Wednesday, October 8, 2014

New Friend

Today I had the amazing privilege of physically meeting a friend that I only known through facebook. We became friends after Kennedy's tragedy, she followed my story, offered me inspiration, prayed for us, she did all of this without ever meeting me. All the while she was following my story, I was following hers, she has cancer. Breast cancer.  3 times in her young life she has been diagnosed with the unimaginable. She is fighting hard since this last diagnosis. I saw her request on facebook to have someone sit with her because she does not want to be alone. I felt so compelled to meet her that I offered and she accepted.

I spent this time with her doing nothing really, just being there. I am sure she got wigged out when I started to cry but how could I not. This amazing woman is fighting hard and it is taking everything in her to even stand up and take 6 steps into the bathroom, yet she smiles and thanks me for coming.

We talked a lot about Kennedy and God, and why things happen. I hate that I do not have any answers, heck I didn't even have anything comforting to say to her, I cannot even begin to imagine what she is going through.

I have so many "why's" today. Why does God let us suffer? Why did He allow Kennedy to die? Why does he take the people that affect so many? Why can't I offer her more? Why is there not a cure for cancer yet? Why, Why, WHY?

I plan on visiting her again, if she will have me. It is so easy to go about our day and our life and not see the people around us suffering, fighting, struggling, whatever. Again my eyes have been opened to the harsh reality of life. I will make the best of it while I am here I guess.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Wow it's been a long time!

Wow! My last blog was over a year ago! So much has happened since then. I am finally finished with school (for now anyway). Bristol has turned 3. My job is keeping me busier than ever. My book writing has been on a break for well over a year now. Bristol is almost fully potty trained. We adopted a doberman mix, Diesel. We just marked the 4 year anniversary of Kennedy's death.

We have been enjoying our weekends at the lake. Bristol loves the lake, the boat and swimming. She is much like Kennedy in this aspect. She is slowly learning to swim which makes me feel both tense and relieved at the same time. She is a fun kid and finally talking so much more! She is still super wild and most every time we go anywhere she is in her cowboy boots. It does not matter what she wearing and how silly it all looks together, she has to wear those stinky boots!

I still cannot believe it has been 4 years. Some days still feel like just yesterday and some days it feels like forever ago. Bristol knows her Sissy, we eat lunch at the columbarium as much as we can. She now makes me take her picture standing near her Sissy every time we go. She also says "bye Sissy, love you" when we leave, it is so sweet. We keep Kennedy's beary on the headboard of our bed and Bristol is not allowed to play with it or really touch it for that matter, but within the last month she will stand up in the bed (yes she sleeps in my bed) and kiss the beary goodnight. Melts my heart.

I had a rescue worker that worked for Orange Beach Fire Department reach out to me. He responded to Kennedy's call. He tried so hard to save her and gave me details that made me fall to my knees in hysterics. He is hurting so much. He said that unfortunately he has responded to calls of that nature before but for whatever reason Kennedy's has been the hardest for him to get over. I have no idea what gift that sweet Angel had but I cannot begin to tell you the amount of people that have told me how memorable she was. Anyway, he went on to explain that he cries for us, prays for us and thinks about us a lot. He has no idea how much we have thought about all of the people involved in that day. I usually don't ask for prayers but if you find it in your heart to say a little prayer for the man that gave his all to save our sweet Kennedy I would appreciate it so much.

Till next time....(hopefully I can get back to this regularly)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


