About Alissa

My daughter Alissa Dawn Malott was born July 28, 2003 to myself Cheryl-Joy Malott and my husband Matthew Malott. She was the second born of four daughters. Her sisters are Amanda (born 07/01), Angelina (born 08/06), and Amariah (born 09/08).

"Lissa" as she was often called, grew knowing much love from her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, church & community friends, and "daycare friends" as we called them. I did home daycare in my home for most of her life.

Alissa was a sweet and gentle child. She was prone to be somewhat fearful and clingy in her toddler years, but grew in confidence as she got older, especially near the end of her life. She had to start wearing glasses at the age of three and a half. I always think that getting glasses helped Alissa with her confidence as she learned her way in the larger world outside of home.

Alissa did very well in school. She loved to colour and teachers were amazed how every picture was coloured in a rainbow. Alissa developed many special bonds with school friends and teachers.

Still her best friend was her sister Amanda. Alissa and Amanda would literally do everything together at home and as much a possible at school. They slept together in the same bed for most of her life, even after we got them bunk beds. Alissa was so excited when each of her little sisters were born. She showed them so much love and patience and was proud to tell everyone about them.

Alissa loved everything pink and princessy- this is how I think of her. She is wearing her favourite pink dress, her glasses are somewhat smudged, sitting near the tip of her nose so she looks up at you with those beautiful clear blue eyes over the rim of her glasses with always the funniest of expressions. Her baby soft blond hair is in her eyes a little. Although I tried my best to keep it neat. Alissa always hated having her hair done and would usually shed a few tears while having it done. Except near the end of her life when she decided (all on her own) that she would laugh when it hurt. So she would giggle every time I did her hair. I loved that giggle. I loved Alissa's sweet soft singsongy voice and the way that she would pronounce her words almost as if she was from the south.

What I miss most about Alissa is the way that she liked to cuddle. I think of all the time she spend in my arms nursing and sleeping beside me. I think of all the time she would sneak into our bed because she would have bad dreams. I think of her as she would almost disappear as she climbed up on her daddy's lap and snuggled in often going to sleep as she love to do.

I think of my last morning with her when she wasn't feeling well and was just wanting to cuddle on the couch. I will always cherish my last moments with her as she laid her head against my leg in the bathtub. Her last words to me were "I like this Mommy," said with such sweetness that she conveyed so much love in those words.

Alissa's last moments were happy ones. She wanted to stay in the tub to relax. She was not aware or fearful as we have been told she most likely fainted and as she did she breathed in the water that took the delicate breath of life from her.

I know Alissa is in Heaven. Without this knowledge I don't know how I would go on. I am comforted beyond words by knowing I will once again hold Alissa in my arms and spend eternity with her. But Heaven's doors seem so far removed from me as I feel such pain and emptiness. So I learn to wait, to wait for the day when our tears will be wiped away forever and we will be together as a family whole once more. For out of this ashes, beauty will rise.

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Profound Words

Only parents who have lost a child can know how difficult it is to answer the the simple question that everyone asks you when you are a parent- "so how many kids do you have?" Of course the answer would be to name your children one by one and give their gender and age. "We have four girls. Amanda is 10. Angelina is 5. Amariah is 3. ..... and we have another daughter, Alissa .... she died, she would be 8." I feel bad because people don't expect that answer. Many times they are just trying to make small talk. And the people that know... well Alissa's name rarely comes up. I know people don't know what to say. So I find myself talking about Alissa, my daughter, and I find myself making other people feel uncomfortable. But I need to talk about her. She's always in my heart and only a thought away. I miss her so much. It's so very hard.

