The Last Night

Exactly one year ago, I was out at a concert enjoying myself for the first time in a long time. I had kissed my baby girl goodnight and left as my broken-hearted son clung to me, tears streaming down his face begging me not to leave.
In the car, my friend looked over at me and told me we didn’t have to go, he didn’t mind staying in with the kids. I said to him “let’s go. I need this!” And off we went to see Simple Plan.
So many people were happy to see me out having fun. We even went out after the concert. It had been a long time since I had been anywhere. I had been going through such a difficult time, I really needed the break, the escape. I was at a turning point and learning that as a mother, I have needs too. That night was a huge first step in reclaiming my life.
Life was chaotic. When I tell people that Bella was a handful, it’s assumed she was a typical active child. There was nothing typical about her. She tested me in every possible way she could and introduced me to my breaking point. Add in the stress of a broken home and a 5 year old who was struggling emotionally. The 3 of us were a disaster, but we loved each other. My kids were my whole world and I know I was also theirs.
It’s hard sitting here picturing myself having fun that night a year ago knowing what was about to happen. I have thought about how that night played out countless times. How I chose to do something fun, for myself. How my kids were with my parents. How I was feeling like a teenager, wild and free. How I woke up the next morning not feeling well. How my mom had such a rough night with Bella and called to tell me she was still sleeping. How could mom have known anything was wrong? Bella never slept anywhere but with me and her nights were always rough. 
How my mom was the one to find her. That is something I would give anything to take from her…
Tonight I sit on the beach in front of my house. It may not be Maui, but it’s still beautiful. A momma duck as her ducklings pass by me. It’s her job to protect those babies. But if she didn’t take care of herself, she would no longer be able to care for them. As their mom she would do everything she could to protect them, to make sure they are happy, healthy and well. If something were to happen to one of her babies, it wouldn’t be her fault. 
Life is unpredictable and bad things can and do happen every single day. The important thing is how we cope when these bad things happen.
Had I stayed home that night, Bella would still be gone. I am certain of this. She chose to leave this realm and it’s up to us how we choose to cope with what happened. 
Tomorrow will be a difficult day for us, but we will all be together.
Please help honour Bella’s memory by wearing pink tomorrow. Thank you for the love and support.

#StayStrong❤️

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