Twelve Years and So Much Has Changed

Hailey Swett, Leukemia
Hailey Swett: Day 1

Twelve Years ago yesterday, July 7th, my first born, Hailey Thompson Swett, was born. It was my proudest moment and I couldn’t believe I had a daughter of my own. Tracy and I did not find out what we were having before the birth, and I was sure it was a boy. I was surprised when it turned out to be a girl, but in a good way. She was perfect and I loved her with my entire being.

When Leukemia took her away from me I was completely shattered. The only thing that kept me together was the love for my wife. In time we had more children, Zachary, Connor, and finally Kaitlyn. Normally July 7th is a day I dread, because I miss Hailey so much, and being on the other side of the country I cannot even go to her grave to place some flowers or some other memento.

This year was a little different. It wasn’t until late in the afternoon that it even dawned on Tracy and I what the day it was. I had thought of the date over and over throughout the date, but it did not dawn on me that it was Hailey’s birthday. I suppose it is a sign that we are healing, and I think having Kaitlyn in our lives is a big part of why. Without Hailey our family felt incomplete, but Kaitlyn has helped to fill that gap. We’ll never forget Hailey, and she will always be a part of the family, but it is nice to think her absence will not be as painful as it once was.


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