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I don't share this story to make you feel depressed for the rest of the day and forever fear swimming pools and your child dying. I share this because we are real people. This really happened to us. This is not a scary bedtime story to teach you a lesson to watch your kids more closely. This is our life and we live it every day.

Two years is not a long time. In a blink of an eye your baby turned 2, then 4, then 8, and is now grown before you know it. Two years of her being gone is a blink of an eye to us and we deal with it the best way we know how. Some days are great, others are slow, and days like today are I have cried writing this blog, this one is very near and dear to my heart and the reason I have never shared this special moment with anyone is because it is literally sacred to me.

To speak of it is to lesson the beauty of that moment with her. I feel my vocabulary is not eloquent enough to capture what really happened that day, the message behind the song, her final goodbye to her parents.

My Pink Balloon

We are so blessed to have had her in our lives, even if it was only for 2 years. I love her today just as much, if not more, then I did when she was alive. She is our angel and someone who will always be in the forefront of our lives. My grief for her will never stop because my love her will never quit. Today is a difficult day but tomorrow will be better and with the grief comes the ups and downs and all we can do is try our best to honor her the only way we know how.

This year for her anniversary we have decided to raise money for the "McKenna Eve Bundy Scholarship". I mentioned it in the last blog but have not promoted it on here very much. We started a fundraiser account and have been sharing stories of when people did "random acts of kindness" for us after McKenna passed away and the affects it played in our lives.

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We did this because we thought it was the best way to help people understand that no good deed goes unseen in some form or another. If you donate, you are helping someone like our family. This money is not granted based on GPA, a well written paper, or any leadership roles they have held. It is solely about helping students who have endured a difficult trial while trying pursue their education.

It is not about giving them money but more about giving them support. Letting them know they are not alone. Their struggle has not been ignored. They are loved, supported, and encouraged to keep trying and that they too shall overcome this trial. This has been a healthy distraction for our family, honoring our daughter by uplifting others in their time of need has been very healing to us all.

Thank you to all of those that have already donated. If you haven't and you are interested, hear is the link to the website: This was my favorite song to hear her sing because she could hardly say any of the words. Happy 2 year "Angel Anniversary" baby girl. We love and miss you so much. Once again time has been the enemy and I feel like I have blinked since the last time I wrote in this blog. SO MUCH has happened since September that it is no wonder I haven't had 2 seconds to actually sit down and write the crazy events of the year. I have big news I want to announce obviously from the title but I just wanted to mention a few things before that.

We celebrated McKenna's 4th birthday this November. I can't believe she would be 4 years old. It kills me and amazes me all at the same time. Zach and I are so young to have 4 children and yet we keep having more. We love all of our kids so much and receive so much joy from them. It's hard to believe that my little baby girl who I only lost a year and a half ago should have grown up so much already. As usual, the weeks before her birthday I shut down.


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I turned off in every way I could. I didn't think about, I didn't touch the topic, and I made no plans for her event. After the chaos of trying to celebrate her birthday last year I was really dreading this one. Two weeks before her birthday on the way to work I finally allowed myself to feel all the "feelings". I prayed out loud about my sadness and how I didn't know what I could possibly do on her birthday that would give me any peace at all. Then I started looking online, I googled "How to celebrate the deceased birthday" and only a handful of things popped up.

I read through them and all of them were in regards to losing a parent. They made recommendations about baking their favorite cake, buying them a present you think they would like, inviting over their close friends and celebrating together. She didn't have a "favorite cake" or friends to invite over. It was just us, her little family, and buying her a present just sounded truly depressing.

I pushed the articles to the back of my mind and once again shut down all my feelings. A week before her birthday the articles I read earlier re-entered my mind. How can I do something for her that I know she would like right now? Not what 2 year old McKenna would like but what 4 year old McKenna would like. I prayed again but this time asked God to tell me what would McKenna like for her birthday. What does a birthday mean to an angel? I begged God to help me find a way to do something that would make her smile on her birthday and I continued to pray for that the rest of the week. Three days before her birthday I asked Dominic what he would like to do for her birthday.

There is nothing more depressing then singing happy birthday to your dead child. Is there anything else you would like to do for her birthday? He responded "Yes, I would like to buy her a card and send it to heaven in a balloon. That's even MORE depressing!

10 balloons - Pink

Presents and birthday cards??? I don't think I have the strength for that. I stopped the conversation there and luckily he was already distracted by something else. Two days before her birthday I got the prompting to ask Dominic again what he wanted to do for his sisters birthday. He told me he wanted to hang pictures of her around the house. I thought that was sad but sweet and maybe I could pull that off. He then went on and said he also wanted to make her a cake.

He reminded me of the other ideas he had come up with the day before. Once again I felt a giant tug on my heart and once again I let the conversation go.

cute little girl with pink balloon - Illustration

The night before her birthday I found myself at Walmart of all places. Looking down the toy isle I thought about those articles I read. Would she be a tomboy or a girly-girl. McKenna was always a good mix. She could have gone either way or just stayed right in the middle. Realizing that this was too much for me I ended up wondering around Walmart.


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Why was I even here? What was I doing? I should just go home! But I stayed, I lingered down every isle until before I knew it, I had exactly what Dominic asked for: The day of her birthday I picked Dominic up from school and I took him to pick out a birthday card and balloons for her. We baked a cake, he decorated it, and I hung pictures of McKenna all over our dining room.

