My heart goes out to all parents who have lost a child, like your Dad and I. Even though they never could formally diagnose a genetic disease, doctors said it was most likely a genetic mutation that wreaked havoc on Kyle's poor little body. I think it's important to recognize Moms who have their children in heaven this month. Ellie, we call you our first take-home baby but it was Kyle who first made me a mom.
Your baby brother Kyle
We all go through the grief process when someone we love dies and there was a time that no one really saw that except for your Dad and Mimi when I was just plain angry (I took it out on the flowers that were sent to the door... whoever started that awful tradition of sending things that die within days, was just plain terrible- what an agonizing reminder of death!). So, I needed refuge. I found the most comfort in making sure Kyle's life had purpose. For me, talking about my son and acknowledging him brings me comfort and it validates what we went through. One of the NICU nurses said that she felt sad for moms of infants who die because they are not publicly recognized for their loss like someone whose son is older would have. She said even though moms like us don't grieve over a lot of memories since there aren't many, we will grieve over the memories we wished we could have- like watching our child walk for the first time, sending our child to kindergarten, kissing them off to prom, driving them to college, walking them down the aisle, and welcoming grandchildren. That pain will never subside. And no, time doesn't heal wounds. Not for parents who just want one more day, one more minute with their child. There isn't a day goes past that I don't think about your brother. But that doesn't mean I can't have find happiness in celebrating his life. And that is why I always want to count Kyle as one of my children and I always want those who know us to do the same- it validates his life for me and it validates the choices that we made as Kyle's parents that no parent should ever have to make. Kyle made me understand and appreciate motherhood in ways I'm not sure I would have reached without him. Ellie, because of Kyle, I know you are miraculous! All life is.
I found a lot of healing in creating a scrapbook with your Mimi of Kyle- all of the memories I did have. And I look at it- not as often as I used to and Ellie, you look at it with me.
I'm not going to lie Ellie, your pregnancy (as happy as we were) was nerve-wracking through the end. And when we got to the hospital for your delivery, I had a panic attack reliving Kyle's birth. Having back-to-back babies like that can be healing but it also can be extremely painful.
The biggest thing that helped the most is having Kyle's name live on. Kyle's scholarship gives meaning to Kyle's life for me and helps me understand why things happen the way that they do. I also think that Kyle would be proud of me. I bet he is happy that you baby girl can participate in this wonderful cause. If anyone reading the Blog wants to join us for the 2nd annual 5k (in which all proceeds go towards the scholarship and is tax deductible) or just wants to donate, I have attached the information at the bottom and I have created a website. To visit it, please go to http://www.kylerussellcallahanscholarship.blogspot.com/. Our first walk-run far exceeded my expectations so I can only imagine how wonderful this year's 5k will be! I want to thank my Dad for initiating the set up of the scholarship and giving me a healthy place to grieve that not only lets Kyle's name live on but helps others in such an amazing way. Ellie, just like you, we love your brother very much. Remember, it's important to have purpose, experience happiness, and find your peace!