Friday, May 25, 2012

The Good Memories

When it became obvious that we would have to let Ainsley go, there was no question in my mind that I would hold her and be there for her and talk to her.  I had to.  I had to do this one last thing for her even though it was sure to be awful.

And it was.  Awful. 

I mean, she was as comfortable as possible and felt the least amount of pain possible.  A group of caring people were with us to make sure of it.  It was fast, because she was very sick.  She had very sick lungs. I had almost a year and a half with Ainsley and the part that is sticking with me are those last few minutes while I kissed her face and said goodbye to her.  I hate it.  I hope that changes over time, ya know? 

I basically took pictures and videos of Ainsley nonstop every time I was there.  Because she was funny and cute and I couldn't resist.  And now I am so glad that I did because every time I picture The Awful, I can pick up my phone and watch a happy Ainsley.  Here is one of the last videos I have of her.  She was cracking up just because I was cracking up.


I don't think people understand what it was like to be around Ainsley.  How could they, really?  The tubes, the wires, the equipment...it all looks very intimidating.  I didn't even notice the tubing anymore when I looked at her - it was as normal as a paci or something.  We could pick her up and swing her around and nibble on her cheeks just like any other kid. 

She was delayed, yes, but she was otherwise a very normal little 16 month old.  She was fun and played with toys and she was a flirt OH MY GOD, she was a flirt.  They would sit her in a stroller or exersaucer or even just on a mat on the floor in her doorway and let her interact with people in the hallway.  She would make people clap, or tell them no, shake her booty, or cover her face if she didn't know someone.

She got to play all day with a room and crib full of fun toys.  And everyone who came to see her smiled at her and played with her.  She had a fan club, almost literally, at the hospital.  If she wanted to sleep, she did!  If she wanted to watch a movie, she did!  She was just surrounded by fun and love all the time.  It is sad that she is gone, but while she was here things were fun and happy.  A lot.

This is the last video I took of her, that same day.  It is a pretty good one too - she smiles, laughs, dances,  sneezes and eats her own snot. 


I was looking through pictures and found a set of Olivia and Ainsley playing.  Olivia was playing with Ainsley's toys, and every.single.toy that she picked up, Ainsley reached her fat little paw out to take from her. 



So then Olivia decided to just watch a movie, but Ainsley kept closing the DVD player and then laughing when Olivia would protest.  It was so funny and to me it was just so...ordinary.  Normal.  Sisters getting on eachothers nerves. 



I think I need to remind myself that we did every single thing we could to make her life happy. It wasn't normal for most people, but to her it was normal.  Ainsley lived a good and happy life.

I don't know why I am putting this all this mess on mah blog because really it is kind of all over the place.

74 comments:

Amanda said...

What beautiful memories! Thank you for sharing them with all of us.

LauraJane said...

She's a beautiful girl. I'm glad you wereableo enjoy the heck out of her... She seems like quite the kid.

The "awful" was something I couldn't do, but our situations were different. I'm so sorry your last moments with her weren't what you would want... But there's some small comfort in knowing you were exactly where she wanted to be, you know?

Thinking of you and your family.

nicole said...

We all want to feel love and to be cherished no matter the situation..your darling girl was that even though what we dont consider the norm is the norm for her..and she was happy..and now shes in heaven playing with her twin sister and there so happy..your an awesome mom and you revel in that you gave her the important things love and family and she'll love you for that forever..

Rachael said...

I can't imagine what this has been like for you. Thank you for sharing sweet Ainsley with us. She is an angel.

Polly said...

I think being with her at her last moments is so wonderful and brave you and Ainsley was so lucky to have you there.

Of course you had to do it because you're her mummy and thats what mummies do, but I can imagine how much it must have cost you emotionally.

I really hope the happy memories start to shine through. Keep hold of fab little Ainslep being well... fab! xxx

CC said...

I'm glad your blog is all over the place. I think every mom is that way. And I love this entry. Love your sweet girls too.

Lisa said...

I love this post. I love to hear you talk about Ainsley. I am so heartbroken for you and your family, and for Ainsley. But it makes me happy to read you talk about her and all that she brought to your life. She was truly a special special little girl and I will always remember her without ever having met her.

Chris and Joy said...

From all the pictures you went above and beyond to do everything you could to bring the world to Ainsley. She looks like one of those rare people who just spread happy wherever they are. How lucky for her that she had a family and hospital staff who could love and enjoy her. How lucky for you that you got to experience the happy that is Ainsley.
Keepy hanging on to those other memories.

Courtney said...

