Fifth Anniversary of the Accident

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imageFive years ago was our last day with Alex before the accident. It was also a Sunday, which was a quiet lazy day. Alex played on the computer, while I took a nap, which is one of many regrets I carry with me. She came upstairs and laid her head in my lap, and asked me to pluck her eyebrows. I will always remember how she would make me stop after each hair,  and rub her eye as she said “ouch!” That day she was supposed to go to her Dads’ for school, but decided to stay the night and drive to school in the morning. We did not check the weather report that night or the next morning. We didn’t know how icy it was. If only they would taken my car; if only I would have driven; if only the school district would delayed school; if only her dad would have called to warn us about the ice; if only she would gone to her Dads’ when she originally planned; if only Landria would have driven slower; if only the lady in front of them would have put her flashers on so they would have seen her; if only I would have made different choices that led to her going to school in a different town. The list could gone on forever.
None of the what if’s and blame assignments I have given out will bring her back or change anything. The person I blame the most is myself, next would be her Dad. We were her parents, and we failed her in so many ways. He should have called her that morning, as he was up and out of the house before she ever left for school. This bit of blame is new for me. I came up this one a few months ago. He and I are not on good terms. We came together during her 8 weeks in the hospital, but it has been a struggle the last 4 years.

My daughter who was driving the car and I are estranged. She and I struggle with so many issues. I have my own limitations from before this happened. I have tried very hard to do better and be better since I became a mother. I have made many mistakes, but have never given up, even when I wanted to, which came only too often. I never thought I would survive the death of one of my children. I have often felt like I lost two children since the accident.

Forgiveness is so important, yet I am not sure I am ready. I really have this desire, as I know unforgiveness impairs the ability to heal. Perhaps, I feel it would be a betrayal to Alex, which I am sure is the case. I believe this is a thinking error that I cannot change at this point. Whether it is a choice or incapability, I’m not ready, not now.

This has been the most painful five years of my life, including the death of my mother at the age of 12.
Five years without Alexandra Makenzie, my Grace child, my binky girl, my love child, who loved and forgave, who tried to make peace, who took the backseat, even when should have been upfront and center, I will continue to trudge forward and be better and do better. I will do my best to carry her legacy forward, which is to love and do my best.

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Difficult Time of Year

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babygirl2This time of year has been very difficult since my daughter died, almost three years ago. Three years ago, we were fighting to save her life. We had so much Hope that she would wake up, and come back to us. When they first told us she would never be the same, I didn’t get it. I thought it meant the experience would transform her emotionally and mentally. It didn’t take long for me to understand they meant physically. I accepted that, as long as she could wake up. They told us that because she was young, her chances were better of surviving. If she still hadn’t woken up at 6 weeks, then her chances were slim of coming out of it. At that point, they hadn’t done an MRI, so we didn’t really know the extent of her brain injuries. I will never forget the meeting where the doctor told us her midbrain was gone. I didn’t get it, I asked him, “you mean, not coming back?” He confirmed this, which meant, no hope for her to come back to us. If she were to recover at all, it would be in veg. state. My baby, 17 years old, a senior in high school was going to either die or lay there for the rest of her life hooked up to feeding tubes and IV’s to give her the massive amounts of various meds to keep her alive. They had to feed her 20,000 calories a day for her to maintain. The storming and posturing was like running a marathon 24/7. She weighed 96 pounds when she died. We made the decision to let her go be with God. I continue to struggle with my Faith, as it was completely torn apart when she died. I wanted to die, I needed to die.
The last three years have been a fight to heal my Faith, and try to live in a way that would honor my daughter, and not disrespect her in any way. I have tried grief counseling, I have gone to twelve step meetings for 23 years, which have saved my life. I recently attended a couple Compassionate Friends meetings.
This last Summer, I got married to a wonderful guy. I never thought I would even want to do that, let alone be capable of letting someone close enough to me to get married. He has had to watch me suffer, and has been very caring and supportive. I know it has been difficult for him, and my other kids. I could write a whole segment on my other kids’ journey, and how they have given me a reason to keep going.
My son is a Senior now, which has been scary. He is right where Alex was when she died. Two days ago, a girl in his class committed suicide. Another tragedy in this small community. This is the second student who took her life since Alex died from his school. I feel utterly powerless with how to help anyone, including my son. So much death and tragedy. Two of my best friends died tragically since Alex died as well. My mother took her life when I was 11. So here I am, not going to work, in my pj’s, writing this blog, which I’m sure is utterly depressing. I have to say that writing has been a huge coping skill since the accident. I haven’t been writing as much, as I get tired of own rants. It is important to release this though. I fear I will have a break down if I don’t. My husband has encouraged me to take care of myself, and told me with everything that happened, it is okay to not be strong and march on. I have always tried my best since a little girl to be tough, and not let circumstances defeat me. Thank you to my husband and kids who give me a reason to pick up the pieces of my shattered soul and continue on.