We then ate dinner, sang happy birthday, opened presents, and released balloons. To be honest, it actually went really well. It was small and simple but we all really enjoyed it. Dominic loved that we did every idea he had and it dawned on me that this is exactly what McKenna wanted. Where she is now, she in a place most 4 year olds are not. It's wasn't all about her on her big day, it was about her brother. She wanted to celebrate it with him and she whispered in his ear all the things she knew would make them both smile.

It was very touching and humbled me to my knees. That night I wanted to show her a token of my love as well. So I sang a song that often reminded me of her and used a picture book of her I was given for my birthday last year. It was also simple and sweet, quite and humble, and I truly believe this is all she wanted. I laid my head to rest that night feeling so peaceful. I knew we had done it right. On my baby girls birthday I had made her smile and that is a feeling I could never describe. It's nice to know I still play a small part in her life and that I can still find ways to make her smile.

Here is the video I made and a few pictures of the evenings events. The silent tribute we made at the house. I fixed this video so you should be able to watch it now. This is the card he almost got her but changed. He saw one he thought was more fitting so cute though! She picked out the sunglasses for all 3 of us all by herself. Dom baked and decorated the cake all by himself!

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The card he ended up picking. He said this was the perfect card because she use to drive him crazy all the time when she would go in his room and make a mess then never pick it up but he still loved her. The presents I picked for the kids from McKenna:. A lantern because she will always be a light in this family. A little doll that said "sister" on it. A pink flower that said "love you lots" on the pot.

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Ok, so now for the big news! This is not actually the big news Graduation was this past weekend and my brain is still trying to comprehend all of the amazing things that took place. I have been in college for a total of 8 years! I did my pre-req's at a community college and there got my associates degree in biology. Then I went to grad school where I received my bachelors in human biology and now finally my doctorates in chiropractic!!! This alone is such a great feeling and a definite "pat on the back" moment that I have been giving myself all week!

During our graduation ceremony it started like the many graduations I have been too. There was a special guest speaker from the school, awards were handed out, and everyone was jittering with excitement. On the handout, it said that before we heard from the valedictorian and the salutatorian there would be another special speaker.

I really did not think much into this. In fact I thought it might be a song or something to that effect and eagerly awaited the moment I would finally cross the stage and graduate. Finally the first speaker had finished talking and the 2nd guest speaker was asked to come up, it was our class president. This caught all of our attention.

Let me give a little background on my class and our president. I go to a chiropractic college. It is small and humble. Our class started with 44 and ended with 19 from the original group. Obviously, the classes are small and intimate which is good for a learning environment but could easily go wrong for a group of people having to be together all day every day for 40 months straight. This is not the case for our class and that is only because we have an outstanding class president. This man goes above and beyond over and over again what anyone would imagine a class president should do which is usually nothing, or someone to point the finger at.

He never made a promise he couldn't keep. Everything he started he followed through with, all the way times 10, and he always, ALWAYS went out of his way to support his fellow classmates. He was president the entire program which never happens and he got to speak at our graduation which never happens. Mike and I have an interesting relationship. I always had a lot of respect for him and how he took such time to help our class. Now don't get me wrong, he is no saint.

He is rough around the edges and is sarcastic in all things but regardless if he was helping me out or giving me a hard time I respected him. Being a mother of 4, I understood the pressure and chaos it takes to watch over so many people at one time and constantly being asked for help, favors, and handouts, but Mike always did it and he always did it with a bang.

I don't know if you would call us friends in the beginning. Just 2 people who had a silent mutual respect for each other. In the last year of the school program you are basically out of the classes and officially an "intern". Mike ended up being my partner by random selection. My first reaction to this was not one of excitement. I wanted to be with my best friend Mely and he wanted to be with his.

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We were total opposites in my opinion. He reminded me a smooth politician in some ways. He was loud, talkative, extremely persuasive, and I had never seen him not get something he wanted when he pushed for it. He was single with no children and had and still has a tiny yorke named Jack. I on the other hand am none of those things. I am social and friendly of course but run more on the quite side. I prefer to listen to people tell me their stories then share my own. I have been married for 6 years, have 4 children, and a giant husky as a pet.

I am not a "wine em and dine em" by any means and absolutely hate confrontation! So we were an interesting duo to say the least. I was worried that Mike would overpower me as a partner with his natural leadership tendencies and his love for debate but that didn't happen. Instead we ended up being a good balance for each other, in fact we were great. We were the first to reach all the requirements and then some. We were definitely the "power couple" of the teams and all though we both functioned differently our mutual respect for each other turned into a friendship.

Outside of school Mike supported me after McKenna's passing. He and the class took it upon themselves to help get me through the program despite my grief trying to hold me back. He sent flowers on her anniversary and birthday. He once stopped by with groceries and treats for the kids. He was always in and out, never one to linger or outstay his welcome but his small and simple gestures always touched my heart. In fact, the entire class held a high value in my heart and I realized that I saw all of them more as a second family then I did my fellow peers.

They had been there for me many times and without a doubt I know they would be there for me now. Now I say all of this to lead up to my class presidents speech at graduation. Please try again later. Sign up to browse over million images , video clips, and music tracks. Plus, get free weekly content and more. We have images for every project, all covered by worry free licensing Download with confidence Find your plan.

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