Kaya is my beautiful, brave, smart, and talented seven year old daughter. She has the biggest brown chocolate eyes that melt my heart. Her smile is contagious and her laugh warms my spirit. She has an unmovable faith and trust in her Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. When I look down on her kind and gentle face, I look up to the person she’s helping me become. She is the perfect example of courage and hope. She brings light to my sometimes darkened soul. I look down…to my sweet child…. to look up. Our lives have changed more than we could have ever anticipated over the last two months. Everything we knew and loved is now different. And yet, Kaya shows me how to have courage every day.
After the accident Kaya stayed at my parents for several days while I was in the hospital. Kaya felt comforted knowing she was surrounded by family and loved ones. Kaya loved having Grandma and Grandpa around to give her hugs and kisses when mommy and daddy couldn’t. Grandma and Grandpa are two of her favorite people. Grandpa is always willing to read her a good book and Grandma never says no to playing dolls. The three of them make the perfect trio, loving to laugh and smile. However, after the funeral and when life began to seem ‘real’ to her, the only place she wanted to be was…home. “Mama, when can we go home?” she’d ask.
I wasn’t sure I was ready to go home. I knew what going home would bring…constant reminders of what I had lost. Yet, Kaya was insistent on going home…. so we packed up everything from Grandma and Grandpa’s and set out for home. As we pulled up to the driveway I felt hesitant, nervous, and afraid. “I guess we’re here,” I said, turning around to look at Kaya in the back seat. Her face was shining and bright. There was the biggest smile on her face. She wasn’t nervous at all. She felt peace and comfort knowing she was home among familiar pictures on the wall and toys in her closet. She was right where she was meant to be. That night she slept soundly in her own room …in the basement. I was sure she would need me sometime throughout the night, so I saved a spot next to me in my bed for her. But morning came and no Kaya…she had slept in her room the entire night.
Kaya shows me bravery and courage.
Kaya was anxious to go back to school and see her friends. She started out slowly… by only going for half a day, until one short week later, she was back to school full time. Each morning before school, Kaya picks out a stuffed friend to take with her to class. “Having a stuffed animal makes me feel better,” she says. Despite all the change in her life, Kaya continues to have a smile on her face. Going back to school was harder than she thought it would be, but she keeps going because she knows it’s good for her and that it is where she needs to be. “Daddy and Evee are with me at school,” she told me one afternoon shortly after going back school. She said it in such a matter of fact way…it didn’t surprise her that her daddy and sister wanted to be with her at school.
Kaya shows me faith and trust.
When Kaya notices I’m sad, she will comfort me and tell me everything will be ok. She is always willing to give mom a hug and wipe away the tears from off her cheek. Kaya loves talking about her dad and sister. She loves watching videos of them and loves laughing at the memories. Kaya shows me faith, hope, and courage every day. She is the reason I strive to be better today than I was yesterday. I look down…to my brown eyed girl…to look up.