If you are new here or have stumbled across this page, welcome. You may be unfamiliar with our story. At the end of June 2013, our beautiful baby girl Shaundi was born and she was perfect and such a joy! In early September, my husband found her unresponsive and not breathing. Life with one of our babies gone has been hard. I’ve shared our journey here.
Shaundi is 2 years old. Not technically, but she would be. We still count her in our lineup of ages. The kids ask how old she is, and that is what they mean, “how old WOULD she BE if she was still here?” So yes, Shaundi is just over two years old.
It’s really hard for me to imagine her being two years old. If I really try, I can imagine that maybe she would really love painting and play dough, but she would do silly things still — like put the Play Doh in her mouth and then paint her arms.
I only picture her as two ages. She is a baby. Tiny and brand new, so soft. Or, she’s this intelligent, mature being that’s wise and knows everything and has stepped back to see the big picture. At this stage of being in my mind, she is capable of making decisions to do things — like leave us. And that hurts. I don’t like that image, but it’s there. It makes me angry with her. Didn’t she want to be with our family? Couldn’t SHE have done something? Fought harder? God knows, I tried. I don’t like this picture at all.
I don’t want to picture her either way. I want to picture a 2 year old, sitting in my lap, looking through some books, reading a Dr Seuss story that seems to go on and on, having these endless sentences with words that don’t make sense. Sentences that make her smile.
I want her to be wild and to drive her sisters crazy. I want her to crawl under my bed and get stuck because she’s just barely too big to fit there anymore. I want her to stand up in her crib and reach for me when I come in. I want her to cry with disappointment that the day is over when I say it’s bedtime.
I want to transition her to a big girl bed and work on potty training. I want to cut up fruit into little pieces for her, even thought she tells me she’s a big girl and can eat a whole apple slice. I want to wash her clothes and give her a bath — shampoo her hair and listen to her shriek is the water falls into her eyes.
That never happened. None of it, because she left me. I couldn’t keep her safe enough, or healthy enough or happy enough to stay.