You know our story, you have voiced your opinion as to the choices that myself and Anniston’s dad made in her final days so let me tell you how I feel.

I will get mixed comments about this but I am human. I lost my child and I have emotions just like all of you do.

It has been two years since I laid eyes on my daughter.

It has been two years since I hugged her.

It has been two years since I kissed her.

It has been two years since I heard her say “Mommy, I love you.”

It has been TWO years.

Your life is normal? You wake up everyday with a routine.

For most people, you shower, brush your teeth, get ready for work, get your children ready for school, eat breakfast, put the kids on the bus or take them to school.. What ever your life may be like, it is normal for you. Hopefully, nothing has thrown your routine upside down and right side out.

For us, Anniston’s dad and I have separated for the second time.

I wake up, shower, brush our teeth, get ready for work, get Cohen ready for school, and drop him off.. but where is Anniston? Where is my sassy little girl who would argue with me about what to wear in the morning? Argue with me over how she wanted to wear her hair that day. Anniston would be SIX on May 8th this year. SIX… she has been missing from my life since 3 years 8 months and 14 days.. and here comes her sixth birthday and I can not celebrate with her. I can not shower her with love and gifts. I buy her grave flowers and freshen up her grave so that she isn’t forgotten about. I do a balloon release for her. I honor her everyday that I live. I share her story with the world to see so that maybe her story can save 1 child.

This blog alone has reached millions of people.

Many have told me that this will get easier with time. This does not get easier. This is not normal. It is not normal to be missing your child. Have I adjusted to life without her? Yes, but that does not mean that it is easier. I want her here where she should be. I feel as if I failed her even though she was not under my care. Anniston’s organs where failing her. Had we decided to bring Anniston home she would have undergone so many surgeries that her little body and organs would have failed her. Then guess what, Anniston would not have been an organ donor.

You, as a parent or grandparent, have made choices that you thought was to benefit the child. Yet the same people have judged me for the choice that her dad and I made. (Which I know will happen, this is a very public story.)
The wreck was on Sunday and on Wednesday we knew the extent of injury that she had. She had opened her eyes a few times during the 11 days, but on that 7th night the nurse worked her tail off keeping my Anniston alive because her organs started failing her. There is nothing that says that anyone deserves an explanation of the choice that was made because she is our daughter BUT so many of you bash me for what was done. In all honesty, you never know what decisions you will make in a situation like this, unless you are in it. And, I pray you never have to be.
I am a very selfless mother, I sacrificed MY TIME with Anniston so that she could save someone else. I was allowed 5 minutes once the machine was completely turned off to tell her goodbye. 5 minutes, is that enough time for you to tell your child “goodbye?” Not a “see you later” but a “goodbye.” The only thoughts I had was the sooner that I let her go the sooner she can help someone else. After all, her outcome would not be different.

“Mikki, this is just as hard for you as it is everyone else.” Huge correction: Anniston is my daughter and the pain you have is nothing compared to what I have. Even her daddy and I share a different type of pain. We all grieve differently. Anniston is my daughter before she was a granddaughter, niece, cousin, friend or anything else. She is MINE, and I lost one of the most important beings in my life and yet in such a time of loss for me and my family, I chose to allow her to save lives thru her organ donation. Now, because of organ donations, there are other families out there who do not have to experience what I did.
She is a true hero. My hero and her brother’s hero!

Cohen at graveyard

 

Anniston is living on thru many people, not only thru organ donation, but thru her story. Thru this blog.

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29 thoughts on “Two years later

  1. I am in awe of your honesty. Anniston is truly a hero and you are a tool to make that happen. I pray that you will be in a place where all that matters is Anniston’s life has all it’s purpose laid. I lost a child too and the pain as you said will never go. It never gets easy sometimes worse. I will be celebrating my daughter Jana’s birthday this coming June, the third time without her here with me. Life has never been the same but we do certain things to honor them and one of that is for me to continue being a mom to the other 3 while persevering the pain losing one. It is true we all grieve differently and that makes this walk so unfamiliar everyday. I hope that along the way you will find enough shoulders to cry on and embraces to keep warm when you feel you are alone.

