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In honor of Brandi Nichole

I thought a great deal about whether I wanted to write anything today and at first I said no.  I have changed my mind feeling like I have something to say.  Today is a very difficult day for me.  My daughter Brandi Nichole died 5 years ago today.  This year has been difficult.  I think the reason that it has been difficult is because there are so many things I see that are upsetting.

Let me start from the beginning.  I had someone ask me if I knew Brandi was going to die and there is nothing I could do to change that would I have still given birth to her if given the choice.  I said I would absolutely not pass up the honor of being her mother.  The question was ridiculous to me.  Death is inevitable.  No one gets out of life alive.  Death is the one certainty.
Here however is my struggle.  Do I regret the times that I worked instead of going to a basketball game? Do I regret the days that I was busy instead of spending time with my daughter?  Do I wish I could have a do over to make every minute count? Absolutely. I come to you today asking you, begging you not to take life for granted.  Don’t take people for granted.  Don’t carry grudges.  Don’t pass up the opportunity to tell someone that you love them.  Don’t forget to hug your child.  Don’t forget to hold hands with your spouse.
I was at my doctor’s office and I had to fill out one of those information forms.  I got down to the one about family history and by father, I wrote deceased – mother, deceased – brother, deceased – sister, deceased and by the time I got to children and had to write deceased I was devastated.  When I saw it on paper I realized they are all gone.  There are no do overs.  I cannot say those things I wanted to say.  I cannot get to know my brother and sister better.  I cannot tell my mother and father how much I love them and what great parents they are.  I cannot hug my baby ever again.
Please, remember to always let joy in, to forgive quickly, to love with your whole heart, to smile from the inside out.  Remember that the one certainty in life is death and make every second count.  That is the legacy I want to leave in remembrance of  my daughter Brandi Nichole, born December 29, 1981 – December 2, 2008, the promise to celebrate every moment I am here and every person in my life.

May Joy and Love be in you and around you always. – Karen Cowan