Third Anniversary of ‘The Accident’

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Landria and Alex

Landria and Alex

Tomorrow will be three years since my two daughters and grandson were in a horrible car accident. This accident left my two daughters severely injured and my grandson with minor injuries. My youngest daughter died two months later and my older daughter had a total of 8 surgeries, with life long injuries, both physical and psychological. Denial has been our friend at times. If it weren’t for that, we never would have survived this long. At times, I have wanted to penetrate those around me who have appeared to not be as affected. Then I have to realize, usually with the help of a friend, that what appears to be not caring is really just people coping the best way they can. As Alex’s mother, of course I am going to grieve and mourn more intensely than most, except her father. I know he suffers as I do. We are not able to walk through this together at this point. I have felt angry and upset that her friends have just moved on without remembering her. They don’t see us, read or post on  her Facebook or her page I made to remember her. I forget that this doesn’t mean they don’t remember or grieve for her. What I fail to recognize at times, is that I am just so very mad, sad at sickened that my beautiful Alex is gone, no babies, no marriage, no college..the list goes on and on. I can really fall into being an angry, bitter person. I do not want to stay there though, and it usually don’t. I want to get better, I want to heal enough to pass on her legacy, which is love and forgiveness. She was much better at this, so I will try to remember to ask for direction. My Spiritual health has still not recovered from losing Alex. I have committed to going to Compassionate Friends on a regular basis. My journey isn’t over yet, and there are days when this is very difficult to say the least.

Break in Denial

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Alexandra Makenzie Malcomb

Tonight I had the realization that Alex was gone at the scene of the accident. I was reading about the different parts of her brain that were injured. I did this after hearing about another woman in a coma from being hit by a drunk driver. When I hear about other people going through this experience, I relive what we went through with Alex and my other daughter, Landria. I have been in a lot of denial about the extent of Alex’s brain injuries. Diffuse Axonal brain injury. Her mid brain was completely gone. Her Reticular Activating system had holes of dead areas through out, her pituitary gland did not function, her Basal Ganglia was damaged, she had damage to the of optic nerve pathway to her left eye. I know there was more, but that is what I remember. When brain cells die, they do not regenerate. I did not know this. When they first told us this, I thought I would die. I ran out of the meeting and locked myself in the bathroom. I could not handle hearing she was not going to come out of this. She would never walk again, she would never feed herself or be free of some kind of life support and she would never wake up..she would be in a persistent vegetative state.

After my sudden departure from the meeting, I took a deep breath, and told myself, I had to go back to the meeting for Alex. I had to keep fighting for her. This is when Neurology got involved. Her Trauma Surgeon kept them at bay to give us time to be ready for what I believe he already believed would be the outcome. In the meantime, I asked that he consult with Doernbechers Children’s Hospital in Portland, a hospital in Chicago and the East Coast. Three Neurology opinions later, besides the consults, we took her off life support. I am shattered right now. Reliving and having the denial lifted is horrible. Denial protects us at times.

This post is disturbing and hard to write, so I’m sure hard to read.
More later..hopefully not so dark.

When the Waves Hit

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Beautiful Angel Girl

Beautiful Angel Girl


It has been two years, three months and 23 days since Alex died. I don’t know why I continue to be surprised when the “sneaker wave” hits again. This is when something triggers the enormous pain from knowing in my soul my daughter really did die. Most of the time, I trudge forward in this new reality with a barrier of fog that softens the shards of pain.