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  2. Only you as a mother know what is right when it comes to your child. You know what’s best for your children. NO ONE ELSE! You know what she would have wanted. No one else!! Those who have children should know sometimes you have to make hard decisions for your child but out of everyone in the world you will do what’s best! You did a very selfless thing! You are very brave! Anyone who would bash you deserves to be bashed more! It’s not about them! There was no stopping what happened and though it is very sad it was in God’s hands and God put that decision in your hands because he knew you would make the right one. I am so sorry you had/ have to go through this!! I pray for you and everyone involved!!

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  3. It is so hard losing a child. It is absolutely harder when you are faced with the decision of when is it time to say enough. No one understands that pain, the questioning of if I made the right choice. Your Anniston gave a precious gift of life to others. I know sometimes when I think about those that received Cahill’s gifts it gives me a sense of peace. True heroes, that not one person has the right to question the decisions that have been made! I hope that Anniston and Cahill have found each other..wouldn’t that be wonderful 🙂 Prayers for you and your family!

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  4. Gosh, I wonder how someone has the audacity to question the choices you had to make at that time…it truly is every parent’s nightmare to go through what you both went through…I am so sorry, just know that your choice was the right one because you did it out of love for her and at the same time you helped other people….organ donation is truly a selfless gift…thank you for doing it..hugs..

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  5. Our society sucks and is so incredibly judgemental. Your story is helping so many families learn about carseat safety and to understand what could happen. You have every right to grieve and process without the judgment. We cannot change our past, only our future. Both you and your husband are hurting. I hope people can find the compassion to be respectful to your family.

    Parents make decisions they feel is best for their child. This is the best they can do. Even through tragedy, you are am amazing mother. Thank you for honoring your daughter. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for your honesty and for defending your family.

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  6. I am so sorry anyone has dared to question what was undeniably an incredibly hard, painful decision. The choice you made brought life and joy to others in the midst of your loss and grief. I would like to think in the same situation that I or anyone else would make the choice you did, knowing the extent of what would come and the futility of trying to push what could not be. You are strong. You are incredible. And you are forever the exact right mom for Anniston. Thank you for your honesty, your willingness to bare your raw emotions, your candidness. Anniston’s donations saved lives; with your help she will continue to save more.

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  7. I am so sorry that you have had to endure the judgement of others at a time when all you have needed is love and support. Thank you is all anyone needs to say and I’m eternally sorry for your unimaginable loss.

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  8. I cannot even begin to understand the sorrow and heartbreak that you have had and I really don’t understand anyone criticizing you for the choices that you made. God bless you and your family. Anniston is in the arms of our Lord and you will be reunited with her again some day.

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  9. I’m so sorry for your incredible pain. Thank you so much for allowing your sweet child to bring life to so many people. That is true love and an amazing gift. Jesus gave his life so that we may live and your daughter lost her life and will bring life to so many that would not survived if not for your loving child. Thank you for your love and life lived from your beautiful daughter. God bless ♡

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  10. I am so sorry you have had to endure even a second of extra pain because of judgemental people. No one has the right to criticise your decision for your beautiful daughter. Thank you for giving the gift of life to others in the middle of your own unbearable loss. I’m praying God will give you peace and will comfort your heart.

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  11. I’m so sry for ur loss.. I dont have the words to make u feel better or make things better.. All I can say is I think u done the right thing.. Ur baby girl was suffering.. U made the decision so tht others would b able to survive.. I envy u.. U are a very strong woman/mother u had a very hard thing to do.. I had to do the same with my grandma bout 2yrs ago.. Her body was shutting down and they was nothing they could do, she went into a coma.. We had to sec to keep her plugged up to a machine or let her go to a better place.. Her sisters n brothers said we killed her.. But y let them lady there n suffer when the doctors says that they ant nothing they can do.. But with ur little angel she got to save others.. God works in mysterious ways.. We don’t know why tho.. It hurts, it always will.. I don’t know if time actually heals or in time it gets better, I guess it’s different for everybody.. But what I think bout to make things some what better is all the good times I had with her.. Her smile, her laugh, her voice even her smell.. Keep those memories close, never let them go.. U have another child so thank god for him. Let him know how special he is.. And remember, she’s in heaven lookin over every move her mommy makes, n pretty sure she’s saying how proud she is, n thankful thr u r her mommy.. Ur a very good mother.. Dont let nobody tell u different, and if they do put u down n stuff, I’m pretty sure god deals with them everyday..