This little spark plug will be two in ONE week! I cannot believe it! Time has flown by. She is talking so much, running around like a wild child and hurting herself constantly. Recently she got a black eye from Max the 100 year old pug (yeah, I have no idea how, he's deaf and blind but somehow managed to wreak havoc on her face). Then while still recovering from the black eye she breaks half of her tooth off (a mystery we will never figure out). Not to even begin to mention the permanent black and blue marks on her forehead from slamming it off the ground and the various knee scrapes. Oh the knee scrapes, they scab over, she picks the scab, they scab back over, she repicks the scab. They.never.go.away. Thankfully everyone that knows Bristol knows that she is a mess otherwise DHR would be knocking on our door on a daily basis. She is a handful, but a cute one! Her tooth was bonded and looks great and she is pretty proud of it too! Her eye is back to normal, her forehead - well I think she is now resorting to hitting the back of her head on the floor. I really don't know, I run away as soon as the tantrum begins. It may be working.
I am by no means complaining about Bristol, please don't take it that way. She just amazes the heck out of me. How in the world can something so darn small be so darn powerful? As much as I try to not let her rule this house, I think she bullies me into it. She will have her way no matter what.
I have made no plans for her birthday. On the 15th I am sending cupcakes to school with her so she can celebrate with her friends, then we may go to the petting zoo that weekend. I am keeping it low key. Her 1st birthday party was a bit excessive and I have no intention on topping them each year. When she can tell me what she wants then she can have great parties but until then, low key is the Halechko way. :)
I am so looking forward to what this next year brings us. I just want to keep her in a bubble until she is 18 but I know that will never happen. Keep us in your prayers this year, we were blessed with Kennedy for 34 months, there is still so much pain there. It is still so fresh and I find myself constantly comparing Bristol to her big sister. I know all parents compare their kids and it is just human nature but I don't ever want Bristol to feel bad because she didn't compare to Kennedy. I try very hard to realize that Bristol is her own person just like Kennedy was her own. Hopefully it will all work out ok in the end.
Until next time...

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! I hope your day has been great so far.

Three years ago on Easter Day I was snapping pictures of Kennedy in front of our fence and playing in the flowers at the Bright Star restaurant in Bessemer. THREE years ago! I cannot believe it has been three years. I remember it like it was yesterday. She wore the same dress she was laid to rest in.

I have heard people say that they know someone who lost a child and that mother was "never the same". How can you be the same? There is a permanent hole in my heart and the pain can be unimaginable. Yes Bristol has been such a blessing but we should be celebrating Easter with both of our girls in the comfy living room of our messy house. Things are not the same and they never can be the same. 

I miss her. I want to know how her and Bristol would get along. I want to see how long her hair would be. I wonder so much about her. Yes she is in a better place but to me the best place is here, here with me.

I try to control my OCD urges with Bristol. But in the back of my head I always wonder if I should be saving this or that, just in case... Who lives like this? Unfortunately, I guess having the reality of losing a child slap me in the face everyday has made me calloused.

I have some plans in my head to start a scholarship or free swimming classes for children in Kennedy's name. I just have to find time to get the ball rolling and figure out just how to do it. I'll keep you all posted.

Thank you for letting me rant for a bit!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Is it really March 2013?

Where has this year gone? My last post was in November 2012, time has flown since then. The holidays were crazy. Bristol ended up being hospitalized for dehydration for four days. Let me tell you Children's Hospital in Birmingham was great but I hope to never see that place again. She is better now and hopefully not emotionally scarred from the entire ordeal. It was hard watching my baby be so sick.
Right before Christmas a friend of mine lost her son Cooper to a genetic condition called IPEX syndrome. I went to the viewing and funeral, which was held in the same place as Kennedy's. It brought back so many memories of that time. Cooper's funeral was heart wrenching, I felt so sorry for the entire situation but most of all felt sorry for Courtney and her husband Jon. I knew their pain and what they were going through and it was so hard to watch. Thankfully some of my old co-workers made me sit with them and we all wept together. Courtney has told me that looks to me for my strength, I honestly have no clue if I am strong, crazy or just trying to survive. Some days still continue to be worse than others (especially if I forget my antidepressant, lol) but I continue to trudge along.
Bristol is now getting to be a big girl. She will be 2 in May. I cannot believe she will already be 2. Her personality is wild. She is a daddy's girl big time. She is also a bit strong willed. She is now getting closer to Kennedy's age and that makes me sad, I stress about her turning  3, an age Kennedy never saw. I don't know why but I do.
Work is going good. Super busy but good. I love it. I love my sweet Alzheimer's residents that visit me everyday and file my papers in my office, take my mouse pad to their room or eat my candy. I am so glad I get to be a part of their lives! I have done some serious traveling the past month (which has only contributed to Bristol being a daddy's girl) to conferences and taking my assisted living administrator's test. I slept in a hotel more than I slept at my house I think. I did pass my ALA test which was huge, I am not a great test taker so I was kinda shocked I did good on it.
School is still going. I am over it. If it wasn't for Joe I really would have taken a permanent break but he reminds me that I only have one year left. He isn't the one taking classes and working but whatever, I am determined now to finish it. As much as I complain about school I am seriously considering getting my doctorate. My school now offers it so it would only be another 2 years. Who knows I might just go crazy before that though and end up in a nut house.
I guess now that Bristol is getting older the question of whether or not we will have another baby. The answer is no. I do get baby fever and would love another one but I just cannot be pregnant again. Those of you that remember me during Bristol's pregnancy can recall how large I got, how much I ate, how much I complained etc. I was miserable and it was a good pregnancy. I just don't think I have enough energy to even attempt another one. Now, adoption is not out of the question. I would love to do a domestic, private adoption. We will cross that bridge some day.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Cheer