I have thought about my belief or non belief in life after death. For now, I’m not sure whether I can wrap my mind around this, but I want and need to believe Alex isn’t just dead. I need to believe she is happy and safe. I want so desperately to see her again. I want to make her proud of the way I am carrying her memory and legacy forward. She was sweet, yet feisty. She expected people to be the best they could be. I don’t want her to ever be forgotten.

We are building a memorial garden for her. I will be getting married there this Summer. I am blessed to have found a genuinely wonderful person, who I wish so much could have known Alex better. The happiness is infiltrated with grief and sadness. My fiancé has been very patient, understanding and supportive. I know Alex would approve. The guilt has been difficult as well. How can I be happy when I am so very sad? I have realized that grief, sadness and happiness can co-exist.

My other kids are doing okay. My son, the youngest, is in a grief group, which has been tough for him. I can see the benefits though. The kids have protected their dad and I from their grief. As we more time has passed, this has started to change. My oldest, who was the driver is doing okay. She has lifelong injuries from the accident. She is bringing my grandson to visit soon. He was also in the accident.

When the wave hits, I have found it is best to ride it out. When it hits, it feels like it will kill me when, but resisting it by stuffing the pain has its own set of consequences.
More later…

Morose Reflection

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Thank you to Necole Stevens for this beautiful image/poem

This poems describes how I feel and think.  Life is unpredictable for sure. How do we handle success and or tragedy? Do we let it cause defeat or boast about much better we are than those not succeeding by our standards? Maybe we just do the best we can to deal with however life unfolds. I have always been a survivor. I have overcome many hardships from the time I was a little girl. Not eliciting pity, just part of of my story. I have been called tenacious, which I take as a compliment. God made me the way he knew I needed to be in order to walk through what he knew would come. I have struggled with anger and self pity because of these things, especially losing Alex. I thought for sure I would be spared from a tragedy like this as an adult. After all, I experienced enough with my mother before and after her death.

Do I trust I am done experiencing tragedy and pain? No, I really don’t. I think that is why this post from one my fave pages on FB spoke to me. I struggle with believing I will rise above my circumstances so I can live the life I’ve always dreamed of. I want to use my education, travel, not live in survival mode.

My grief, depression and self loathing gets in my way with living the life I have always hoped for. I have been told by someone who tried to help me after Alex died, that I have believed most of life that I am inherently flawed. This has been a vicious cycle. My subconscious has been there hindering my every move. The solution to all of this? Healing Spiritually is a big piece of the solution I know that much. I will continue writing, being tenacious, and yes, struggling to find my connection with God again. It is happening very slowly. I talk to Alex like I used to talk to God. So that tells me I am still seeking a spiritual connection, a connection to my Angel daughter, who I miss and love so very much.

Another Family’s Tragedy

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imageAs I follow the young man in Good Sam. ICU, I have flash backs. He is having his trach and feeding tube put in tomorrow. When you had that surgery, I didn’t realize it was because it was because they predicted you were not going to wake up anytime soon if at all. I know they don’t know that either. They don’t know all the agitation can mean. I am reading between the lines. I am also staying away and keeping my mouth shut. At first, I was a bit crazed to find a way to help. The fund raiser has been productive. Someone put an ad in the paper. I wish there would have been an article asking for prayer, letting people know what happened to you, Landria and Rylan. Not for money, for validation.. I want everyone to know. Is this selfish, unusual? I think I want to carry your memory, I didn’t want you to be forgotten. I want people to know the burden Landria carries and how broken she is. I haven’t done very well with that. I have been upset, mad and unforgiving.
I am also mad at the lady who was in front of you driving 20-25mph in the fog without flashers. I think it is disgusting she was gossiping about the speed Landria during to pass her, when it was to plow into her.the first thing she said to her dad as she was very out of from all the drugs was why were they stopped? She thought that car was stopped, she was not passing, just to pass her.

I will finish this entry tomorrow. I decided to end this entry where I left off.