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  12. I’m so sorry for your loss, and I’m sorry for your continued pain. It’s a shame people would pour salt on your wounds. I am also a blogger that has reached millions, and I’m still dumbfounded at the hateful things strangers can say. Bless you. Bless you for your strength and honesty. I wish I had the adequate words to convey my sympathy.

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  13. I don’t understand why people feel compelled to criticize others. They can never understand what it was like in that moment. Anniston is a hero, and you are amazing for sharing her story. Thank you.

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  14. You are precious. You are brave. You are selfless. Your story touched my heart, I hope many young mothers read your blog, so that they will understand the need to research the proper use and types of not only car seats, but cribs, high chairs, etc.

    I did not see any critical posts about yours and your husbands decision regarding organ donation, I am glad I didn’t as I would have given them what for. I myself am listed as a donor, as it is the last gift I can give when it comes my time to depart.

    I am truly sorry for your loss, the pain cannot be put into words, the anguish cannot be expressed. You just have to continue. Continue to live, to grow, to give, to cry, to smile, to forgive. I hope that you and your husband can cross this difficult time and turn once more to each other, for comfort, love and strength.

    God bless you and your family.

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  15. This truly brought tears to my eyes. I can not imagine going through what you did. No mother should have to. I am at a loss for words. Prayers and Hugs to you!

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  16. I lost a granddaughter in 2008 that was living in UCLA waiting on a liver transplant. as i read your story I am thankful for people like you and your husband. I know now Italia Anjessy was chosen to be another angel as your baby girl. You angel blessed many people and families with her short existence in this world.

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  17. Bless your heart for the pain you and your family have been in, and continue to be in. Thank you for your selfless love to allow your sweet baby to live on through others. I don’t know that I would have been as strong as you and your husband had been were I in your shoes. I pray you and your husband can be together again. Hold tight to God’s promise that you and your sweet baby will one day be united in the Kingdom of Heaven.

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  18. Anniston and your story gives me chills.. I can not imagine what you go through every day. God bless you. I will hug my boys a little longer tonight thinking of your family 😓

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  19. I’m so sorry for your loss. Can’t even imagine your pain but most of all, can’t even begin to understand how others can be so hurtful in their comments. You are also your daughters hero because you made the decision to let her be free without all that pain and suffering that all those surgeries would’ve made her go through. Your princess is a hero because she saved lives and that is amazing, and you also became a hero because of that selfless act of kindness and love of allowing her organs to be a gift of life for others. Thank you for sharing your story and God bless you and your family always! I will pray for God to give you strength and keep you close.

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  20. Losing your daughter is an unimaginable tragedy. I am so sad for you and everyone that loved her. I pray everyday that I get to keep my children with me, and if God has a different plan that I would be strong enough to let go. It makes me so sad that some people are so careless and make you feel bad for the brave and selfless act of giving life to strangers through organ donation. I thank you for your bravery. I don’t know any of the children that benefitted from receiving your daughter’s organs, but I can imagine the complete joy thier patents must be experiencing. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but you really should not leery the hateful people hurt you. What they think shouldn’t matter at all. What matters is what you think and what God thinks, and that’s all.
    I don’t know your faith, but my faith is what I rely on top get through the hard things in this life. Your little girl is waiting for you in the spirit world, and through the sealing powers of heaven, your family, including your daughter, can be together as a family for eternity. This promise I know to be true. How sweet the reunion when you meet again. This life is short, in the eternal picture, your separation is but a blink of an eye.

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  21. Mama, please find a way to ignore the truly ignorant people who question your decisions for Anniston. And the ones who tell you it will get easier, they know just how you feel, or that you were not the best mama she could have asked for! The truth is that NOBODY knows just how you feel and it will NOT get easier. It will just get different. Your raw edges will smooth just a tiny bit. I’m an old woman who has seen a lot in 70 years, so please believe me when I say that it would not make Anniston happy to see you reliving her death. She was alive! And she needs you to honor her life by continuing what you so bravely started…educating other parents about
    child car seat safety and all of us about organ and tissue donation. I know the past two years must seem an eternity, but in God’s time they are the blink of an eye. Please know that I will hold your family in prayer.

