Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A very special girl...

18 years ago today my niece, Brittany Ann was born in Springfield, Missouri.
I will never forget that day.
My sister had toximia, and was forced to have a c-section almost 3 months before her due date.  They brought little Brittany out on a cart on the way to the NICU and she was barely 3 lbs. She looked like a baby bird.  My whole family and I slept on the chairs and floor of the waiting room for days praying and hoping for my sister and new baby niece to be okay.
After many weeks in the hospital she was allowed to go home.  I moved in to my sister and brother in law's apartment, and we all set alarm clocks to get up and feed Brittany.  She was so tiny that she barely could cry.  June 29, 1993 was one of the best days of our lives, as we welcomed a tiny new family member into our lives.
Brittany grew stronger day by day, and turned into a beautiful young lady!  She was spunky, sassy, sweet and everything a little girl should be.  She had her own opinions on life, and there was no way you could change them!  (A girl after my own heart!)
She loved her dogs, Bingo and Jesse.  She loved the computer, she loved her friends.  She loved her bird, Squawky, but most of all, she loved her family!
Brittany would come stay at my house for weeks in the summer, helping me with the rescue dogs.  I never could understand why or how this girl could stay up all night listening to her Ipod and watching tv!  I could barely stay up past 10!
When she was in junior high, there were many times I would get her out of school early and take her to concerts!  I am not going to admit what concerts we saw, but let's put it this way.  I would be forcing her to go and she was like, 'Aunt Karen I can't believe you like Kelly Clarkson...' haha.
Brittany was the flower girl in my wedding.  She had strep throat that weekend, but that didn't stop her.  She danced the night away and melted my heart when she told me, 'I love you Aunt Karen because now I have an Uncle!'
On Mother's Day 2010, I told my whole family that Aaron and I were expecting a baby!  Right away Brittany knew it was a girl!  She didn't even think twice!  She was so excited to have her very first cousin, and I know her and Lucy would have been best friends.
Brittany helped plan my baby shower, and was there early to help decorate.  There is NOTHING you could ask her to do that she wouldn't do to help you out.  Her answer was always, 'no problem, Kare!'  I can hear her saying that now...

For those of you who know me, know that on October 26th, 2010 my beloved niece passed away.  It was by far, the worst day of our lives.  I have never felt such pain in my heart, and I hope to never again.  Not only pain for MY loss of MY niece, but pain for my sister and her husband, and my parents.
I cannot say I understand what my sister and her husband are going through, but I can say that NO ONE EVER deserves to lose their child!  It's NOT fair, and YES... it is hard to understand why God takes children away from their parents.  WHY?  Our family is Christian and believe in God's plan, but let me tell you, some days it's pretty darn hard to do.
I was 7 months pregnant at the time, and felt the worst guilt in the world for being so happy to have a baby girl, when my sister lost hers.
In the last 8 months, it has been very hard for all of us, with the happiness and love of a new addition to the family, and a horrible, painful loss of another family member.
You know, when you are shopping or out and about, you look around at the people next to you and you just never know what people are going through.  They could smile and act polite, but really, did they just lose their child?  Family member?  Best Friend?  You never know.  I try to keep that in mind now, because even the simplest little things and the random acts of kindness can make someone's day a little easier.
Brittany loved to Co-Exist t- shirts, and I see those bumper stickers all the time.  It's like she is saying, 'be nice Aunt Karen!'
Does every day get better?  No.  It doesn't.  The pain is in my heart from the minute I wake up until the minute I go to sleep at night.  I love Brittany and will NEVER let her legacy die.  Whenever I see a sassy little teenage girl, I just smile... because that was our 'B.'  Her and I didn't always see eye to eye, but I appreciated the fact that she had her own opinion and I loved her for being an individual.
Whenever we all get together now, there is 1 person missing in the room.  An extra spot on the couch, a gaping hole that will never be filled again.  That emptiness will always be there, because we will always have a spot for little Brittany.
I know that every single day she is looking down on Lucy.  I just feel it.  And I swear, that little birthmark on her leg was a kiss from an angel.  :-)
Here are some pictures of us, some were too hard to post today.
I love you Brittany, and God better be making you an amazing birthday cake in heaven.

B with Slim when he was a baby

All of us in Canada

My girl and I at my wedding

Her and Aaron in Canada buying supplies to fix my grandpa's walkway

She loved this darn t shirt

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