Goodbyes are not forever. Goodbyes are not the end. They simply mean I miss you.. Until we meet again.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I promise

My phone rang and I let it go to voicemail. I'm glad I did, because had I answered, I'm not sure that I would've known how to react. I had been taking a nap and I could hear the phone ringing. It was Saturday night around 8 pm, but I didn't even look to see who it was. A little while later when I looked to see who it was, I noticed that it was a number I didn't recognize and they had left a message. I checked the message. "This message is for the parents of Isabella Flores. I'm calling from Dr. So and so's office to schedule an appointment.."
I stopped the message before it got to the end and I deleted it. My heart was pounding, my mind was racing, and I felt as though I had swallowed lead. I could feel the tears just start to spill all over my face, I could feel my heart break just a little bit more.
I called back, half hoping they didn't answer, because I didn't know what I was going to say. The receptionist answered the phone, and I told her I'd received a message about an appointment for my daughter. She asked, "For Isabella Flores?" Just hearing her say her name was painful.. "Yes, Isabella Flores. My daughter passed away in December." There was silence on the other end and then she quickly said, "Oh okay," and just like that, the line went dead.

I know things like this happen. Somewhere along the lines, not everyone gets an update that Bella has passed away. Toys R Us won't know, so I'll keep recieving that stupid weekly ad. Oriental Trading Co. will keep sending me their catalog in case I need any party supplies for Bella's 2nd birthday. Just when I think I've told everyone that she has passed away, there will be someone who will ask how she's doing. If only it didn't hurt so much each time. If only I could learn to gracefully take these low blows without falling apart. It never gets easier to tell people, but I've learned to say it and simply excuse myself to avoid the uncomfortable awkward moment that follows. I've learned to head to towards the nearest exit to compose myself, to allow myself to breathe. I've learned to smile so that people will be comforted that I'm doing okay. Honestly, I am doing okay. I'm surviving. I'm almost getting used to this horrible empty feeling; it's become a part of me. I'm learning to grow from this experience because I love Bella. Someday when we meet again, I want to have wonderful things to tell her. I want to show her that she did make such a wonderful difference in my life.

Grief. It's an emotional roller coaster that I've tried to get a hang of. I've tried to cross out the emotions I've experienced already and I've anticipated the ones I haven't. I thought I could get through this quicker if I knew what to expect and how to deal with it. The truth is, there is no quick fix. There are times when you can almost make sense of the things that have occurred. Sometimes I think, God just didn't want her to suffer in this cruel world. I thank God for allowing me to be her mother, for giving me the opportunity to meet such an extrodinary little person. And then sometimes, I hate God completely for taking her from me. One minute I'm okay, and the next, I feel like I can't possibly make it through another day without her. Not every day is horrible or unbearable. I don't fall apart all the time. I don't always feel guilty for being okay. I do miss her all the time. Bella is on my mind every second of every single day, but I wouldn't have it any other way. If she can't be with me, then she'll be in my heart always. End of story.

All day I've wondered how life can be so cruel. How you can be taken away from me just like that. No explanation. Nothing. I had someone tell me the other day that God has greater things in store for me. But really, could there be anything greater than you? Not a chance. I miss you Lovebug, more than words can explain. Someday, we will meet again and when we do, I promise that I'll have amazing things to tell you. I promise to make an attempt to be as strong as you. You have been my inspiration from the beginning and you continue to be every single day. To me and to everyone that knew you, you were and continue to be perfect. Someone as perfect as you deserved to be in eternal bliss. For that reason, I can't be completely angry that you couldn't stay. It'd be selfish of me, and my love for you won't let me be. I'm scared sometimes, that I'm not being a good mother. Sometimes when I visit you for a quick Good Morning before I head to school, I wonder why I didn't get up earlier. I wonder why I didn't stay there longer. I wonder how it is that I can smile and laugh despite the fact that you're gone. Sometimes, I catch myself wondering what life will be like years from now, and I feel a twinge of guilt when you're not in that vision, when I can only picture you're name in that mausoleum. You will forever be a part of me, that will never change, I promise. Just know that I love you Bella. I absolutely adore you and I always will.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

trying to grow..

As Easter gets closer, I can't help but feel this horrible twinge of sadness and guilt. A few days ago, when I was visiting Bella, I kept thinking about last year's Easter. For some reason that day sits in my mind as though it happened yesterday. It was pouring rain that day, and I dressed Bella without thinking of the weather. I had an outfit picked out specifically for Easter because of the pastel colors and the cute little headband that went with it. The shirt was short sleeved and the bottoms were shorts. Yes, I dressed her in shorts that day, despite the rain; All because I wanted her to look cute. That outfit and that day have both been on my mind lately. I can't believe I dressed her in that outfit, in that weather. I did bundle her in as many blankets as possible before taking her to her dad's house, but still. I should've put something warmer on her.
Lately, I can't help but think of all the things I should've or could've done differently. I can't explain exactly how I feel about those things, but they just seem to be lingering in my mind. I was thinking of the day that I went into labor. I felt the contractions that morning, and I remember that I dealt with the pain. I paced back and forth, I took deep breaths, I tried to ignore it. Four hours of dealing with it before I finally called a nurse. Four hours. What if I would've called right away? What if I would've woken someone up to take me to the hospital? Would they have been able to stop me from going into preterm labor? Would Bella have had a better chance? I had no idea what contractions felt like, but I should've known something wasn't right. I should've known that those pains were not normal. I should've known.
In the end, I should've fought harder. I should've questions things further. I should've exhausted every possiblity.
I fought tooth and nail for Bella from the very beginning. I didn't care if anyone agreed or not, she was mine and I loved her with every ounce of love I had. There were people that didn't agree with the pregnancy because I wasn't married, and then later because Bella would be born with a birth defect; but none of that stopped me from loving Bella with all my heart. I felt this connection with her from the moment I knew of her existance. She was a part of me, and I wasn't willing to give up on her. Which is why, I can't understand how things happened so suddenly; how in the blink of an eye she was goneI keep trying to make sense of it, even though I know it'll never make sense. 

Everything happens for a reason. Does it really? What reason could there possibly be for a baby to die? There just isn't. So no, things don't happen for a reason, they just happen. Do we learn from these horrible experiences? Of course we do. Will we grow from it? Yes, as much as I hate to admit it, we'll grow from it.
And so, I'm trying to grow, for Bella. I've decided to walk in the March of Dimes walk this year in honor of Bella. I hope that the research that they do will prevent others from having to lose a child due to prematurity or birth defects. I hope that they can find ways to prevent these things from happening. I hope that by walking I make a difference in someone's life, just like Bella made a difference in ours. She changed lives every single day of her short life, and she continues to do so today.

These four months have been so empty without her. I miss that smile. I miss those big brown eyes. I miss everything about her. There isn't a moment that she's not on my mind, and that's exactly how I want things to be. I'm not sad all the time; there are days that I can smile and mean it because of the beautiful memories of my sweet Bella. There are days when her presence is undeniable, and it's the only thing that keeps me from going insane without her. I miss her more than words will ever be able to explain.