Remember the day your daughter was born? The hopes and wishes you had for her?  Maybe she was your first, middle or last child and possibly your only daughter. She had you wrapped around her finger and you would do anything for her. As you would for any child but there is something really special about a baby girl-your daughter.

Remember walking her to school? You had to let go and turn her over to other people that you really did not know but had to trust for her education. What about making friends? You listened eagerly as she came home with bright eyed excitement to tell you about her day. The new girls she met, the teacher she did not like or the bigger kids that she longed to be like someday. It was a time of homework and chores.

Summer came it was time to relax and maybe go on vacation. Remember the trips across country? Playing the count how many gas stations or Stucky’s road stops there are? The long endless freeway heading hopefully somewhere fun. Did you get to take the kids to Disneyland? Remember their excitement as they saw with wonder for the first time all the magic that is Disney? Remember taking the character photos and having your daughter cry because she has wanted to meet Minnie Mouse for so long she can’t control her emotions?

Then came the heartache of junior high and high school. The roles for the plays not gotten, or the special someone that was “going out” with someone else. Your daughter looking to the day when she can drive and you are worried already about the other 50 million other drivers. Looking towards graduation when she will wear the cap and gown and then head off to college? Watching her with pride as she walks back up the row and blows you a kiss in her cap and gown. The whole world watching but she doesn’t care.

College came and went too soon and now she has met that special guy. As you busy yourself with all the planning of her wedding. You as mom, go with her to pick out her dress, pick flowers and maybe if you are lucky you get to throw the shower. As the dad you get measured for your tux as you are the checkbook guy and then your only job is on the big day to walk her down the aisle.

As the day gets closer the excitement builds. Mom has her rightful place as mother of the bride, which is nearly as important as the bride. You beam with smiles and a few tears in your eyes as the usher walks you down the aisle to your seat. You stand as the music plays and you look as the bride and her dad slowly walk down towards the front. You have never seen her look more beautiful. Dad is holding on for dear life as he knows his role is nearly done and he will hand over his baby girl to the man standing and waiting for her. He has not looked forward to this day from the day the she was born. His job is to give her away and try not to cry.

Weeks, months and years go by…as time flies by so fast and suddenly your baby girl is going to have a baby of her own. You watch and plan with great expectation to the new coming life, a new baby, a grandchild. As a parent there is nothing greater than the day you become a grandparent or Mimi in my case. As the day gets close you learn this baby will be girl…precious like her mommy. You hold your new granddaughter in your arms and you realize all over the incredible love you have for a part of you.

The days come and go and you get to see your daughter, her husband and the new granddaughter. You do many firsts with them and see how much the baby is growing and learning. As she begins to know who you are it thrills your heart when she wants you to hold her.

Now imagine…your daughter that is 26, married and has a baby, died four years ago. There was no college graduation, no dating, and no walking her down the aisle, no son-in-law and no granddaughter. Your perfect little world simply faded out of existence. The day your daughter died was the day a part of your future died too. There is no wedding, no grandbabies, and no holidays together or family vacations. It all simply disappeared. Never to exist again.

To have a parent die is to follow the natural order and your past dies with them. When a child dies you lose your future. The “what could have been.” It is a totally different experience to go through. I will not apologize for stating that having a child die is the worst kind of loss and pain there is. PERIOD!!! A death is a death and it is a huge loss and leaves holes in families and those people are not replaceable. I get that. I really do. My adopted mother died when I was 9 and my daddy remarried and I go a new mother. Yes I called her mom-replaceable. She wasn’t the same as the other mother, but she was my mother nevertheless.

I no longer will apologize for talking about Heather too much. I will not stop mentioning her name. I lived it therefore I have a right to talk about it however I see fit too. If you don’t like it or it makes you uncomfortable then maybe it is time for you to find other friends because I am not what you need in your life and I certainly do not need you in mine. It is okay this road is not for the weak and it does get very tiring. But if you are sad and it is difficult for you to hear and listen about, imagine how difficult it is for me since I lived and live it every single day. I am never going to get over this.  It will take me my lifetime to try to heal.

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