One Moment at a Time…..

It’s been over two months since Kayla passed away.  I have been dealing with a type of pain that I have never felt before.  This is not even the same type of pain I felt when my grandmother died.  Well, she was 92 and lived a very long life.  I was so sad when I lost my grandmother.  We were very close.  But, losing my daughter is almost like I have lost a part of myself.  I gave birth to this beautiful red-head….I was counting on her to be there for her sisters later in life…..especially, after I had passed on.  This was not how it was supposed to happen.  However, God had a different plan for our family.  I just had no idea His plan would go in this direction……

How are we doing?  Well, it depends on the moment…not the day.  Ashley, my 5-year-old, seems to be handling losing Kayla better than any of us.  She often talks to Kayla.  Ashley told me that she has seen Kayla and all of her beautiful red hair has grown back.  She also said that Kayla is working in a bakery in Heaven.  And, I can’t wait to try a dessert from this Heavenly bakery……..Allison, my 13-year-old, keeps a lot of her thoughts and feelings to herself.  She has had her moments and been very open and honest with me about how she is coping with Kayla’s death.  But, I’m thankful that she has such good friends that keep her busy, even if it is to just talk about boys……As far as how I am doing, there are days that I am just okay.  There are days where I’m crying so hard I can barely get off of the floor.  I never stop thinking about her.  She’s always right there in my thoughts and in my heart.  But, there are times I will start thinking about Kayla’s short illness, her stressful stay in the hospital, her last few days of her life living in ICU and then I’ve convinced myself that I’m okay…..and then a wave of grief comes over me and I think, “Kayla is gone and she is never coming back.”  At that time, I usually cry.  I’ll cry for a few seconds or for a few hours.  It just depends on the moment.  The pain is always there.  I have heard that time will help with the pain.  I know that time can heal a broken heart or even a broken arm…..I just don’t see how time can ever stop the pain of losing a child.

As Christmas is quickly approaching, I find myself in denial that this joyful holiday will be celebrated at all.  I’ve tried to Christmas shop one time with my friend, Teresa.  I was doing okay until she left for a few minutes to go into a dressing room.  It was then, when I briefly had no one to talk to to distract me from the Christmas music playing in the store, that I felt so empty and sad and thought, “How can anyone celebrate Christmas without Kayla?”  It feels like the world should stop because she is gone.  But, I know life does go on…..even if I don’t want it to.  I have to get myself together for Allison and Ashley for Christmas; they are counting on me to get in touch with Santa this year and tell him what they want.  Allison and I both agreed that we don’t want to put up any Christmas decorations or a tree this year.  However, Ashley really wants to decorate.  So, I made a deal with her.  Tonight, we are going to put a miniature Christmas tree with decorations in Ashley’s room only.  She is so excited about it and is really okay with not decorating a big tree in the living room.  Maybe next year we can do it.

When Kayla was in the hospital and receiving chemotherapy treatment, it was never taking it one day at a time or one hour at a time….it was always one moment at a time.  So, when you are wondering how we are doing, we are just taking it “one moment at a time.”


About MomMinus1

Welcome to my blog, momminus1 (mom minus one). I am a mother of three beautiful girls, Kayla 17, Allison 13 and Ashley 5. One of my daughters recently became an angel; Kayla passed away on September 22, 2010 due to complications from AML leukemia. She was diagnosed on July 3, 2010. She endured harsh chemotherapy treatments, hair loss, rare and painful skin disorders, horrible stomach infections, weakness, loss of appetite, depression, anxiety and fear. From the time she was diagnosed until the day she died it was just 81 days..... A short, but, horrific battle with cancer. I am always asked, "How are you doing? What can I do for you? How are your two girls doing?" At times, these are tough questions to answer. And, I express myself best when I write. Writing is so helpful and therapeutic for me. Maybe I can answer these questions for those that are concerned about us. Maybe I can help another mom that might wake up tomorrow and find out that their child is diagnosed with cancer. Maybe there is a mom somewhere, like me, that just lost a child to cancer and is searching the web for answers. She might be thinking, "Is there anyone out there that understands what I'm going through?" I understand. I am grieving. I am in pain. I have a big piece of my heart that is now gone.....I would love your feedback about my blog, too. Thanks for reading!
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11 Responses to One Moment at a Time…..