Friday, October 28, 2011

May this continue to be my testimony

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Alissa and Mommy

looking through some old pics on my computer and found this one that a friend has taken and given to me from when Alissa was just a little baby. So special.
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Friday, December 10, 2010

Thinking Again... Feeling Again

Well it's 5:30 am. I guess I got a whole 4 hours or so of sleep and got woken up and couldn't fall back to sleep. I was thinking tonight. Allowing myself to think of Alissa. Allowing those feelings to surface. You can even tell by my posts here, I haven't been allowing this for myself for a while. It's just so hard. I need to keep going. I need to just make it through each day. Sometimes just blocking thoughts and feelings are how I seem to do this.

But it's been a harder week again, and tonight I had been looking at My Year in Status on Facebook. These are a pretty good reflection of my thoughts and feelings over throughout the year of 2010. I really have to say that this year's reflected a whole lot more happy picture than last, the year that Alissa died. But it was still hard to think about how it's been. I did a search for the name Alissa in my posts in another app Status Statistics. I posted these here earlier tonight. My grieve is so apparent - how hard it is, the missing, the waiting... heaven sometimes just feels so far removed from me.

I just have such a longing to hold Alissa again. I have such a longing to feel happy inside again. Since Alissa has been gone I just feel like I go through life with such an emptiness inside. Alissa was such a part of me. I don't feel whole without her. I can't imagine not having other children to help me in this pain. Their little selves, just LIVING day to day, this helps me more than I can say. They bring me so much joy in my sorrow. As hard as it has been to keep being a mom for them, it is my lifeline. God knew my path. He gave me these sweet sisters. I thank Him so much for them. I thank Him so much for the HOPE that He promises. I know that above all this has been and will continue to be my means to survival and even to what healing is possible on this side.

I have been reading Mary Beth Chapman's book Choosing to See. I had to put it down for a while, but tonight I picked it back up. It always touches me so much. This is a person whose life is so far removed from mine. And yet she lost a daughter, just like me. Because of that, God was able to give me her book, and because of that her husband SCC was able to write the powerful songs I've written of here so many times. Tonight I was reading as Mary Beth Chapman talked about her experience at the graveside when her pastor spoke as the shell of her little daughter was put to rest. Her words mirrored my feelings so much, she wrote "He talked about the promised spring that is coming when all things will be made new. He reminded us of those hopeful words of Revelation 21 and the coming day when God will wipe the tear from our eyes. Somehow we were able to grasp that. Not fully... not even close to fully. But just enough that we were able to throw beautiful roses on the casket, believing that the story of Marie's" (I read Alissa's) "life was far from over... that there was in fact a spring when we really will see her again... more alive than ever. These are the truths that got us through that unbearable day and have kept us breathing in the days since, even when we don't want to anymore. We know- even when we can't really feel it- that the ultimate spring is coming." I felt so moved by these words. I'm not making the author out to be any more than she is, but there is a profound truth to her words here. To me this knowing that comes from this inside is the ultimate essence of what it is to be a believer, to be a Christian. It is Faith, pure and simple.

I am going to try to go back to bed now, over an hour has passed since I sat down to write. I feel better somehow in writing.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Status Statistics on Facebook

Checking Status Statistics on Facebook, really special to be able to look up the statuses I've wrote about Alissa... here they are

You have written 12 statuses containing word 'Alissa'

had a really nice time out with Matthew tonight, saw a really funny movie "Did You Hear About The Morgans", and just for a little bit I didn't think about missing Alissa, it's been a really hard week for me and I've been feeling really overwhelmed with everything and not sleeping at all. I am so grateful that we have a wonderful babysitter who can take over and who makes these girls so happy.January 5, 2010 at 10:52pm - See comments

love this song, from my Alissa Right now all I can taste are bitter tears And right now all I can see are clouds of sorrow But from the other side of all this pain Is that you I hear, laughing loud and calling out to me?January 14, 2010 at 4:33pm - See comments

just thinking of these people in Haiti who are in such despiration. In light of how I felt and still feel about Alissa dying, I feel so much for those who have lost so much. More than even our family, these people have not just lost one loved one but many and each day is a struggle just to live, they have nothing. PLEASE SEE THE SITE SIS KIM HAS SHARED AND DONATE WHATEVER YOU CAN. AND PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS MINISTRY.February 3, 2010 at 8:49pm - See comments

had a fun night.... Hanover Sparks were in to the restaurant, what a great bunch of little girls, .... Alissa would have loved having so many of her friends thereFebruary 22, 2010 at 9:22pm - See comments

