Your Life

I shared life with Anniston for 3 years 8 months 14 days and on this day I have lived life without her for 3 years 8 months 14 days. Our time together was amazing and while I have made the best of our new life it still sucks to not have her.

I struggle daily to not hate Anniston’s dad for more reasons than I can count. I give more credit than is deserved. I want to think that someone is better than they are for very obvious reasons. I want to think that because he was her dad that he would never do something like this on purpose. I want to believe that he truly is sorry for what happened. I want to more than anything to not be consumed of my own thoughts and ideas of what happened. I wish I could stop giving him credit that he does not deserve.
I know I hold no fault, I am strong, and he a coward.
I want to share pictures of her life but also the life that we live now.

Day one

First Birthday

Second Birthday

Third Birthday
Her very very happy face over some dang clothes.

She was so excited to become a big sister!

Our first picture together he was just days old. Top right is the first time she was able to meet him.

She loved her little brother more than I could ever express.

Her smile, kisses, and country little voice I miss so very much.

Cohen’s first Halloween and Anniston’s last.

20131130_224958-MOTIONI wonder who you would be today.

Cohen celebrated his first birthday without her.

His second birthday

1235.jpg

Although he didn’t understand in this picture he still knew who she was his sister

His third birthday
20170205_103528
The day he lived longer than his big sister

His fourth birthday

So many things she should be here to do with us!
The life she was robbed of and the things she never got to do.

With the help of these people getting up is much easier. I knew after Anniston’s death being depressed would accomplish nothing. I found a way to put my feet back on the floor and live. Each day is a struggle but these guys make it easier.

Kinnlee and Raylee never got to meet Anniston but they talk about her like they grew up with her. They are two of the best little humans I could be around.

Without the love and support of people around you it would be impossible to move forward in life. I have accepted that she is gone but I have not accepted the story that I got. Nothing but the truth is good enough for me and I know that I will probably never get the truth. Some days I am okay with that. . . when holidays come around or special outings with my family I wish more than anything to just share those times with my Anniston but I can’t. She can watch from above and know that she is loved and missed by everyone in my family. Mississippi May 2017 1170
This guy keeps me grounded. When days are hard he is there. No matter if we had space between us. From the moment I let him be there for me, he has been. Forever indebted to his shoulder and listening ears.

Anniston Jade
I feel like I failed you. I can only hope that you do not feel that way.
3 years 8 months and 14 days was just not enough for me. I needed more time with you and I wish for it every day. If I could have just 1 more day or 1 more hour with you. I would appreciate your sound, giggle, heart beat, smile, dance, and kisses. We would snuggle as much as you wanted to. I would lay on your chest and listen to the sound of your heart and your tummy. I would take more deep breathes when you would get an attitude with me. I would find a way to discipline in a way that you would never doubt my love for you because I feel like I failed you.
I love you my dear child and I miss you more than I could ever express.
Here is to another 3 years 8 months 14 days without you my love.

Advertisements

Three years later

I want to know how you live with yourself? I have gotten to a new point in my grieving stage that makes me question almost everything to do with Anniston’s death. These past three years I have trusted God but lately well since January 12, 2017 I started questioning God.

Why God?
Why Anniston?
Why did she have to die?
Why did you cross the center line?
Why does everyone thank God when ultimately my baby died?
Why did he live?
Why did he have to hit someone else and hurt them?
So many “why’s” and questions that are unanswered.

There is a family who is constantly thanking God for saving their child and I question them knowing that I would be thanking God if the role was reversed. So I am not angry with them because they are only doing what they know to do. I am more jealous of them because they can thank God that their son wasn’t hurt more than he was. I am jealous and thankful because they still have their son. They could have done so much more to you but they are a Godly family who just wishes the best for my family and your family because they can’t imagine the pain that you caused us.

I wonder how you live like you used to. Nothing has stopped you from living a normal life. Which in a way isn’t a bad thing because you are only doing what you know. Your life is still just as it was before she died. Nothing stopped you from carrying on a life like you didn’t have a child. You don’t want to share her story. You don’t want to stop things that you used to do. You don’t advocate for Anniston. It makes me mad. Your life was not fully affected by her death because you didn’t see her every day.

I question myself. “Mikki, why did you not take him down for vehicular homicide?”

If the other family had lost their son in that accident because you crossed the line I would think they would want you held reliable for your actions. BUT because Anniston was your daughter it was ruled an accident because there was no proof of wrong doing on your behalf. I took it upon myself to ask questions though.

Mikki- “What was Spencer doing at the scene?”
Anonymous- “He was more worried about his car than your daughter.”
Mikki- “Was speed a factor?”
Anonymous- “Witnesses say he was passing cars at excessive speeds.”
So I asked you, Spencer, what happened?
Do you know to this day I have never gotten one answer from you. You have told me multiple different ones. At the very moment of impact speed may not have been a factor but your reckless driving is what caused this.


 

The death of Anniston has pushed me past all limits. I have been at my lowest and yet I still manage to find a way to be happy. People who dwell on the negativity in life are such a bothersome to me. I have thought, why couldn’t it have been me? Why couldn’t I take Anniston’s place and she still be here? Some people think about suicide or turn to drugs and alcohol which makes me ask, how? My life has been at the lowest of low and yet there still is no way I could do such things to cope. I stand up and I put my two feet in the ground and I live life the best way that I know how. Anniston was a bright 3 year old who had so much life left to live so who would I be if I lived my life like that and let Anniston just die.

