Haddie Bo Bo,
It’s been awhile since I have written. There has been a lot going on. One being your brother who likes to occupy both of my arms most of the day, and that makes it hard to type. He looks so much like you. Especially now that he flashes a huge grin. There are times where he looks so much like you that I have to look away. Sometimes it makes me cry. I have tried to tell him about you many times and I cry. He also looks a lot like you when he is sleeping, but not in a good way. Your Daddy has said it too that when he sleeps he looks like that last time we saw you. You weren’t alive. So then we poke him and make him show us that he is alive.
Another reason it’s been awhile is that we had our first annual Every Child Wakes Up 5k. It was wildly successful. There were a few glitches that we will fix for next year but over all it was great. So many people showed their support by sponsoring, volunteering, running, walking, etc. They came from as close as next door and as far away as Los Angeles, California. My vision for this event was to celebrate your life and raise awareness about safe sleep. I can’t tell you how weird it is to see your name on flyer and banners. To see your face on tv is the strangest thing. I believe that if you were alive, being on TV or the center of attention wouldn’t be your first choice. But since you have passed you have become known. You represent something, your face, your story.
On the race course there was quit a steep hill. I struggled to walk up the hill. One friend said that as she was huffing and puffing up the hill that she almost gave up. But then she said that she remembered why she was doing this race. She did it for you Haddie. She kept breathing because you couldn’t.
Another friend posted the following on facebook:
This was such a fun run for an amazing cause. There were times during the run when I questioned why I was doing this…mostly when I was trying to make it up that HUGE hill…but my mind quickly remembered sweet Haddie Sue and I would run up 100 hills to honor her! So proud of you Sandy for all you do to honor Haddie and to raise awareness to others. 💜💜💜
This brought tears to my eyes. Many times in my new life, life without you, I wonder why am I still doing this. It can be so hard and hurt so much. So many times if I am honest I find myself wanting to give up. Not wanting to wake up the next morning, or just waiting for bed time so I can go to sleep and find some peace. But it’s in times like these that I have to choose to honor you by living. I have to breath because you can’t. I have to make it up that hill for you. I have to choose to be brave. Everyday. For you, for Elo and Fitz, for me. My friend gave me this bracelet the day of the race and it means so much to me. It reminds me that I have to choose to live bravely and that is how I honor you.
I figured out the numbers today and the Every Child Wakes Up 5k raised $5900. That is 639 sleep sacks. That is 639 lives that can be saved. It is 639 times that I can share your story and hopefully prevent a family from experiencing our pain.
I love you so much. I will fight for you everyday.