If you are a longtime reader, you know my feelings about September. You know that my anxiety starts in early August and doesn't subside for weeks as we head towards my least favorite day of the year--September 13th. September 13, 2004 was the worst day of my life. Yes, this year has been tough. 2011 will go down in my books as a really tough year that I overcame (see that optimism right there?). But NOTHING compares to 2004. Nothing compares to watching my daughter go through chemotherapy, 85 blood transfusions, a stem cell transplant, and so so much more. Nothing compares to losing my nine month old baby girl to this horrible disease called cancer.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I do what I can to promote this. My school is sponsoring Heroes for Children and getting involved with the 5K Run/Walk. I'll be out there on race day with my girls. I want September to get as much awareness as possible about childhood cancer and what families go through. However, at times, I just wish September just simply didn't exist.
I decided to take off Tuesday for Allie Day, as we call it around here. Frances (Andrew's mom), my mom and I are taking the girls to the zoo to see our favorite animal. Must see the giraffes on Allie Day! Hoping we can even feed the giraffes that you can do at the Dallas Zoo. I try to make it fun for the girls each year and do something as a family. Our family is a different dynamic this year, but I will still make it as fun as possible for my girls. Maggie doesn't truly understand what Allie Day is significant for. She is excited that Allie Day is this week and happy about our plans. Andrew will get them around 5:15 or so Tuesday night for his normal night with them. I'm sure he'll try to do something with them too. This is the first year we haven't had a family dinner. Luckily, my sweet friend Nikki is taking time away from her own family to have dinner with me. We'll go to dinner and then I might meet up with a few other people afterwards.
What I dread is coming home that night to an empty house of just me and Brandy.
It's been 7 years since I last saw my baby girl. I miss that cherub blue-eyed giraffe loving girl just as much as I did on September 14, 2004 when I woke up without her on that first day. The pain is different. I don't wake up every morning thinking of her right away anymore. My mind first goes to her pretty and fun sisters. I don't cry all the time. It's a dull ache that is always with me. It just gets magnified around this time.
I'm doing alright. I promise, even though this blog post is fairly sad. The girls and I had an AWESOME and fun weekend all together. It was nonstop fun and Maggie declared the best part of it was "spending time with you, Mama." Work is insane but terrific and I have some of the greatest people in my life. I have way more good than bad in my life and I have memories of that beautiful girl that I cherish every day.
Thank you for your positive comments and support lately. They mean the world to me. Keep them coming and WAKE ME UP WHEN SEPTEMBER ENDS.