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  22. I lost my daughter at 11.5mos, we watched and waited for our miracle. In the end we chose organ donation over a life of surgeries that would end in organ failure. It was the toughest decision ever. We just celebrated her 9th bday without her…your not alone. And shame on those who judge!! I found so much comfort through grief share. Look into it…they are offered everywhere. You never get over it, you learn to live with abdomen heart. And while your perspective grows and you appreciate what you do have….the pain never goes away. I pray hugs and comfort to you fellow grieving mama. I love you and thank you for sharing your heart with others, me. I hope to unburden you just a bit and carry Anniston in my heart too. Xo

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  23. Good morning – I can’t imagine the pain you feel for losing your little girl. However, your story was life changing for our family. I read your story in 2015 the same time our family was going to put our Lidia who was 4 at the time in a “big girl seat”…your story impacted our decision to do so, a year later she is 5 and still in a 5-point harness. As I write this I can sit and watch my daughter grow because of your story… when we put her in car seat I remember you and your daughter as her memory is kept very much alive in our family.

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  24. Those who have judged have not had to walk in your shoes. Your are putting a spotlight on a subject that most are uneducated about. Persevere through the negative and continue to share your story. The lives you are potentially saving by sharing your heartbreak will continue to outweigh the hate and negativity thrown your way. I am so very sorry for your loss. She was a beautiful little girl and I am sure an even more beautiful angel.

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  25. I am so sorry about your beautiful baby girl. But what a beautiful thing you were able to do to give life to others. On April 9 of this year, I lost my precious son. I was only 21w6d pregnant when I developed severe preeclampsia and Hellp syndrome. I had never even heard of Hellp until I was diagnosed. Basically, my body was rejecting my pregnancy. I was told the only treatment was to deliver my son, at which point he would most likely not survive. I told my husband through my pregnancy that if it ever came down to it, I’d want to choose my child over me. I never thought in a million years that I’d be faced with that decision. I asked if it was possible to wait for a viable gestational age, at which point I was told I’d be dead before then. The decision pretty much became my son or both of us. I went numb. I couldn’t understand it. I still don’t. I went from having a relatively easy pregnancy to preparing to deliver my son, who would have virtually no chance at survival. At one point I asked if it was possible to donate his cord blood, but they told me that’s something that needs to be planned for ahead of time, which I wanted to do, but I thought I had more time. I’ll never understand it, but I too have shared my story in hopes of raising awareness of preeclampsia and hellp and possibly help save not only a baby’s life but a mother’s as well. I know my life will forever be changed by this. The hurt and pain I feel may never go away, and I’ll always ache for my son. The decision you made was the one you thought best for your daughter, and in that decision, your family and your daughter gave others life. Although I have dealt with the guilt of knowing it was my body that was sick and that I couldn’t protect my son, I know that he gave me life.

    Prayers to you.

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  26. I lost my 6 month old, Christoper, 20 years ago. You don’t “get over” this kind of loss, and you never stop missing your baby, but you get used to the pain. It’s still there, closer to the surface on some days (like birthdays and deathdays) and you cry like it was yesterday. Some days it is deeper and you can actually smile when you think about your lost one, remembering them. Give yourself time, and don’t let anyone tell you how to grieve or make you think that you have done enough of it. It does get easier.

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  27. Don’t let anyone tell you that you were wrong to make that decision you and your husband were there and seen the situation as it was and made the decision that you thought were best for your baby. You have enough going on to deal with other people’s negativity. You are still holding on to God. We have no right to judge you and your husband and if your story helps one parent make the right decision about their children’s car seat you have done well. You and your family will be in my prayers because you are and will forever grieve for your child, praying that God will continue to comfort you guys through this journey. Be blessed

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  28. I’m amazed by your strength and commitment to your posting your journey. Your Anniston would be proud of you for making a difficult decision and for sharing your posts so that others might be educated. As to your pain, it’s yours. No one should judge you or belittle you or your grieving process. Everyone deals with grief differently. May God bless you and your family.

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