When our children are born, we automatically want the best for them from day one. We want them to live a life of greatness. We want them to accomplish their dreams and to have as few regrets as possible. We actually want this long before they are born. Before they are born, we have already pictured teaching them how to ride a bike, watching them teeter, then totter, then soar down the road. Before they are born, we have already imagined soccer games and dance recitals, first dates, school dances, and college graduations. We have already pictured a full and happy life for our child. And when they die before they've lived, it all crashes down in the cruelest of ways. It becomes an alternate timeline that we carry on our backs - a timeline we assume responsibility for.
Instead of teaching our child to ride a bike, we may instead train for a triathlon. Instead of taking them to dance class, we may teach ourselves how to salsa. Almost every Loss Mom I know has done something for the specific purpose of honoring the life their child didn't get to live. From taking on a huge endeavor of starting a non-profit organization to something as simple as walking on the beach once a week. We ALL do something to bring the life they should have had into the life we lead.
I already have so many regrets. I regret not paying attention to her movements. I regret not going to the doctor sooner. I regret not giving her the only bath she'd ever have. I refuse to live a life that will create more regret.
Kenley taught me to take chances. She taught me that consequence is better than regret and that life is here to live - not to watch.
And when that sun goes down, hope you raise your cup
Oh, I wish that I could witness all your joy and all your pain
But until my moment comes, I'll say...
I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived
My Ninja has taught me to live my life to the fullest - to take those leaps of faith that are often so terrifying, yet often also have the greatest reward. Four years ago, I would never have even thought about running a mile, let alone 13.1, and in sixteen days, I will cross the finish line of the Disney Princess Half Marathon.
Every word I have written, every speech I have delivered, every step I have run, is all for her. I live the life she will not live. She is my legacy - and I am hers.