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  • awalto29

So Many Big Things...She Should Be Here!

The past week has been filled with so much. So many big things and I have really been struggling with how to process the big feelings.

This picture was sent to me this week and let's be honest, this is the only thing that could make my life better right now...a hug from my littlest love. It is literally the only thing that could make this right, to wake up in her arms and be told that this life...the life I am living all a bad dream.

One week ago Wednesday I found out that I had passed and that I would be graduating with my MS. I have been struggling. My MS was the last chapter of my life that had continued after Adeline was gone. It was the one thing that I had shared with her that was still a part of my life. Today there is not much left that she was a part of when she was alive. I am working a different job with no intentions to go back to freelance writing. I am finished with school. I no longer drive the car that I had (although I have the same type of car) because mine was lost in the fire. I don't live in the same house as the fire was a total loss. I don't have the same clothes (weight loss and the fire) and don't have many of the same things (there are only a few treasures that were rescued from the fire). So, the closing of the school chapter for me was incredibly difficult.

This is how I chose to carry Adeline's mem

On Saturday I graduated. I got to celebrate at dinner with my parents, brother, Shane, Althea, Huxley, my grandma, and two of my favorite professors (one whom I worked with for and one whom I took classes with). It was the perfect little graduation celebration for me. It felt nice but was not too big. Andrew couldn't be here because he was stuck in quarantine with COVID at UIUC.

I have been so blessed to have this man, my rock, by my side through everything. These kiddos are pretty amazing too!

Sunday was my second Mother's Day without my little girl. It was so very hard. I tried to celebrate my mom and grandma and tried to celebrate with Althea and Huxley, but I still struggled and spent part of the day in bed.

These past memories of me with my two little girls feel like a dream, like another lifetime that was just too sometimes doesn't feel like my life before the fire was really my life.

The culmination of the week was on Monday. The third day in a row that was a big day. It was the 4th grade promotion, the promotion that Adeline should have been part of, and I attended to see her friends move on. They all took pics with me and two of the three wore special Adeline shirts (the third didn't want to look like everyone else and who can fault that?). Their moms were there by my side as my tears streamed down my face watching the video. The video showed little kid pics and now pics and that sucked because she was with them for all of the little kid pics. She should have been there too.

This is from one of the last times that I was inside of Eastview with my little girl, enjoying her favorite Mexican rice and chicken strips for lunch.

Afterwards, the school had a beautiful memorial ceremony for her with the 4th grade. I was so happy speak and share a few thoughts and to thank those who had made it possible. It was so hard though to see her classmates crying and to share with them a moment that was so tender and precious. It was a struggle to keep it together to speak but I wanted to share Adeline's love and encourage kids to move forward in kindness. When they think of Adeline, the best thing is to share kindness with others.

This is the bench that we donated and the tree to the right is the tree that was planted in her memory.

So, to say that it has been a tough week would be a HUGE understatement. I am trying. I am struggling. I know that I am never going to be the me that was me before the fire and loss of my little girl. I am just the me now. The me that is jaded. The me that is hurt. The me that is struggling each day to survive. The me that is trying my best to show my other three kids how much that they mean to me. The me that is always looking for ways to spread goodness in the world in the name of Adeline. The me that is trying to be better. The me that just wants to hold my little girl again one day.

One day, hopefully not too long from now (but also not too soon), I will be able to rejoice in a life where I have my complete family. It feels like forever now, but the thought of eternity allows me to have hope.

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