It is New Years Eve 2016, and I have just one wish. I wish that I could rewind time to one year ago today. My intent is not to alter last years tragedies (although I would if I could). I only wish for an opportunity to relive the countless blessings, and days of happiness that Kiyana brought into our lives; even for a short time.
This is the time that we wish for a happier new year, better health, time with family, etc. We start the new year hoping it will be better then the last. What will the new year bring? To be honest, I don’t wonder WHAT the new year will bring, I fear what it cannot bring. It cannot bring precious time with Kiyana, or all the beauty that came with her. I fear watching Gerald continue to suffer, and not knowing how to help him, and I fear the uncertainty of this new life, and how we will adapt. I fear the uncertainty of it all!
It’s hard to believe our life has changed so much in one year. It was a year that began with so much promise, and excitement for the future, but ended with a tragedy that shook us to the core. Losing Kiyana has changed our lives forever; It changed who we are individuals. We were forced into the world of grief, like so many other parents. You have no choice but to move forward; praying for less bad days and appreciating the better days. You do whatever helps you get through the moment. For me today, it was dreaming of an impossible wish. It took me back to happier times, and away from the sadness I felt.
Today, was going to be bad day. I could feel it from the moment I woke up. It is a feeling I know all too well now. Overwhelming emotions, the empty feeling in my heart, and a night of restless sleep and brain overload wishing I could go back in time. Is it the future that I want to avoid, or is it the past that I want to hold on to? I feel so conflicted. My mind understands what I must do, but my heart is not ready. In some ways I feel like I will lose her completely if I move forward. I will be leaving a year filled with Kiyana.
It was a year ago today, Gerald and I were both excited to bring in the new year; anxiously waiting for Kiyana to arrive. This New Years Eve had special meaning, because Kiyana would bring in the new year with the three people she love most in this world; her dad, her mom, and her other mom (me). A night of celebration, where all parents could enjoy Kiyana together.
We spent the night singing, laughing and building special memories. The room was filled with smiles galore. Kiyana knew it was special, but i doubt she understood just how special it was. I felt so blessed that night, and proud that we had a great parenting relationship that allowed us to share this time together.
Throughout the year, Gerald and I spent many days with Kiyana. There was lots of singing (of course), family get togethers, cousins birthday parties, visit from Grandma and Grandpa, and playing with her close friend nextdoor till daylight turned to dark.
I enjoyed watching Gerald and Kiyana together. They shared a special love, and you could see they brought the best out in each other. He was an amazing dad, who understood her so well. She felt safe with him, and knew he would protect her. When she struggled with bedtime, he came up with the most ingenious idea; human airplanes. He pretended to be an airplane, sound effects and all, and flew Kiyana to bed each night.The flight path covered the entire house, which included a stop at my chair for one last hug, kiss and high fives. He wisked her off with wings (arms) spread wide, and she laughed the entire trip. A miracle happened. Bedtime was no longer a punishment in Kiyana’s eyes.
Kiyana and I had our specials times as well. I would rescue her from the dreaded nap. “Come on Kiyana, lets walk to the park”. Her face would light up with the biggest smile, and I always knew I had a big hug coming. Seeing her so happy and excited made me want to do it more. We spent hours together cleaning (she LOVED to clean), playing, and having the most amazing conversations about anything and everything.
Something I cherished was our bedtime routine. “Hugs, kisses, and high fives” were a mandatory thing. It started with a hug that I felt deep into you heart, followed by three kisses (something she learned from me and daddy), and the grand finale; high fives. Not just any high five; a Kiyana high five. She put all her might into it, and usually lost balance falling onto the bed. We laughed, I got another big kiss, and in unison we said, “Sweet dreams, sleep tight, dont let the bed bugs bite”. I could hear her giggle all the way down the hallway.
This summer I had a amazing opportunity to bring my granddaughter Kahlan for a visit. I had one week with these precious girls. They insisted they were sisters, and by the end of the week, they acted like sister. They desparately needed a break from each other. Yes, there was normal bickering, but I loved every minute of it. It was a blessing I will always cherish.
I could fill hours of reading time with all the special moments we had with Kiyana. I miss those times, and I miss Kiyana each and every day. That little girl taught me so much about love, kindness, and compassion. She was so fearless, and full of life. The joy and laughter she brought to our home was amazing.
My wish might be an impossible one, but it is a wish that turned a bad day into one that I could manage. I am finding there are no rules in grief. You can let it consume you, or you can find creative ways to get you through the toughest times. That is what my wish did for me today. My focus went from the pain in my heart to the happiness of those times we shared this year. One of my wishes did come true!