Type One Diabetes can often be mistaken for other illnesses, so knowing the symptoms can save a life.
If unsure, ask for a simple blood or urine test.
Bella wrote this note to her sister just a few hours after Hailey passed away, using my cell phone:
The first time I read it, it broke my heart yet again, into a million little pieces. But I saved it anyway. To this day, it’s still there.
Every now & then I will look at it & remember. Remember the pain & the heartache. But the love too. The sweet words from one sister & best friend to another.
It also encouraged me to start writing letters to Hailey & I have been doing so for over a year now.
How do we stop communicating to our loved ones after death?
We can’t. Just like we can’t stop loving them…
They are always with us, in our thoughts & prayers. Embedded in our hearts & our DNA.
We always remember.
Up until last April, we were a normal family of five. My husband, our 3 beautiful daughters & I. Not perfect, but perfectly happy. Our world was our family; our girls.
Living life like most, we did the best we could, to the best of our ability. Like many, we passed through many storms but were strong enough to overcome & survive them. Love, was the reason.
Even after all the mistakes, we were good people.
But bad things happen, even to good people.
Not just bad things. The worst unimaginable things.
It happened to us, while on a family vacation in Bolivia.
It was supposed to of been a vacation. A family reunion with my mom. The girls’ grandma; whom they never met. So much excitement & anticipation. Years & months of saving & planning. It was supposed to of been a wonderful trip filled with beautiful memories made.
Instead it turned out to be a nightmare. One that you can never wake from. One that reoccurs, night after night…
Just two days into our trip, our middle daughter Hailey fell really ill. We took her to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes.
She was supposed to of been ok after treatment. Even after receiving this life changing diagnosis, she was supposed to of survived. We should of left that hospital & Bolivia, holding her hands…all the way back home.
But we didn’t. We couldn’t. We never got the chance.
We lost our babygirl less than 24 hours of her diagnosis, to DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis).
She was just 10 years old. Two weeks shy from her 11th birthday.
Even today, using the word “lost” doesn’t sound just. Our insides felt as though we were robbed, punished…
We were robbed of our innocent little girl, without even getting a chance to fight for her life. She was here one moment & gone the next. A parents worst nightmare, come true.
Blind-sighted. Shocked. Devastated. Broken.
As parents- how did we not know she was sick? How did we not pick up on any of the signs?
Denial. Disbelief. Guilt.
We didn’t know then, that is nature of this disease.
A year later, we are still learning.
We are still grieving.
We are still holding on, even if only barely. But blessed to have many below, to catch us if we fall.
But we don’t want to fall.
Hailey deserves more. Her sisters, Kayla & Isabelle do too…
We want to honor Hailey’s life & share her love & light with others, the same way she has with us.
We want her memory to not only live on with us; the lucky ones who knew & loved her- but everyone else too.
Hailey was beautiful inside & out. She was sweet, smart, funny, sassy & the sunshine in our lives. She loved babies, children & animals too…truly an angel. Our angel.
Besides sharing her love & light, it’s also important that we share her story.
Because if this happened to us, it can happen to anyone. It has happened.
It keeps happening.
This disease does not discriminate by race, age or sex. It’s not preventable. It’s devastating, even to those who survive diagnosis. The battle is lifelong.
Please educate yourself & educate others on the symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes.
It might just save a life.
I can’t say we are just a normal family anymore…
We are more.
Even with our shattered hearts, there’s still love there even deeper than before.
It has opened our eyes to what’s really important & even on the days when we question the universe, all we have to do is remember that love…
We still love and miss her. It still hurts. Everyday.
But love, we have learned, always overcomes.
And despite everything, we are still good people….
But in honor & in memory of our daughter Hailey, we will strive to be better. 💜