This weekend our family experienced a truly magical weekend. Together with two of our KMMF board members, Bethany and Liz we ventured back to the hospital that we love so much. To drop off 920 TOYS in honor of Katy’s 9th birthday this month on December 20th.
The toys we have collected for the last two months were piled high into a rented u Haul (my mini van couldn’t house them all this year). These toys that were so lovingly picked out by all of YOU to be brought to Boston Children’s Hospital in honor of our little girl were escorted by the Arlington and Chelmsford Police with Patrick manning the sirens.
I have been painstakingly working on my relationship with Katy and what parenting her now looks like. This weekend it was clear that this is how I do that. I’m parenting Katy when I work on her foundation, I’m parenting Katy when I share her story, I’m parenting Katy every moment of everyday just as I do Patrick and Riley. I’m still her mama and she is is still very much my daughter.
For the first time in two and a half years I feel a bit of peace, a bit of happiness, a bit of excitement. Is this the way I envisioned I would get to be Katy’s mama? Absolutely not! But, this is all I have. This is my only option. So I can choose to parent her by sharing her love and light and spreading her kindness. There are no other options. This is all I get. This is HOW I get to be her mom. This is how I get to care for Katy and show my love for her.
I still don’t know the why, and I doubt I ever will. I still don’t expect that this will ever be enough… I want so very badly to be driving her to ballet and soccer and painting her nails, and watching her interact with her brother and sister, most of all holding her and cuddling her and watching her grow up. But, I am learning to not question if every second of everyday, and to just be in the moment. When I allow myself to just be in the moment I feel peace, happiness, and love.
Thanks to all who donated. I can’t tell you what it means to us to be able to give back to the hospital that did so much for our daughter. We couldn’t have done it without you.
I was chatting with some of my bereaved mom friends and also my good friend Tom Zuba author of Permission to Mourn: A New Way to do Grief as I recently struggled with the impending Thanksgiving Holiday. Thanksgiving has been a struggle for me since even before Katy’s death. It was hard to be thankful when I had a very sick child who fought for every year of her life.
So as hard as it is to find things to be thankful for now, this is not a new struggle of me.
In addition to still trying to navigate my way through my new normal and just barely cracking open this chapter of my life titled grief. Life keeps happening, and it seems the hits keep on coming. As much as I wish the world would be a little kinder, a little gentler, the truth is most of our world has moved on and wishes or thinks that we should do. I am here to say WE will never… I WILL NEVER move on. I have no desire to move on and leave my daughter behind. It’s just not going to happen. If you need that to happen to help you in your grief then I will respect that but YOU will need to move on from me.
I am not over dramatic.I don’t cry too much, everything just hurts and I suffer from PTSD and it’s a very real, very scary thing. A topic for another time.
I am not lazy. Grief is tiring and hard work. It’s emotionally and physically draining. I am sorry that I sometimes cancel plans at the last-minute.
I am not crazy. I am sometimes not in my right mind, I find it hard to concentrate. I lose my train of thought. I’m forgetful.
I am not stuck in the past. I am dedicated to keeping Katy’s memory alive and keeping her a part of our family, and ensuring that Patrick and Riley have a relationship with their Big Sister.
Thanksgiving was difficult… not going to lie. We ended up making the best of it for our two littles here on earth… and pray we made our KatyGirl proud.
We kept some traditions like making my mom’s homemade stuffing! This was Riley’s first year helping.
We also made some new ones… like eating Thanksgiving dinner in our jammies!! Patrick made a place setting for Katy so we lit a candle for her durng dinner.
Then we spent the afternoon playing Board Games! While Riley took her post tukey nap!
Yesterday was Patrick’s Thanksgiving assembly. I never know what emotions these school events will ignite. I went to this event with my game face on…Patrick’s wonderful and kind teacher gave me a heads up at our parent teacher conference that Patrick’s thankful slide was about Katy.
Her forewarning although much appreciated couldn’t keep the tears from rolling down my face. As, I listened to his friends be thankful for their dogs, hover boards, Christmas, cousins and friends. I heard my sweet little boy’s voice. Loud and strong “I’m thankful for my sister, Katy! She was very nice.”
The word was made me cringe… and made my face turn red…it made me want to grab what was left of my family and run. It was the most heartbreaking sentence I have ever heard my little boy speak.
But, I didn’t run… I squeezed my husband’s leg (3 times) and smiled. Smiled because Patrick is absolutely right. We are thankful that Katy chose us to be her mom and dad. That we were blessed with 6.5 wonderful years with our beautiful, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, friend, tiny dancer, soccer star, Cardiac anomaly ROCKSTAR and all around beautiful soul. Katy was an angel here on earth, and we were blessed to get to spend all of her days here with her. That was a gift. A HUGE gift. A gift we never took for granted and a gift that keeps on giving. Katy has opened and reshaped my heart and the hearts of so many others.
To my little thoughtful man thank you for reminding me I have so much to be thankful for. Most especially for the kind and compassionate young man you are. I’m thankful for the love you have for both of your sisters. I ‘m thankful you are not afraid to share your sisters story. I know Riley will know her big sister because of you. I love you my little man to the moon and back and infinity and beyond. I’m thankful for you Patrick Michael.
“Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
I have longed for a space to write. My old blog just didn’t feel like the right space…as much as I wanted to go back to that space for the sake of continuity. I tried to use Facebook as an outlet and if just doesn’t seem like the appropriate venue for the content I am looking to deliver. What will the content be? I don’t know… I do know that I have a desire to write I know that many times over the past 2 years I have yearned for this dedicated space. So here it is. I make no promises on how often I will use this space.
Honestly, You haven’t missed too to much… other than that baby I was pregnant with when Katy went to Heaven is now TWO! and I am just starting to take the time to do the work that is needed to focus on my grief. I have navigated the last two years pretty much numb since Katy died. It was all about survival. I recently had the oppurtunity to attend a retreat for grieving mothers and it was life changing for me. It was eye opening and so validating… the good news is I am not CRAZY! Everything I am feeling is normal… even the things I thought made me completly nuts 29 other women feel the exact same way. That retreat is what really promted me to start this blog… I need this space to reflect on all I learned.
I plan to use this space to share my journey through grief, grace and grattitude. I hope to share my heart and and heartache. I’ll share my family and the adventures of Patrick and Riley! I will share the ups and downs of marriage after tremendous loss and choosing love. I will share the happenings of our newly established Katy M. Murphy Foundation and all that we are doing in Katy’s name.
Thanks for stopping in to see what this new space is all about. Thanks for following along all these years. Your words, your prayers, your kindness have carried us through our darkest days.