23 years ago today, I gave birth to Amanda at 12:59 pm and there was snow on the ground. Never imagining that 23 years later, I would never get to wish her HAPPY 23RD BIRTHDAY AMANDA face to face. As parents, we always have the belief that our kids will outlive us. In this case, it didn’t happen. For me, her birthdate is much harder a day than her date of death. I am sure it is different for everyone who has lost a child, but for me, that is my truth.
What do you say to so many who remember who Amanda is and remember her as a 15 year year old? I say THANK YOU for remembering her and for the thoughtful messages and comment posts on social media. These kind gestures warm me up and help me to remember so many of the memories I had with my daughter.
WHAT I MISS ABOUT AMANDA
I miss Amanda and her spirited nature. Although her spirit was often what got her in deep doo doo at home when she was younger. She was always the child who wanted to switch the sugar and salt and see the reaction. She was the kid who decided she wanted to paint TODAY and then found the paint to make her art. Ummm.. Amanda, that paint doesn’t wash off ‘anything’. She was the kid that wanted to help others. As a family, I taught both my kids about kindness and compassion since they could walk and talk (sometimes not at the same time). They knew about how to treat others and what NEEDED to be done. But like all humans, mistakes were made on that path but we learn from our mistakes (whatever they may be).
It is here that I want you to think deeply about the mistakes that Amanda made in her life (as you might know them) since joining her story. Those that knew Amanda in life remember stories from the different years. If you have one, please share it!!!
WHY HER LEGACY LIVES ON
Because people are remembering what Amanda went through and if you have raised a 15 year old, one never knows how their brains are processing information or if they rationalize at all. All the words of advice in the world can be told to them and only a small portion is aborbed.
I came home tonight from an amazing graduation ceremony at the University of BC to this message:
I never got to meet you while you were alive. I did watch your YouTube video and saw your cries for help and mercy. I felt connected to you in a way that can’t be explained other then I knew our paths would cross one day. When I heard you just couldn’t go on anymore, despite everything your mom tried to do, I cried for hours. Your death had a huge impact on how I handled how life unfolded in our own family with our girls, mental illness, bullying, disabilities and daily life. Thank you for your courage in making a video to bring awareness to the cruelness and despair that’s out there that so many face everyday. It breaks my heart that you couldn’t find what you needed to keep going. I want you to know so many of us have picked up that torch and are carrying it for you. You are not forgotten.
I had a dream about you last night. You were sitting there with my baby brother he would be almost 27 if he was still with us on earth. The 2 of you were laughing together, talking about your families down there. Taking turns making shooting stars for us to see. The smiles on your faces made my heart so full and I felt such peace. No more suffering or pain for either one of you.
Remember when I said I just knew our paths would cross? Well it wasn’t really you and me, it was your mom and me! 2 momma bears doing whatever we can for our cubs! I never knew how much strength I had until I had kids and then a kid with special needs and mental health challenges on top of it all! Your mom is a hero to me.. someone I respect and honour highly. She’s in the trenches, the arena of life and is doing it with such incredible courage, vulnerability, love, compassion, kindness and tenacity. She is someone I can lock arms with and soldier on, to embrace life with. Your light didn’t go out when you crossed over. And you have your mom to thank for that. Countless lives are being changed because of you, your journey, your story, your mom and her daily choice to keep going no matter what, when you couldn’t any more. Your spirit lives on and I’m a recipient of it!
Happy birthday beautiful angel!
The words written above means so much to me on this day. And I hope somewhere in this universe, that Amanda can see it and know that she is loved and missed.
With humbleness and appreciation for all those support me,