DAUGHTER'S WEEK... Daughters outgrow our laps, but never our hearts...♥ ☆•*Put ♥ this ♥ on ♥ your ♥ status ♥ if ♥ you ♥ have ♥ the ♥ most ♥ Awesome ♥ Daughter or Daughters....:) Love you Amanda, love you Alissa(miss you so much), love you Angelina, and love you sweet Amariah :)
March 10, 2010 at 9:44pm - See comments

heading out in the morning for a family trip away.... Monday will be one year since Alissa diedMarch 13, 2010 at 8:59pm - See comments

just was thinking how great it is to cuddle with with your child as they are sleeping, that's one of the things I miss most with Alissa, I'm so glad we co-sleep.
March 28, 2010 at 10:42pm - See comments

Happy Birthday Alissa. We are going to go to the beach today and have a party for you. Your sisters are going to blow out seven candles. I know it will be a special day together and you will be happy to see us having happy times together.
July 28, 2010 at 4:38am - See comments

Happy Birthday Alissa. We are going to go to the beach today and have a party for you. Your sisters are going to blow out seven candles. I know it will be a special day together and you will be happy to see us having happy times together.
July 28, 2010 at 5:12am - See comments

thinking of Alissa and how she would have been starting grade 2, saw her classmates yesterday when I went to the school for Angelina's JK interview, and I broke down for a few seconds, it's just so hard. The missing, and the waiting. Waiting to be able to hold her again in my arms when we meet in Heaven and for all this pain I carry in my heart to melt away.... and then to be happy for all eternity.September 8, 2010 at 10:29am - See comments

a friend just shared a thought that meant so much- we are one day closer to heaven, that needs to be my thought each day as I wait for Heaven and Alissa October 15, 2010 at 11:16am - See comments

J'ai pensé à toi aujourd'hui, hier et tous les autres jours d'avant. Je pense à toi en silence. Tout ce que je possède sont des mémoires, des souvenirs et des photos. Le ciel t'a dans ses bras, moi je t'ai dans mon coeur... Copie ceci si tu as quelqu'un au paradis! ... so beautiful, je pense a toi Alissa
November 12, 2010 at 9:13am - See comments

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Portrait of Alissa

For Christmas last year Matthew's family had Sis Carol Flett paint a painting of Alissa. I've been wanting to share this here. I thought I'd link to the Facebook picture and comments of the portrait. It is just so beautiful. It's on the wall in my dining room, set high up like Lissa is looking down on us. I can see it now from where I sit.... it's just so special to me. Should they read this I want to thank Sis Carol again for the painting, and Matthew's family, especially Bethany. The though behind this means as much as the painting to me. See it on FB with link below

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Trials of Life

I mentioned in my last post how hard life has been. I think God has allowed certain trials to make us stronger. If life would have been easy all the way along until Alissa's death, I don't think we would have been able to keep going like we have since then. They always say God doesn't give you more that you can handle. Well He knows what we can handle and He is always there to pull us through.

There were so many things that we went through, my being sick with pregnancies (to the point of being debilitated by it), Matthew being sick (having had two surgeries), both having car accident in which we were hurt, loosing grandparents, having our parents sick, and having to handle outside family stress. We always seemed to struggle up and down with our finances getting ahead and then falling behind when something unexpected would hit us. We would just go from one thing to the next, especially in the past few years. I often felt overwhelmed by everything.

The hardest part for me was (is) keeping up with was always the house. Kids require lots of time and attention but I don't mind that part at all. It's that they make such a mess, lol. I was always cleaning. When I was physically and emotionally capable of keeping up with it, that was fine, but not so much when I was sick with my pregnancies and trying to deal with everything we were faced with.