Thank you for sharing photos and videos of your sweet girl. I especially love the ones of Olivia and Ainsley getting on each others' nerves! I like reading about how "normal" things were for you guys - because you're right - it does all look very intimidating. I think you, Mark, Olivia, and Ainsley did a great job making the absolute best out of a crappy situation. That is made very obvious in all of your photos and posts.

You're a terrific mother!

Melissa said...

I can't imagine how awful it was but try to remember -- it was what you were able to do for her at that time. I'm sure Ainsley wouldn't have wanted it any other way than to be in your arms and showered with love.

She was a little rockstar with her own fanclub. Smiling and laughing and making other people smile and laugh. What a legacy she left on so many people.

dillard said...

Love this post. Thank you.

Amber said...

You are incredible parents and had such a happy little girl! Thanks for sharing her with all of us.

Megan Elise said...

Ainsley may have not had a typical 16 months but it's quite obvious from the picures she had a joyous life despite her circumstances. The only people that missed out were those that didn't get to know her and you helped spread her cheer by blogging. Those tough memories will fade and the ones your remember the most are all the rest of the happy ones.

areyoukiddingme said...

She had a happy life, short as it was, thanks to her family...

Rebecca said...

Love and hugs for all of you.

Melissa said...

Thank you for sharing. Thinking of you guys.

Unknown said...

Wonderful pictures and video. Still thinking of you and your family every day!

B. Wilson said...

She is just so beautiful. Her heart is so wonderful-- you can tell. Thanks for sharing those videos. I'm sure it's not easy to let all this out and I totally understand the pain, but thanks. I think it's an honor to get to know your sweet Ainsley more.

Deanna said...

I can't even imagine what you're going through, but sending you thoughts and prayers. Beautiful post about your beautiful daughter.

Inara Jones said...

Ainsley knew more happiness and love in her 16 months than many kids know in their entire childhood. She was such a happy, loving girl. Anyone can see that. The world was a better place with her in it. And it has lost a little something without her.

Big hugs to you. I am truly heartbroken for you.

birdsandsquirrels said...

Jen, I am so sorry. I sat with my dad as he passed and it was awful. Awful. I can't imagine having to do that with my own child - it has to be the most awful thing ever. I am so glad that she spent her last moments in your arms feeling all the love you had for her. What a beautiful and important but impossibly difficult thing to do.

I am so glad that you have these great videos and pictures to look at to help block out the awfulness of what you just experienced. Ainsley was clearly such a happy, joyful, beautiful little girl.

alison said...

Not everyone would share their sweet girl with a bunch of semi-strangers on the Internets, but I am so, so thankful that you did and that you do. I'm sitting here teary because I miss her - the snippet of her that I knew from your pics and fb updates. I can't even begin to fathom how much you guys miss those sweet cheeks. You're amazing. xo

MaryBeth said...

Literally in tears. What an amazing mother you are. What an amazing daughter Ainsley is. She is ridiculously adorable!! Thank you for sharing those sweet videos. Thank you for sharing.. anything that you have shared with us. Its funny how we have never met you or your sweet girls.. yet I talk about them and you as if you are my bf. Kinda creepy? I promise.. Im not too creepy in real life. You are just a wonderful blogger. Hugs to you and the family!

Ellie's Mom said...

Crying as I write this. Glad you have the wonderful, normal memories. So sad for you that you have had to experience so much pain. Thinking good thoughts for you!

april said...

that little girl of yours taught me so much with just seeing her beautiful smile in all the pictures. I am so sad that she is no longer here, and I am continually praying for peace for your family. She will always be a reminder that no matter what your struggles may be, it is still possible to smile, laugh, and love with all your heart.

lparsons15 said...

Oh wow! Sweet Ainsley! Thank you so much for sharing those wonderful memories! I can't imagine how hard those last moments were for you guys, I am thinking of you always.

Becky said...

You know, every. single. time. I see a picture of Ainsley, I smile. The joy just shines from her eyes, not to mention her funny, smiling face. Hugs to you.

amazingk8 said...

I've loved looking at all the pictures and hearing all the stories, especially the ones of Ainsley and Olivia playing together. Its always impressed me that even though they were separated so much of the time they obviously were completely, one hundred percent sisters. As your family grows and we hear more stories, we will always hold a special place for Ainsley and Evelyn.

Sara said...

What wonderful memories! You were the best mother that little girl could ever have asked for! She was blessed to have you and you were blessed to have her! Thanks for sharing. Still thinking of you and your family daily!

Caroline said...

I only heard of your blog recently when you had to say goodbye to Ainsley, but after reading through previous posts and seeing all the pictures, it is SO very clear what a happy life she lived and how loved she will always be.

