I hope she can see them in heaven.  

Not being able to celebrate Ava's birthday with her is very difficult.  It has completely changed my view on birthdays.  I used to get a little sad that my *babies* were growing older with each birthday but now it really is a celebration.  I know how fleeting life can be.  I never would of thought Ava would only get to have 5 birthdays here on earth.  I can only imagine the party she is having in heaven today.  



Left Behind

Myla doesn't understand.  She knows her sister is gone.  Taken without any warning to her.  She tells us everyday how much she misses her "sissy" and asks if we miss her too.  It isn't fair that Myla doesn't get to have her big sister anymore or that she may not even remember her.  The photos and videos we have of the two of them may be all she has as she gets older.  

I have put off finishing our 2012 photo album.  At first because I didn't have the photos printed.  Then I needed to find the perfect album.  Then I didn't want to sort all the photos.  I knew I didn't want to do it because there will never be another year of pictures I get to see Ava's beautiful smile or those big blue eyesBut I had to do it for Myla.  She kept sitting at the computer watching the screen saver of Ava's pictures.  Her only way of seeing her.  I spent last Saturday putting each photo of Ava from the last year into the album.  It was hard but therapeutic at the same time.  I'm glad Myla now has a book full of memories. 


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