Friday, October 6, 2017

Not Only Today, But Every Day

Today would've been my sweet girl's 17th birthday.

Today will be hard.

But, not just today. Every day.

I'd like to tell you it's getting easier. It's not. It's becoming different.

Everything around still reminds me of her.
All day. Every day. The thoughts of her ebb and flow.

I saw the new seasonal fall Pop Tarts on display at Walmart, and I thought of her and how she would beg me to pick up chocolate ones. I didn't get them often. But, when she was going through her chemo (conditioning phase) before her bone marrow transplant, I bought them to urge her to eat. And, after she ate them, she proceeded to vomit them up, saying she wouldn't want those again for a long time.

All the fall decor around me reminds me of her. She loved fall. 

She loved carving pumpkins. She loved dressing up for Halloween, and won the costume contest at our church nearly every time she dressed up.
This was the last time she was able to attend that church event.

But, by far, these two costumes were my faves ... Eve and Wonder Woman (before she was all famous again).

I thought of her as the premiere for "This is Us" came on last week and how anxious she was to see it. We cried our eyes out together watching the first season.

I find it difficult to listen to Billy Joel. She wore his albums out. It was strange for a teenager to love him and all the other '70s/'80s music she loved. Almost every single song I hear brings her to my memory.

I put on and wear a piece of her jewelry every day. Sometimes I catch myself unconsciously rubbing  the pendant or charm on the necklace, reminding me of her once again.

Smells remind me of her. I wear her One Direction perfume. That's probably weird that a forty-something-year-old woman wears One Direction perfume, but it smells like her. It's the same way with many of the Bath and Body Works' lotions and body washes. She was big into scents, including essential oils which she always wanted me to diffuse in the hospital room. All these smells remind me of her daily.

I get mail from Texas Children's Hospital. I get all the "parents of ..." mail. Until recently, I was still getting Houston Independent School District automated phone calls. 

Roxy Belle reminds me of her. The cuddles they shared and how much they loved each other is forever in my memory.

I order my Starbuck's drink and think of the countless days I walked from the hospital room to get coffee there each morning. I'm reminded of how many times Katie wanted me to get a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit for her, and, how much in the early days of her illness, she begged her doctor for a frappuccino. Her order was always the same ... caramel mocha frappuccino.

The Facebook memories just kill me. I've gotten to where I can't check them every day like I used to. They remind me of the pain and hurt she suffered the last two years. I just can't.

And, today, I'm reminded of the list Katie made of all the people she wanted to invite to her 17th birthday party. We had planned on coming home if she were feeling well at the time. Her doctor had even said she could come home on the weekend, but to be prepared to return if she developed a fever or got sick. She was thrilled, but from that point on, never really felt well again.

She was preparing for a huge party. She had spent both her 15th and 16th birthdays in Houston; the 16th actually in the hospital. 
Here's the post with how we handled celebrating "Sweet 16" there - "It's my party. I can cry if I want to."

Instead, her daddy and I will stand at her grave.
We will put flowers in the vase on her headstone.
And, we most likely will cry.

Yes, we will still cry. We will still hurt. My heart will ache like it's been torn out of my chest.
And, these feelings come even though we KNOW she's in heaven. Even though we KNOW she is healed. Even though we KNOW she would never want to come back. Even though we KNOW she's with Jesus and He's got her!

I can't imagine how this would hurt more and how devastating it would be, if we didn't have this hope that we would see her again.

We always made a big deal out of birthdays. I believe birthdays are set in place to celebrate that person, celebrate their life and who they are. Birthday parties were greatly anticipated by my girl.

Today, we still celebrate Katie's life and who she was.

Happy Birthday, sweet, amazing girl!
We love you. See you soon!

1 Comment:

Mary E Lettiere said...

You have an amazing family! We know some of your pain...but, can never know it all. We thank you for continuing your blog. We will never forget Katie, or your family.
God is with you! Katie is in a better place.