Much love to your family at this difficult time.

polyhex said...

I did the Awful with my grandmother. I felt that I must. It was very hard for me, and for about 6-9 months after it was the memory that played over and over in my head. I'm sure it was my mind's way of desensitizing me to the trauma, by replaying it. It's no longer the first memory that comes any more: I remember her now alive, loving me. I hope it is the same for you, as soon as possible.

Your Ainsley is so beautiful, so wonderful.

ABLynch said...

You are such a good mom. To be strong enough to go through the "awful" so you can be with your little girl is proof of that - You have some happy, funny girls and I am tremendously sorry for your (all of our) loss.

Jen said...

Thank you so much for sharing those videos. My heart is absolutely broken for you guys. Please know you are an amazing woman and an incredible mommy. Ainsley was just as blessed to have you as you were to have her.

Mariesa said...

Thanks for sharing! Those are great memories :) I can tell she enjoyed her time here and had lots of laughs and love.

Me said...

I can't imagine that. Bless you for managing to remember anything else. I'm so sorry but you definitely gave her a beautiful life and she was so happy. Hold on to that.

theelusivesecondline said...

This is not a mess, it is beautiful. Your daughter is beautiful and you should always be able to remember her as that happy playful baby.

Rebecca said...

Thanks for remembering with us!

Jaye-Dallas said...

She has a fan club online too.

carrie said...

What a beautiful girl. And what a beautiful mom's heart you have. Thinking of and praying for all of you. Thank you for sharing your amazing girls with us.

Lyndz said...

She was adorable and precious! She seemed like she led a happy life. My thoughts are with you and your family during this devastating time.

HereWeGoAJen said...

The last part is sticking with you right now because it is new and it is giant and it takes time to process. Soon, it will just be part of your memories and not even the biggest part.

Ainsley was and is awesome. All her spunk comes right through the computer screen. It was obvious that she was very happy and had a great life.

Milla said...

So beautiful, Ainsley shines so brightly on the screen and I love those photos of her messing with Olivia. That there is my relationship with my sister in a nutshell. She was and is so loved, so cared for. She had all of the things a small person could wish for.

I am sure that it will not be the biggest part. I don't know how your grief will go but the griefs I've had certainly go through phases, memory-wise, there are moments where certain things you don't want to think about won't leave you, moments where you an't remember anything and fear that it's forever. But it isn't.

Sending love to all of you. It is a privilege to read that post and see that video.x

Jennifer Mae said...

Hi Jen! We've been reading your blog and I am amazed at your strength and love! I appreciate you sharing your journey and you are in our prayers! I was just reading your last entry and played the video and my little Charlie climbed up and started watching it! Whenever Ainsley laughed he would bust out laughing with her! He then proceeded to kiss the screen (an issue we deal with at the park). Of course then I started crying thinking of the overwhelming joy she must of brought to you if she is making us laugh and cry through a little video clip. What an amazing little girl and family! Thank you for sharing her and your story!

Jennifer Gooch aka jenn Martin

nyanarose said...

Big love to all of you. Just... tons of love.

Barbara Jean said...

Thank you for sharing. We have all been touched by Ainsley's short life. Thinking of you and your family and sending peace and strength your way.

Vaso said...

Thank you for sharing... She was awesome...

I have been thinking you of you all. Hugs to you and your family. Life is just not fair.

Delenn said...

Memories of happiness. Thank you for sharing this.

thelambentlife said...

Thank you for sharing these memories with us. Not only did Ainsley live a fun and happy life, she was so, SO loved. That is clear. Find and rest easy in these memories.

jami_mcdougal said...

You reminded me of a line of Steel Magnolia's. "I was there when that beautiful creature drifted in to my life and I was there when she drifted out." I'm sorry that she had to go, but I think that you'll be thankful the rest of your life that you had the strength to be there for her in her last moments.

mg said...

Thank you for sharing Ainsley with all of us.

JenM said...

This post is great, Jen. Who cares if it is all over the place? You could see in every picture, every video how happy she was, and how much she loved you guys. She didn't know her life wasn't "normal", it was HER life, and she was happy.

babycakesandwafflefries.org said...

We often do not get to choose our normal. And for Ainsley, her normal was being happy, silly, and endlessly loved and adored by all who knew her. Despite everything, she never lost her smile and zeal. She knew love, laughter, her mommy and daddy, and the power of sisterhood. How many children live lives 50 times as long as hers, and never get to feel those things and know them? She was not only a blessing: she was blessed.

