Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Just Birthday

It really isn't a "Happy birthday" when the person is no longer living. And is it even a birthday when the person doesn't get any older? Our daughter Allison should be celebrating her 7th birthday today, but she isn't. There will be no cake or presents or streamers. Instead she will forever be 101 days old.

Each year I tell myself that this April 29 will be easier than the last. While the sadness has changed over time, each year seems to bring different feelings and thoughts. And this year is no exception.

I think many of the thoughts and feelings I have this year stem from all the changes that our family has gone through the past 6 months. "Birthday number 7" can pretty much be summed up with one word –– guilt. Not guilt as in "did I cause this to happen" or "if only I had done x differently when I was first pregnant", I have already dealt with those.

I am enjoying Japan. I miss my family and friends dearly, and yes I find things very frustrating and isolating at times, but I look at my kids and they are thriving and having an opportunity of a lifetime and I know we are where we are supposed to be. And then I feel guilty for that because being "happy" somehow means that I am "happy" with how things turned out. Had Allison lived I know without a doubt that we would not be here today. Our life would completely different than what it is now. It would be a life filled with doctors, medicines, tests and precautions.

Then there is Sam... there is not a day that goes by when she does something and I don't think "I wonder if Allison would have done that" or "I wonder if Allison would have had Sam's smile or big brown eyes". I cannot imagine my life without Sam, yet if she weren't here then we would still have Allison. I thought as Sam got older and time passed those feelings would fade, but they haven't. Someone told me once that loving both didn't mean I loved one any less. It sounds good on paper, but convincing my heart and head is a different story.

There is no black and white when one looses a child. There just seems to be many shades of gray. So I think back 7 years ago with a heavy heart and I miss my little girl. Seven years ago I remember looking at Allison for the first time in the NICU terrified of what the future held. If only I had known that the future was only 101 days long I would have held on to her a bit tighter.

Happy 7th Birthday Allison. We miss you.


it's me, Val said...


That was beautifully written, Alexis.

So often lately when I see pictures of Sami I think how similar she and Allison look. I think, too, what she would look like today, and I really do think the two of them would resemble each other in the most beautiful ways.

And I know you held on tight to her. I believe that's why she lived as long as she did. She had so much touch and love coming from you... there wouldn't have been a better mother out there than you to keep her thriving as she did. Remember that she isn't only your angel but you are her angel as well.


Jill said...

What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing.

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

Awww sweetie, such a beautiful post for little Allison, I have tears in my eyes. Even though we've never met, I wish I could give you a really big hug right now.

Ang said...

My heart is aching for you right now! I am so sorry and I wish the miles didn't seperate us. I would so love to comfort you with a tight hug. I know it wouldn't make the pain go away but I could at least let you know I cared. I think I have told you before...but Mine and Susie's daddy passed away on April 29th also 10 years ago. I know it's already the 29th there and I am sure it's been a very hard day. Just know I am thinking about you and your precious little Allison. I am sure her and daddy are seeing some wonderful sights right now and that their bodies are completely healed. ((hugs))

dannie1978 said...

Alexis, There are not any words anyone could say to comfort you right now. We all have "guilty" feelings about our kids. Especially in situations like yours. You are not doing anything wrong in wondering what if, or for being happy in your life right now. Thats what she would want. I am praying for you and often think "MAN I wish I was as strong as Alexis is" because I know that deep down you are wondering every day, am I doing the right thing for my kids, are they going to be ok. AND YOU MY DEAR, ARE DOING A FANTASTIC JOB!

You are in my thoughts and prayers. But just know, I wish I had half the courage and compassion that you do.
Much Love,

Melanieshea said...

That was beautiful Alexis!!!! I know you miss her terribly and always will!!! I am saying a prayer for you!!!! Hugs coming your way!!!! :o)

Louise said...

Alexis, that was incredibly touching. I can't imagine what your heart feels. I can only say that I am thinking of you and sending big huge HUGS your way!!!!!

Terri said...

my heart goes out to you and Matt. Neither God nor Allison would want you to struggle with feelings of guilt. Be happy knowing they are happy for you, Matt and the kids.

Anonymous said...


Shannon said...

I don't think it ever gets easier. What a beautiful post.

Spice said...

My heart and huge hugs go out to you!!!!

Patti said...

Allison is adorable Alexis. ((hug)) I don't think there is anything that would make the pain of losing a child go away. You made the best decisions a parent could make and are a great Mom to your other children.

~michelle pendergrass said...


Corie said...

Oh Alexis.

I wish I had magical words for you. I almost didn't even post a comment because nothing I type can express how my heart is reaching out to you right now.

I can't imagine how you must miss your little girl.
You will get to see her again, hold her again. I have to thank God that you will have that opportunity. I know that may not make today any easier though.

Lots of hugs and prayers.