It was a warm March day. A Sunday to be exact. We had been to church and were off in search for good deals on snowboards before heading to a friends house for a dinner BBQ. We stopped off at a couple of places before we ended up at Christy Sports.
My family of six headed to into the store in shorts, t-shirts, with sandals on our feet. Makenzie's little pigtails bounced up and down as her short little legs headed for the door across the parking lot. We shopped, tried on a few boots, looked at different bindings but before we left I just had to see my little 18 month old princess in the smallest boots and bindings on the cutest little snowboard that existed. We all sat and giggled at her as she begged for us to free her from her snowboard prison.
When we got to the car I remember noticing Makenzie having a dirty diaper. I remember deciding to wait to change her until we got home instead of fighting her on the floor of the truck. As I lifted her perfect little body into the her car seat she reached down and grabbed a cracker. A cracker that was lingering after movies and snacks in the truck the day before waiting for my oldest to finish soccer practice. I did not realize she had this cracker as I was on a mission to get Makenzie into her chair.
I began to strap Makenzie into her seat when the screaming began. The car seat, from birth, had always been a battle. She hated it and it was always a fight but this particular fight would change our lives forever.
First there was a cough and I saw the cracker, then there was a gag that was not followed by a breath. I yanked her from the constraints of the car seat and flipped her upside down. I pounded and pounded...... nothing. I screamed and her dad pounded and pounded... nothing. I grabbed her in one arm while I fought with my phone to find the dial pad, all while running back into the store.
My three boys sat in the truck alone as Makenzie father was not far behind me.
As I hit the door Makenzie went limp. I screamed HELP ME as I continued to run.
It was the change of the seasons. The front of the store was cluttered with every type of outdoor furniture any one person could ever want. Makenzie sandal snagged on a chair but I just kept running. I explained to the 911 operator where we were and then I handed my daughter to Bob, some guy that worked there, and I kept running.... this time back out to the parking lot.
I don't know why, that was my girl, but I just couldn't.
I stood outside the store with my face in the brick wall pleading with God not to take my baby. I pleaded and pleaded. I screamed and sobbed. I prayed, and prayed, and prayed some more. I looked towards my truck which was now surrounded by a crowd of people. I walked over, laid eyes on my boys to make sure they were safe, and then buried my face back into the wall.
God sent angles that day in the form of two doctors that were waiting at a nearby restaurant for a table. They hear the screaming and ran over to help. Makenzie teeth were clenched, CPR was hard but it happened and fast. It happened for about 7 minutes until the ambulance arrived.
They rushed my daughter into the rig and left. Not one word spoken to me. Focused only on saving my daughters life.
I stood in the parking lot until my husband came out of the store. We stood there together and cried. Our baby left the store alive but neither one of us really understood what was to come..............
There is much more to tell about that day and one day I will but I tell you this much tonight because today when I was going through Makenzie's closet I found this............
This was the shoe that was on my babies foot that day almost four years ago. There was only one left as the other had been ripped of by the chair. I never saw the second one again.
It has been four years but I can still touch, feel, and smell that day as if it was yesterday. However, today I can remember that day without falling apart.
I saw that shoe on the self. I reached in and scooped it up and held it. I caressed it. I thought once again about that day. I tried to remember the little one piece outfit Makenzie was wearing that day and sat wishing I still had it. However I don't have it and that makes me sad. Someone decided it would be best if it disappeared from her hospital room after her accident. If it is hiding deep in a closet somewhere I would ask for it back please. If it is gone forever I guess it is gone.
In the end it is just a shoe and a cut in half flower dress but I feel like the little white sandal that had clear flowers that turned purple in the sun is a part of my life story. It is something I can hold when I want to think about that day and how far we have come from. And man have we come a long way!
I will never run from these memories. I never have. If I begin to think about March 25th I let myself go there. If I need to cry I do. If I need to beat myself up with all of the what ifs like what if...... I had changed her diaper first, what if I had cleaned out the truck after our snack, what if I had stayed home in the first place, what if I had been the one to do CPR....... I think you get the point right?.......I do, and then I forgive myself again and again even though I don't have to because what ifs don't change anything. If I need to talk about it, I do.
Tonight for the first time I felt like I should share those moments with all of you. Thank you for loving my little girl. Thank you for praying for her and following her journey! Thank you for letting her touch your heart and impact your life. It truly means so much!
I think it is now time to go cuddle up next to my little MIRACLE
Believe.... Prayer Works!