I remember when Natalynn was born. Well, I wasn't there, but my mom told me her brother (my uncle) called her and said something like "She's here!" and told my mom that the labor was rough, ending in a c section, but Natalynn and her mom, were okay. My mom had tears in her eyes telling me she heard Natalynn crying in the background. Being a mother and also being pregnant with my son, this brought tears to my eyes too. I was so so happy for my Uncle. And very much looking forward to seeing and meeting Natalynn.
I did meet Natalynn when she must have been about 3 months old. She was a happy, easy going baby. The proof is in this pic, baby Han totally pissed off and baby Nat, suckin on her thumb like it ain't no thang.
I didn't see Nat again until her first birthday. But I did see lots of pictures online. And one thing was for certain, her eyes were something to behold.
I remember feeling like I wanted to get her a really good present, since she probably had a lot of baby doll stuff, I searched and searched and settled on a toy piggie bank, that sang when you put the plastic coins in it. She was so adorable at her party. She laughed, played, had an awesome cake to smash, and it didn't even phase her that so many people were passing her around and loving on her.
Sadly, I didn't get a chance to meet her again.
On March 22, 2009 she passed away.
This is the part where you are asking yourself "what the flip? why?"
I suggest you google her name "Natalynn Lea Miller" and find out.
I wanted this post to be about Natalynn and not about any details pertaining to her death or about the impending trials related to it.
When I learned she passed away, I felt sick. I thought I was going to pass out. I couldn't even cry, or breathe, or even think.
Soon after finding out I talked to my uncle on the phone.
I still remember the pain in his voice, and the way my mind raced trying to find the right words to say. I quickly realized, this was a situation not like any other, there were probably no right words. I told him I loved him, and that he was not alone in his grief. Of course his grief and heartbreak, are something I can not fathom, but I know how it sounds. I heard it in his voice telling me he loves me, and to hold my babies close.
Services followed soon after, and it was the worst week ever. Not just for me, but for everyone who loved her. But in that week I learned a few things about Natalynn, and thanks to her dad, and someone who was very close to Nat, I find out more things all the time.
She loved goldfish crackers and called them fishy crackers.
Her favorite song was "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" she had a toy guitar that would play it.
She loved to dress up and dance and she also loved making crafts!
Her preschool teachers that came to her service said they often wished they had a whole class of Natalynns, because she was so sweet and well behaved. She had many friends. And really liked school.
She said when she grew up she wanted to be a dinosaur ballerina. WIN.
And did I mention she had the most beautiful face ever??
She was a lovely child.
Natalynns most prized possession was her stuffed bunny that she carried with her everywhere. In the last pictures of Nat, she is in her dads lap, posing with her bunny. Those pictures are on my cabinet in the kitchen and I look at them several times a day. It makes me happy to see Natalynn. I try not to think of how her life ended, but focus on how she lived and who she was.
My Uncle told me that shortly before she passed, she was in his yard chasing a butterfly. It would fly away a little, and she would give up chasing it. Then it would fly back and she would chase it again. On our drive to the funeral service, our car was swarmed with butterflies at a stoplight. My Uncle laughed and said "Oh, Natalynn would have loved this!"
Now every time I see a random butterfly I think of her. I see her face in the stars, and in a clear blue sky, almost but not quite, as beautiful as her eyes, I hear her when my girls are laughing or singing. And sometimes when I drift off to sleep, I like to imagine the things she might have done today, if she were still here with us.
We miss you princess.
If you suspect a child is being abused, want to find out more info on preventing abuse, keep in mind that the cure to child abuse is prevention. This is a great website to find out more info and there is a hotline to call:Child Help
If you are having a parenting problem, or need support REACH OUT FOR IT. You are not weak or incapable! People want to help you. Here is a website of resources that can help including hotlines:Parent Support
If you are a victim of abuse, suspect or know that a friend is, DO NOT JUST SIT THERE. Go to this website for help: Futures Without Violence
For further reading on how to keep your kids safe without moving into a cave, I highly reccomend this book. It has plenty of resources and ways to effectively communicate with your child on how to protect themselves without scaring the crap out of you. If you read one parenting book, make it this one:Protecting the Gift
Bookmark this page for future reference. Share the post with anyone and everyone who loves a child. The cure is in the prevention.
Hug your babies.