  1. Angie says:

    Amber, I can’t ever begin to imagine the pain you and your family go through on a daily/hourly/momentary basis. I agree that writing can be very therapeutic and I feel certain that your story will help another mother or family to deal with the same emotions you are going through. You guys will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Cindy says:

    You and I were talking the other night and I told you that everytime I see a red-headed little girl, I think of her. There was a little girl at church standing in front of me with a name tag on Sunday… yes, her name was Kayla. Is that God’s way of reminding us to think about her when we see these things? Absolutely. I look at the pictures I have in my house of the three sweetpeas. My favorite picture of Kayla is the one that I took of her pouring tea when she was probably three or four. I remember when I would visit you all in Atlanta when she was that age and we would go shopping. We would get out of the car and I would simply say, “hand” and she would reach up and put her hand in mine. Those are the moments I treasure even though there aren’t as many as I wish there had been. I so regret the years that have passed that I didn’t spend more time with her – with you all. It makes me treasure every moment that I have with my family. Know that there are hundreds of people praying for you here. There’s not one week that goes by where someone doesn’t ask me how you all are doing. So, I will tell them – taking one moment at a time. I love you. Cindy

  3. Christina sentell says:

    What a beautiful post and a beautiful way to keep kayla’s memory alive and let others know how you and your family are doing. I feel almost identical to what your post describes. I’m dreading Christmas and have no desire to celebrate. I guess we’ll put up a small tree for Dylan. I am thankful for the meaning if Christmas though. Just think of the party Kayla, Ava and Jessi will be attending in heaven with Jesus! I cant wait to be with them again someday! I can’t wait to see you this week.

    • momminus1 says:

      Hey Christina! I am also looking forward to the day when we can see our girls again! What a wonderful day that will be….Looking forward to visiting with you, too!!

  4. Charlotte Martin says:

    Thank you for this…I love you!

  5. Amber, I am so glad to hear that you are doing this website. I am continuing to remember you and your family in my prayers. Love you.

    Your 3rd(?) cousin, Caroline

  6. Paula Hendricks Green says:

    I just can’t stop thinking about you and your family. My heart hurts for you and I find myself reading your posts several times over. I jus can’t imagine the pain you all must be going thru and I hope that you find peace within yourself as I know that you can. I will be here if you need anything. Take care and God Bless you all. Paula

  7. David Meredith says:

    As I read your blog, I can not fathom your grief or understand the pain you must be feeling every time you see a “trigger” object that reminds you of your Kayla. This past weekend we were fortunate enough to visit Gatlinburg and attend the Christmas parade with Mom, Dad and Ashlee. We had a nice time at the parade and had a good weekend overall. Saturday we went shopping and ended up at the Tanger Outlet Mall in Pigeon Forge. As we were shopping in the mall, we came across a section of Christmas trees with ribbons and special messages on them; the section was a cancer memorial sponsored by Wal-Mart for the local hospital there. The first tree was a leukemia memorial with orange ribbons on it, each with a name and its own story. As I walked up on it, my heart sank as Kayla’s face appeared in my mind and that empty feeling formed in my stomach. As I reflect on the feeling it gave me, I can’t imagine what it must be like for you. As hard as it must be, I know the Lord wants you to keep moving forward, to press on, and to keep her memory vivid to help all of us in our hearts and lives.
    There is a reason for the trials and tribulations life tosses our way, some we may not understand, but there are reasons. I want you and your family to know that we think about you and the struggles you face every day. I know that our lives have been separated geographically and that our times together in the past have been short, but we have always enjoyed our visits with you and hope to see all of you soon. Our prayers are with you everyday and we love each one of you. Please stay strong and keep your faith in the Lord. See you soon, David.

    • momminus1 says:

      Hey David! Love what you wrote! Your writing is beautiful! Thank you so much for everything that you said. Allison said, “Tell David that he is a BEAST at writing.” She said that was a compliment…..teenager talk for ya……..:)
      I loved hearing about the leukemia/cancer memorial Christmas tree that you saw. I know it was hard to see those sweet faces of the ones with leukemia and read their stories. It just reminds me that Kayla was not the only one that suffered from cancer. Leukemia is a horrible thing for anyone to endure…especially a child. And, right now, there are several children at the same hospital where Kayla passed away, that all have some type of leukemia. Each family is hoping and praying that their child will survive it. It is really heartbreaking……..We have always enjoyed our time with you and your family, too. I can remember when Kayla was about 4 and Allison was a baby, my mom, the girls and I drove to the condo in Destin where you, your mom, dad and Melissa were staying. I remember you and Melissa playing with Kayla in the pool and she was having so much fun. I also remember thinking that you and Melissa would make great parents one day…and I was right….Bailee is a beautiful girl and I love her personality………Thanks again for being so sweet. We hope to see you and everyone Christmas day…..

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