Thank you for sharing these memories, and her life, with all of us. Hers is an incredible story, and should not only be told with sadness, but with smiles, giggles and the most NOMable cheeks on the planet. I can only hope The Awful becomes a memory that is not instantly recalled, and that in its place are these pictures and videos that show her spirit and resilience.

You are loved.

JP said...

It is and always was clear that she was a well loved and happy girl! Thanks for this post. Your girls are awesome.

kharris said...

Thanks for writing, kid. I was crying and laughing the whole time. Blessed baby! We'll miss her...

KJ said...

This blog post is great! Being all over th place is probably exactly how your emotions are these days...and who cares! You gave Ainsley an awesome normal life! You can tell by every picture, video and interaction I was honored to see! I miss that happy, cheeky, gap toothed grin, but I'm smiling just thinking about her!

Katy said...

She was a beautiful baby and her life was happy and filled with good things. Thank you so much for sharing her with us all.

I'm glad that you do have all these memories and hopefully the bad moments will get smaller and smaller and less and less until you rarely remember them.

Everything but the kitchen sink said...

Write whatever helps you heal. I can't even imagine the pain you feel and it's so sucky it came to this. We were all hoping for the best. You are a fabulous mommy and you did everything you could for her.

Samantha.Simmons said...

Thank you for sharing her and the rest of your family with us. Seeing pics and updates of Ainsley very much brightened my day and touched my heart. I have never seen a happier, more loved baby. Never.

Julia said...

Your memories are beautiful. Thank you for sharing Ainsley's life. She was so obviously cherished; not only by you, but by so many of us not lucky enough to have met her. You made her too-short life happy and full of love. You are amazing parents.

Sherrie Elise said...

Jen, I've followed your blog since right after you found out that you would be having the twins. This post literally made me cry. I can't even imagine the rollercoaster of the past two years for you and your family. My heart hurts for you all. Many prayers for your heart to heal quickly. While I don't "know" you, I do wish the absolute best for you. I know Olivia has two little angels watching over her and your baby to come. My deepest sympathies to you. I hope you hold tight to those happy videos and memories.

Losh said...

How could you do anything but be there for her last moments? It is everything that being a Mummy is - you are there for them and giving comfort no matter how much your heart is breaking. That is a Mothers love - so powerful. Someone already said it in an earlier comment - Ainsley was a blessing ans she was blessed. Thank you again for sharing your her with us and for taking time to write and update us all.

CSB said...

So touching and meaningful. Love how you explained who Ainsley was and what was normal for her. What a happy girl she was, and boy, did she clearly love you!

I'm so sorry for your pain, but so happy you have Ainsley's laughs on video forever. Hope you and your baby in your tummy are weathering this okay.

katherine said...

Oh, Jen. This is not all over the place. It all makes perfect sense. I am so so very sorry you had to go through this. And yes, I am very glad for the wonders of modern technology -- those videos and pictures are priceless. Thank you so so much for sharing those memories of your perfect little Ainsley with us. She's amazing...
I'm thinking of you constantly, and I guess it's a good thing I don't know you in real life, because I have this urge to just hug you...
Much love to you mama

Dora said...

This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing all this and Ainsley with us. She was an amazing girl with an amazing Mama.

Wendy said...

I'm glad that you have the pictures and videos of your sweet Ainsley.

Many hugs to you guys. Thinking of you.

Cassie Dash said...

You want to share all this because you love your girl and it's only a testament to what a good mama you are. I am so sorry for your loss, and for those last awful moments, but so happy that you have beautiful memories to carry with you. Thinking of you!!!

Our Photographic Memory said...

What a beautiful post! Ainsley has he best squishable kissable chubby cheeks:) I love that her and Olivia were able to squabble like sisters!

Monica @ CreativeGator said...

Your loss of sweet, precious Ainsley just breaks my heart. Thank you for sharing her with all of us. She sure is a bright ray of sunshine.

Emily said...

This is a beautiful memory of Ainsley's sunshine.

Sara said...

Thank you so much for sharing... those are beautiful memories. I loved the first video!

Keri Cadieux-Hespeler said...

God bless your family. Thank you for sharing those adorable videos. Ainsley was beautiful.

Veronii said...

"Ainsley lived a good and happy life." I sit here with tears flowing.

You have such a beautiful family.

sheilah said...

This is exactly what I was thinking. Thank god you have lots of pictures of sweet Ainsley (not that you or Mark would ever forget her), but they will make beautiful memories for Olivia and Adelle (love that name!).

I love that picture you took on Easter with Olivia holding Ainsley's hand. So precious...

JRae120380 said...

I'm so glad that I got to see these videos. She sure was a very happy baby, all full of smiles. You definitely did give her the best life possible, it shows.