At four months pregnant, a mother is now into her 2nd trimester, the dreaded morning sickness should be gone with her energy levels increasing, and a visual baby bump is probably noticeable. At 4 months gestation, a baby’s fingernails and toenails appear, he/she can suck their thumb and they can develop hiccups. At four months old, a baby’s milestones are usually when they begin to communicate by saying, “ma-ma” or “da-da,” laughing out loud, grasping a toy and recognizing their parents and siblings…. It was four months ago today that Kayla passed away. It seems like it has been four years or longer. Today, the pain is hitting me pretty hard…..almost like she died yesterday. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me today. But, I have heard that the pain of grief will come in waves. Some days I feel like I am just putting my big toe in the water…enough to remind me that she is gone. Other days, like today, it feels like I am standing in water up to my chin and there are huge tidal waves that continue to wash over me and I barely have time to take a breath until the next wave arrives. If you looked at me or talked to me right now, I would probably seem just fine on the outside. But, on the inside I am hurting and devastated. You know that lump you get in your throat when you are about to cry? I live with that lump in my throat every day. It never goes away. I can function and take care of my kids and myself, but, the pain is always there. So, I finally realized a different way to handle this horrific pain that I carry with me….embrace it. All of my life, no matter what negative situation I was in, I tried to fight the pain. And, most of the time, the pain would just get worse. If I embrace the pain, somehow, I am able to cope much better. There is not a need to resist this heart ache I have. It is a fact that my daughter died of complications from leukemia and there was nothing I could do to save her. I have to accept this and embrace the pain that comes with it. I cannot pretend that it didn’t happen because it did happen to my daughter…..When Kayla was in the hospital and thinking about what she wanted from the Make a Wish Foundation, which she never got a chance to receive, she decided for one of her choices it would be a trip to Paris, France. I asked her, “Why Paris?” She said, “I don’t know. I just always wanted to go there.” When the pain is overwhelming, I will sometimes imagine that she has moved to Paris and having the time of her life. Picturing her living in a different part of the world does help at times. But, I accept the reality of it….she’s not in Paris, Atlanta or anywhere on this earth. She’s in a much better place than where we are right now…..Kayla’s journal entry September 14, 2007, “God has a plan and a purpose for me…” What is that plan? What is that purpose? I wish I knew…..I miss you, Kayla….