To Kyra on Your Angel Day

Today marks the second anniversary of Kyra’s Angel Day. Kyra was 28-months old when she was murdered by her father. Truth be told, I would rather do anything than write about this day.

I miss Kyra every second of every day. I close my eyes and hope that I will soon wake up from this horrible nightmare, that Kyra will walk back in my front door and her murder was somehow my imagination playing a terrible trick on me. But, every day I realize I am wide awake, and this world – the one without my sweet baby girl – is my reality.

Over the last two years, I have tried to make sense of Kyra’s murder. I have read book after book about family violence and these particular killings. I’ve spoken to leading experts. I’ve read study after study. I quickly learned that Kyra’s murder wasn’t an isolated incident, but a trend in divorce and custody cases –  one the court system would like to keep hidden. And, I have tried to make changes to protect others. I have had one law passed and am working on another on Capitol Hill. And, I have been speaking with national, state, and local legislators about ways we can better protect babies and children from abusive parents. I have had some welcome me with open arms and want to bring about desperately needed changes, and I have had others turn me away.

I have seen people who have opened their hearts to Kyra – both those who knew her and those who had never met her before – in a way that has humbled me and renewed my faith in love and humanity. I have had people lock arms with me, stand shoulder to shoulder with me and pledge their support.I couldn’t be more thankful for these wonderful people. Their generosity, kindness and love for a little girl – in many instances who they didn’t know – fills my eyes with tears of appreciation.

I have had to re-learn how to live and how to function in a world without Kyra. How to go to a store and not break into tears while passing the baby items. I’ve learned to “dry cry” so people wouldn’t know I was falling apart in some situations. I’ve had to learn to smile and laugh without feeling immensely guilty. Even putting sentences together was a struggle at one time for me. And, I had to learn how to deal with questions like, “How are you?” and “Do you have kids?” Questions that sometimes still sting when asked. And, the one that hurts the most, “How is your daughter doing?”

Every day, I wish I could hear Kyra’s voice again, see her face again and give her a hug. Instead, I am left with a heart that is shattered into a million pieces. I wish I had taken more pictures and more videos to watch and hold onto. There are days I am ready to fight, and days I want to just crawl back into bed and stay there. And, there are still many days, like today, when it hurts just to breathe.

To my sweet baby girl, Kyra – I worry people have forgotten you, although I never will. The only reason I pick myself back up, is because my love for you will never stop, and will only continue to grow. And, each and every day, as I look at your picture or one of your videos and hear your voice, you inspire me to be better. And I know there is another little girl or boy out there that if I keep working on this path, maybe their outcome will be different. I have no doubt you would have made an incredible impact on this world when you grew up. You were a natural leader, fearless and everyone knew your name as your smile and laugh were contagious. Now, I’ll hope I can carry your spirit, your love and your memory forward to make changes and support others in your honor.

I love you, Kyra. I miss you, my sweet baby girl. And, I’ll never stop fighting for you.