So much has been going on! Where do I start? BRISTOL! She's walking/running everywhere. It seems like she grows up a little more each day. She is a mess! Daddy has her so spoiled rotten and it's making him crazy. Ha!

I went out on a limb and applied for a promotion at work. I GOT THE POSITION-Director of Health Services! I am super excited. I really am amazed at how much I love my job and the people I get to work with everyday. Hopefully they will keep me around for awhile:)
Joe has been busy, this is his busy season. The good thing is, he stays out of my hair. I am working on socializing more, most people that are friends with Joe have no idea he has a wife. I do exist I just don't like to socialize much.

Christmas, we always have such a hard time with the holidays but I am determined to make this better. We normally buy gifts for a little girl and drop them off at a local toys for tots drop off location. This selfishly has fulfilled my need to buy gifts for Kennedy. This year we are doing it different. Yesterday I called our local women's shelter and they connected us to a mother that is out of a domestic violence situation and living in the shelter. She has a 2 year old girl and 3 year old boy. We are giving them Christmas! I am so excited to be able to witness them opening gifts and seeing their faces when they do. I am not saying this for any reason other than to let our family know that rather than sending gifts to Pennsylvania that you may or may not use, we will be sponsoring this family.

School is going on, still. I must say I'm a bit burned out. Thankfully I graduate March 2014. I will definitely be taking some much needed time off from it then!

Today someone bought my coffee for me in the McDonald's drive thru line and it made me realize that we all just live our lives day to day going through the motions. That simple gesture made my entire day! Unfortunately the guy also bought the guy behind me his meal so I couldn't pay it forward then but I did in the Chik-Fil-a drive thru at lunch today. The lady sped up to me at a light and waved while holding up her bag. Her smile was huge! It is such a good feeling to help or do good for others, I wish I had the resources to do this more often or on a larger scale.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Where has this summer gone?

Wow! I cannot believe summer is going to be over soon. It has flew by! Things have been going really good for us. I am loving my job and couldn't be happier with my decision to change jobs. I really work for a great company that cares about their residents and employees it feels good! I love all of the staff that I get to spend each day with. Our team is getting so strong! I still miss my Brookwood girls and hope/wish I could get to see them more. You girls were, and still are, there for me through such a hard time in my life.

I am halfway through my 3rd semester of my Master's, I actually have an anticipated graduation date of April 2014! It seems like forever away but I know it will fly by. I'm blogging this on my lunch break right now, when I should really be working on a paper, whatever, I need a break too!

Joe and I have signed up for a Warrior Dash. I guess I really am crazy. We, actually I, have been training hard. I am anticipating beating Joe in this race. He will go crazy if I do! Our recent trip to PA has made us really understand how important family is and how important it is for us to all stay in contact, no matter how far away we may be.

Bristol took 4, YES 4, steps all by herself on Sunday! I'm one excited mama! Maybe soon you all will hear me complaining about having to chase after her running around. She is so hard headed and will only do things on her own time. Lord help us when potty training comes around. Do kids have to be out of diapers before they start kindergarten? Whose rule is that if so? LOL. She has also started to talk more. She now says "shoes", I love it, she has a early addiction like her mama!

July 2 was two years since Kennedy went to Heaven. Not a single day goes by that I don't think about her, hurt from missing her or thank her for the time she gave me. We love that little girl! Late July was kindergarten registration, driving by the elementary school without my little girl in the back seat was heart wrenching. She and I should have been there getting all ready to go to the big school. Instead all I have are what if's.... August 26 is Kennedy's fifth birthday. I plan on having a birthday party for her complete with another balloon release and a visit to her columbarium at OLV.

To this day I look at my life and where I am now and what I have been through and I have no idea how I got here. My strength waivers at times and I have my breakdowns and I wish that I never experienced the death of a child. It's hard but somehow I keep moving forward. I only hope I can inspire someone else.