Her story has so much sadness behind it. It has so much life in it that can help so many people from the same heartache that I have been through and that is what I aim for. Consistently find our new normal every day without Anniston and be happy. Each day is a new day and each day is one more day with my family that Anniston didn’t have.

 

It’s Your Fault

I’m angry. 

These are the words I should have said a long time ago.

Anniston was my first love, no matter what I always had Anniston. You robbed Anniston of a life. You robbed her of growing up. She never had her first day of school. You robbed her brother a life with his sister. All he has are stories that I share with him and videos of her. You robbed me the relationship with my daughter and you also robbed yourself of that. Anniston will never find her true love, she will never marry, and you robbed the man she was supoose to be with of a love he will never know. He will settle for what he thinks is true because his is no longer here. 

I married you because I thought I needed you. I was very clear about that from the start. We had spent many, pure hell, years together. I married you for the wrong reasons. I protected you from the truth of everyone including your friends. I was asked many times “how do you do it?” I felt very deep down that you did not purposely hurt Anniston. Your story come to surface and my opinion about you changed. I talked to people who was at the scene. I come up with my side of the story. Wrong or not it is all I have because you are to much of a coward to tell me the truth. After 2 and a half years though, you couldn’t tell me anything that I would believe. 

I don’t know that you care. You find comfort in the very thing that killed her. I don’t wish bad on you but I don’t wish anything good for you either. I hope people come out of their shell and tell you just what they think of you. I hope you realize the life you took from our beautiful daughter. I hope you know what you’re missing out on. While you try to forget about her story I hope you relive those final days. 

Let me share the final picture of my daughter.

You can see her cheek, forehead, and nose because she is laying in the casket you put her in.

Two years later

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.

A year later

On January 12, 2014, my life was forever changed by one phone call. “Baby, I had a wreck” was all I heard on the other end of the phone talking to our daughters dad. In a split second, our lives changed by a brief moment that caused the car to go into the other lane of oncoming traffic.

2015/01/img_0191-0.jpg
Anniston Jade was born on May 8, 2010. She was a beautiful little girl. We watched her grow everyday & like all parents, we had hopes and dreams for her. When she was born, Anniston had jet black hair and it was a straight as could be. As she grew older, it turned blonde and curly. She was the prettiest thing we had ever seen.
I will never forget her excitement as she opened up her presents on her 3rd birthday. A pack of panties made her the happiest little girl and she kept thanking her Mimi for them.
As parents, our hopes and dreams are far different than what God has planned for our children. We wanted her to be in dance and play sports. Live a life full of laughter and fun. However, God’s plan wasn’t like that. God knew his plan for her when I conceived her. Anniston’s purpose in life was to help others and to give life to others.
On January 15, 2014, after 3 days in LeBonheur Children’s Hospital, things had started improving. I thought there was a chance she would pull through then the doctors ordered her an MRI. The results were life changing for everyone. A spinal cord injury changed everything. At C1 & C2, there was bleeding into the spinal cord and a hematoma. At C7 & Th1, there was a distraction dislocation. That is a cervical injury that everyone knows as quadriplegic.

2015/01/img_0401.jpg

2015/01/img_0402.jpg

There was no surgery to fix it. There was nothing we could do to help our baby girl. Her body was so delicate and frail she could no longer do a single thing for herself.

2015/01/img_0404.jpg
Her daddy and I knew after hearing those words what we had to do. We made everyone leave the hospital so we could be alone with Anniston. We didn’t tell anyone what the doctors had told us. It had to sink in to us what the next coming weeks would mean. The next few days things really changed and she started going down hill. I was asked to sign a do not resuscitate form but I didn’t, instead we signed organ donation papers.

2015/01/img_0421.jpg
Anniston’s body was failing her and if we didn’t act fast nothing would have been left to help anyone. On January 21, we decided it was time and the matches had been found. On January 22, in the early hours of the morning the machine was turned off and our sweet Anniston was wheeled off to surgery where doctors would carefully work on her little body, taking out the organs that would live in someone else.
Anniston’s purpose in life was fulfilled at the young age of 3.

Fast forward to present day-
To live a year without a piece of your heart is hard. There isn’t a day that passes where you do not wish it wouldn’t have been you. The guilt you feel for letting your child down, for not protecting her better. God knows the plans for your life before you do.

I have faced a year of all new firsts & 2015 will bring a year of new seconds. Each year will be different.
People have told me time heals, time will progress, and things will get better. People who believe this have never lost a child. All time has allowed me to do is appreciate what I do still have with me on earth. Time has allowed me the chance to learn how to live again because that is simply what you have to do.

The importance of car seat safety is the difference in life and death. Anniston sat in a no back booster with the adult strap.

2015/01/img_0420.jpg

Our daughter should have been in a 5 point harness seat but we didn’t know that then. I can not stress it enough how important the proper using the proper car seat and in the proper way is. It is real life folks, it’s our children’s lives!

2015/01/img_0405.jpg