Exactly twelve years ago life as I knew it changed forever. On August 5, 1998, I dropped my nine-month-old daughter, Bailey, off at her babysitter's house on my way to work. I was a teacher and that particular day was a teacher work day. I was preparing my classroom for the coming school year. On that morning I can vividly remember dressing her in the cutest little yellow jumper and she was laughing and smiling the entire time I was getting her ready. When I got to the babysitter's house the other moms commented on how happy she was all the time. They said, "She is Little Miss Sunshine, smiling and happy in that yellow outfit". I sat her down on the playroom floor, kissed her goodbye, and as I was walking out the door she waved goodbye to me. Little did I know that would be the last time.
Later that afternoon I raced out of school to go and pick her up. It was just after 4:30. I had decided to stay late that day so I could leave early the next day and spend the afternoon with her. That decision was life-altering. When I arrived to the babysitter's house there were a million rescue vehicles...my WORST NIGHTMARE. I frantically fought my way through a crowd and screamed, "Where's Bailey?". I can remember everyone looking at me with fear in their eyes. To this day, I can still hear the man's voice who said, "M' am, they're trying to get her breathing". What? I was thinking a broken bone, a fall off the swing. Not breathing!! I hopped on the back of the ambulance and watched them resuscitate my daughter.
She was airlifted to a Tampa hospital where she lay in a coma for two days. I learned that the babysitter left the children alone for at least 20 minutes.Bailey was left alone to crawl around on the playroom floor. She was learning how to walk at the time and pulled up on everything she could get her little hands on. The babysitter left an old highchair out in the middle of the playroom floor. This was the kind that had a space separating the seat from the back (they don't make these anymore). The straps were still hooked and hanging out of the back of the highchair. A noose. She had apparently pulled herself up on the back of the highchair and slipped; hanging herself on the loose strap that was hanging out the back. She had the best medical teams available working to give her every chance of survival. It was no use. She was brain dead. On August 7, 1998, still on life-support, wrapped in my arms, Bailey passed away.
I still have the yellow outfit wrapped in plastic. I pull it out about once a year just to smell it. I can still smell her on it. Crazy, but true.
If you have read any of my previous posts about Bailey, you know my scrapbooking story. This is the first page that I have completed since she died. The picture was taken when she was only five-months-old, however, it perfectly depicts her smiling disposition. It was also the picture the local media used all those years ago.
Note: I have been working on this post since Thursday. I had planned to post it much earlier and also planned to write a lot more. I had to do a little at a time to keep my sanity. I apologize for the choppiness. This is very difficult for me. I managed to get in some retail therapy and got A LOT of new cartridges. I am ending on a positive note and I promise my next post will be FUN!!!
*strips of punched kraft paper
*Lovely Floral Cricut Cartridge for the flowers
*Rock Princess Cricut Cartridge font
*Colorbok patterned paper and cardstock
*White Sakura gelly pen
*Stickles (used on the hearts on the letters)