Our World

In the early months after we lost Hadley, during those foggy seconds of awakening, I would realize my life all over again. The air in the room would be sucked away and my feet would feel too heavy to lift out of bed.

Each and every morning at 6 a.m.

I would then go through my day in a haze of grief and wonder how the rest of the world was spinning…

how other people were chatting and shopping and remembering to do things like eat dinner and put gas in the car.

I wondered if my feet would ever feel lighter, if my vision would ever stop glazing over.

Four and a half years later, I am strong enough to walk without a thought.

team walking

My view is as present as it can be with a piece of my heart gone.

We walked for the March of Dimes this past weekend and I was there.

I soaked up my kids and the confidence and inches they have grown.

I hugged our friends and family and wished I had written them each a personal thank you for coming… my feelings come out much better on paper.

I marveled at our luck with the weather and wanted my husband closer every time we drifted apart.

dad with kids

I was there, for every moment.

As we reached The Memory Garden, I saw my daughter’s name, planted among flowers and messages that had already begun collecting there.  I thanked God that big sunglasses partially block the Ugly Cry and waited for my husband and kids to come close so we could craft messages of our own.

memorial flowers

While I attempted to refrain from heaving sobs over my daughter’s name, life went on. Runners pushed past, strollers bumped through, someone interrupted my space to ask for a water bottle for her dog and those early feelings rushed back.

I am alone. My daughter has died. The rest of the world is still turning and I am standing still.

But then I looked up and all I could see was our team, a sea of family and friends waiting for us. They all stood back, giving our little family space, but they were there. Stopping the world with us. To remember.

When I was ready to walk again, my husband took my hand and we continued on, one step at a time, each easier than the next, surrounded by our team. A team whose reach is far greater than just one day or one moment and who would do anything to help our family reach the finish line.

kids holding hands


I will never be able to put into words how grateful I am to all of you.

team picture

Those who donated or walked or sent words of encouragement or took two seconds to think of us on Sunday. We walked with the strength of all of you whether you were there or not.

You have made this path so much easier to travel.

kids at finish line

 Linking up with Shell and PYHO

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  1. says

    I find it easier to write out my emotions then to say them too!
    Your words are beautiful here and so so captivating. I have felt this way when grief has hit me as well… how is the world still spinning?
    You are an inspiration to every parent, and person who is struggling.
    Leighann recently posted..Say Yes to Meeting A Celeb!

  2. Ella says

    Thanks God for all those wonderful people who make us realize, there will be days like that, but eventuallly, you know you will be ok, and that God has given allot of other very good reasons to keep going.
    Ella recently posted..Low Carb Diets That Work

  3. Nancy Percha says

    Your post was easy to understand and feel.. I sat here in tears and wished I could give you a hug. The loss of a child is something that grasps your soul some days and you wonder how you can keep putting one foot in front of the other somedays. But then there are all these other wonderful people who put us back together , brush us off and help us back up. Thanks God for all those wonderful people who make us realize, there will be days like that, but eventuallly, you know you will be ok, and that God has given allot of other very good reasons to keep going. God bless you Jessica. You and your family are just the best. Hugs to all of you!

  4. Garett Miller says

    I admire your courage and strength. Life after a loss, you are so brave. The post is to touching it actually made me wanna cry.
    Garett Miller recently posted..maxworkoutsreview.net

  5. Ashley Wagner says

    I know that you are sad of what had happen to your angel yet you are facing the world with hopes. I am sad while reading this blog but be strong always and I know you can cope up with it because I feel that you are a fighter.
    Ashley Wagner recently posted..vimax patches

  6. Sharon {Grumpy, Sleepy, and Bashful} says

    Oh, my goodness. I know I’m tired, and probably have PMS, but this brought tears to my eyes. I wish I had known, I would have donated. I wish I was closer, I would have walked!

    What a beautiful way with words you have, and what a strong voice you let shine through.
    Sharon {Grumpy, Sleepy, and Bashful} recently posted..Making Homemade Laundry Detergent (Follow Up)

  7. says

    God, this made me cry… i don’t know what to say except that i am moved by this post as a mother. Such a beautiful post.
    Alicia D recently posted..tHERsDay

  8. Corey Feldman says

    Wow, what an incredibly powerful post. As a parent I can’t even begin to imagine your loss and pain. My heart hurts just thinking about it. I wish you and your family so much peace and love.
    Corey Feldman recently posted..Egrets first sleepover

    • says

      Thank you so much Corey, it has been a tough road but we have learned to look at life and appreciate it in such a different way.

  9. Perry says

    I could say something that would make it better, that would make the pain less, that could tell you how much my heart hurts for your family. I really was touched and inspired reading it.
    Perry recently posted..Best Time To Get Pregnant

  10. Tim@sogeshirts says

    You and your family are so brave and truly honor your daughter every day.

  11. says

    I wish that I could say something that would make it better, that would make the pain less, that could tell you how much my heart hurts for your family. I’m so sorry. And so happy that you can now see the wonderful support network there for you.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.
    Natalie @MamaTrack recently posted..A Pink Baby

  12. says

    This was an amazing post to read, and brought tears to my eyes. How the world stopped for you, and you looked up at your team, who stopped WITH you to be still in that moment, where it used to be just you who stood still. How breathtaking. *HUG* So glad you share these words here.
    Frelle recently posted..The End of A Friendship

    • says

      Thank you so much Katie, looking forward to talking with you. And I need to come spend 10 hours on your new site.

  13. Helen says

    As a mother, I know how hard it is to lose a child. But losing hope should not be your option. What has happened to you the past few years without your daughter? Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.
    Helen recently posted..See this web page

  14. says

    Oh good lord… your perspective on the day, the love, the support, the thankfulness that oozes through your words? It all put me on the verge of the ugly cry. The part where you wanted your husband closer each time the distance got uncomfortable… You are a beautiful person. Your writing, your family, your heart… beautiful!
    Tayarra recently posted..I love you bigger

  15. says

    I am so proud of you and your family. This is an amazing thing that you do each year. This post, like many of your posts do, made me smile through tears of sadness and joy. I know that heaviness too well. Thankfully it does get lighter with each passing day. Sending you gobs of love. xoxo
    Tonya recently posted..Looking Back & Forward

  16. MommaKiss says

    That damn ugly cry, well, sometimes it’s just needed. Don’t ever stop yourself from those feelings.

    I know how much this means to you and love you mucho.
    MommaKiss recently posted..my eyes!

  17. says

    Tears….this is a beautifully heartbreaking post, your pics have me choked up!!!. Im so proud of you for doing this each year and hope someday I can use some of your strength and experiences to do this myself as well. Love to you xoxo xo
    Nan recently posted..Tuesday Link-Up With Tesha

  18. says

    And cue the ugly cry….We always walk too and it is so uplifting. We have 3 who were born early and while they are physically healthy now I remember all too well the fear when I went into labor early. Your family is beautiful.
    Delilah recently posted..So What?

    • says

      Thanks so much Delilah. It’s amazing isn’t it? How far our preemies have come. I still can’t believe that my survivors were those teeny babies in incubators four years ago. Hope you had a great walk.

  19. sue says

    Walking in Hadley’s name is an honor. She is always remembered and in our hearts <3

    • says

      Thanks Ash, It’s such an amazing day and hard to put all the feelings into words. Thank you so much for your support.