welcome to my second entry for the Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries. Just a reminder, that over six months i will be documenting my baby/toddler wearing entries here on the blog for The Sling Diaries Volume V :: All the Love. Each month we are given a new theme to inspire our diary entries. i have loved sharing my heart with you as well as getting to know some of you lovely readers. it has been a joy connecting with you. Thank you for your support and love. So without further ado...


as i sit here in front of my computer screen, i have a rush of emotions. i know what i want to say, but with that comes a lot of hurt, frustration, and even anger. my fingers are trembling as begin to share some of my most raw and honest feelings. truths i have learned. and there is one event in my life, one person rather, that has such an impact on me that it makes this post that much harder to write.

my mimi. 

for those who might not know, i was born and raised in texas. 
i met my husband. got married. had our first little in. our sweet eden. all in texas.
my mimi called me "katey-the-texas-baby"
however, both of my parents grew up in the pittsburgh area. 
most of my mom's side of the family is still here in pittsburgh. 
they encouraged my mom and dad to start their life together anew. 
all the way down to midland/odessa texas, over 26 years ago.

all i have ever known is texas. 
of course we visited my family through-out the year, 
but i never fully understood my mimi's love for pittsburgh. 
until just recently.

mimi, is my mom's mom. known as great-mimi to my littles. 
i can remember on our visits in the summer time, laying on her bed.
she would play with my hair. we would talk. i would tell her my dreams.
dreams of when i got married, how i would live close. that when i had my littles, i would stay at home.
that they would have their owen adventures with her. just like my sister and i did.
that we could sit on the back porch and watch them play in the yard i did as a little girl. 
that they would catch fireflies where i chased them on warm summer nights. 
that they would have secret adventures with each other, all encouraged by her. 
that we all would bake cookies with her in the kitchen. oh she made the best chocolate chip cookies. 
that they would get to pick out goodies in her "junk drawer" like my sister and i did. t
that we would have our family talks shoved into the small upstairs bathroom. 
where all of our family talks happened. 

that instead of watching videos at christmas time of my mimi and pappap playing and singing christmas carols on the piano, 
my pappap dressing up as santa claus, 
my mimi reading books to the camera, 
that we would all be together. 
all the joy and love present all in one place. 
these were my dreams. 

when i met ryan, she knew that he was the one. 
even though he was a dreaded dallas cowboys fan.
they shared a passion for the changing seasons though.
especially football season. 
i can remember when my grandparents found out i was marring "that Cowboys fan…"
oh the blasphemy! 
when i got pregnant, we held our breath until that dreaded 13-14 week mark, i was overjoyed.
i called my mimi, and she said be ready for the Steelers overload. 
that that baby would be clothed just right.
we began making plans to move up north after the baby was born. 
to pittsburgh. 
near my mimi and pappap. 
those dreams we shared were finally coming true.

until i reached the six-month mark in eden's pregnancy. we got a phone call... one i will never forget.

my mimi had pancreatic cancer.
within hours my mom was on a plane. 

the next few months were whirlwinds of strained phone calls, 
my mimi was declining. she was dying. 
i started to wonder if she would ever get to meet my baby. 
i sent pictures of my growing belly. 
we would talk for short moments. 
i would tell her that we would get to sit on that porch swing, 
and she would get to hold her great-granddaughter. 
little did i know how profound those words would be. 
then eden was born. my mom was thousands of miles away.
it was such a bittersweet realization. 
there was my mom so far away caring for my mimi, who was declining rapidly…
and here we were with this precious little. this baby who was prayed and hoped for. 
i remember my mom saying how joyous she looked when she saw eden's photo for the first time.

at six-weeks old, in the dead of winter i took her on a plane to see my mimi. 
nothing could prepare me for that. for seeing her, ripped apart from this disease. 
my mimi, whose hands that used to stroke my hair could barely lift the tiny baby i birthed. 
i was so afraid to hug her, afraid i would break her already broken body. 
my dreams of summer nights were shattered. 
i began to realize my mimi was quickly leaving this earth.
when i returned home, we tried to expedite the plans to move up north faster. 
i prayed she would hold on just a little longer. 

she died just one month before we moved from dallas tx to pittsburgh pa.

i hated that my littles would never get to really spend time with her.
get to hear her crazy stories. sing her songs. 
that they would never get to sing "down by the bay" to her.
that they would never get to see her in her pittsburgh steelers garb. 
her socks with the pom-poms on the back.
her rock hard kisses on the very top of their heads…
i hated that my littles were robbed those moments.
that i was robbed of my dreams.

i never understood why she had to get sick. why at that exact time. 
but one day i realized...
it didn't matter if i understood. 
it was what it was.
she was physically gone from this earth.
but what she left behind was a gift i will never take for granted.

she knew just about everything about me. 
she knew when i was hurt, just the right words to say.
she had a way about her. 
she never said an un-kind word about anyone. she was always gracious. 

she loved people.
those she didn't understand.
even those who wronged her. or hurt her.
she left her mark on my heart.
to strive to love.
no matter the circumstances.

she loved this city.
oh she loved the city.
i walk through the streets and i see her.
i feel her joy. when the leaves start changing in the fall.
when the air gets crisp.
when a red cardinal crosses my path i know she's near.

i can hear her words.
"this is the beauty God created for us.
the rainbows He leaves us as reminders of His faithfulness." 
i hear those words when we are out on our adventures to discovering our new home.

i thought my prayers weren't answered when she died.
but the truth is, as hard as it is to admit, 
is that im glad she's gone from this earth.
that she is no longer in pain.
that the time she was here, was so precious and full of life.
that she never worried about the full picture because she knew it was good.
that she never missed an opportunity to love, 
because it might have been the only love that someone might have known.
and i would never have truly grasped that until now.

my mimi, she was grace. every bit of the word.
she was a living example of love, grace, and acceptance.
ask anyone who spent more than five minutes with her, 
they will tell you the same.
and her memory will always be of that. 

so while i might not understand it all, i will have grace.

He gives us the grace to navigate and move forward spite our lack of understanding.
He gives us that peace, that we don't have to know it all.
and if that is the only thing we ever fully understand what a blessing. 
Understanding that we don't know it all. 
Understanding that we don't have all the answers...
that, that right there is the honest truth.
we don't have all the answers. and we aren't meant to.

my sweet littles, 
life is messy and hard. 
don't get caught up in trying to make it all make sense.
remember that life is to be lived.
to be cherished.
don't miss an opportunity to love, just because you don't understand.
live free, without abandon, 
take deep breaths and explore the world around you.
understand that understanding isn't the key to life, 
understand that understanding is the grace to live this life.

a huge thank you to my love Ryan, 
and my mom, the littles mimi, for taking most of these photos. 
this was a day that i will not soon forget 
and i will always remember as seeing Pittsburgh through my mimi's eyes... 
and her laughter for seeing Ryan in his Dallas Cowboys jersey.


kate is wearing sakura bloom :: double layer luxe in onyx
ryan is wearing :: linen simple in wheat 

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