One really difficult period for me was the time of my last pregnancy. We had just lost our first business. We went into business the with the wrong person and ended up being force out after we had invested months and weeks of time and hard labour. Because of the loss of income from leaving both my childcare and Matthew's second job to start the business and having put everything extra we had into the business, and that Matthew had just been on short-term disability because of his back injury from his car accident, we were on the verge of bankruptcy. We fell really behind in our bills and I just stopped answering the phone for all the calls from creditors. Matthew was really sick and ended up having to have his gallbladder out. My grandma died. Two weeks later my other grandmother called everyone to her bedside to say her farewells. She lived (thank-you Jesus) but it was very hard nonetheless. My mom, from the stress of it all, had a serious collapse (brain seizure/stroke) from which we almost lost her. To prevent bankruptcy we sold our house and had to rent it back (but at least we didn't have to move). Matthew got his second job back and was working night and day trying to make ends meet. Also during that time we were told our baby's umbilical cord was not developed properly and that their were serious chances that our baby would be born with a congenital defect. This ended up all just being because a bad ultrasound, but it was a very difficult six weeks until the second ultrasound. This all happened weeks after another all while me hardly feeling able to leave the couch for how sick I was, still taking care of my three kids.

Even Amariah's birth was stressful. I wanted her birth to be so special and it ended up just being so stressful. We were having our kitchen renovated at the time something I hadn't really wanted to do right then. But it was out of my control. Everything was pulled apart. It ended all coming back on me. The job got left half finished and in my desperation to be able to put everything back in it's place ready for the baby, I ended up having to paint cupboards. I must have looked ridiculous ready to deliver any day standing up on the counter in order to paint. Amariah came early, as I thought she would. And even during my actual labour I spent the whole night trying to make things presentable enough to have the midwives come in. The one midwife had been quite rude with me and made me feel as though they would refuse care if things were in such disarray when they came, ridiculous. I remember moving big totes of dishes around between contractions and trying to get things put away- ridiculous again. I finally had enough and went to lay down. I should have asked for more help but I didn't realize how quickly my labour would progress after that. I should have woken Matthew up earlier. I should have phoned my midwife earlier. (She should have had her bag packed, it took her over an hour to get there). But hind sight is 20/20 as they say and I birthed Amariah on my own without any difficulty. And my midwife was there within a couple of minutes, literally. After Amariah was born I remember such a happy time. I love the new baby stage. Mia's big sisters loved her so much. It was hard with four now, but I felt better and everything was easier for a time.

We got word that Matthew was going to be laid off even before Amariah was born. He had had a decent factory job working in car parts manufacturing. Our dream of owning our own pizza place had not died at all. We just needed the funds to do it and a family member saw the need and put the money up for us. So it was a busy time. We were trying to pull everything together to start the business. God closed some doors and unexpectedly opened others and just around the New Year of 2009 we found our present location. What followed was a whirlwind of trying to pull the last of the equipment together, get it all installed, renovate a space of just four bare walls to create our restaurant, hire staff, and all the thousands of miscellaneous aspects involved in trying to get the doors open. I was not really involved much at this time. I had learned from our first restaurant and kept the kids away as much as I could.

Then after we opened it was really hard to keep up with all the business. Our staff was very inexperienced and it came back to Matthew and myself to keep things going. There was a lot of stress and tension. It was hard on everyone. I tried to make it as easy for the kids as possible, but I know it was a stressful time for them to. Looking back I don't know how I really could have changed much. I talk about realities and that was the reality of the situation. Opening a business is incredibly difficult, especially in the first months and weeks.

I don't know why God allowed it, but just as things were starting to get more organized and settling down a bit, that that was when Alissa died. It was only six weeks after we opened. I know the last six weeks of Alissa's life were not easy for her. It would have been only a short period of time in her life. But it ended up being the last of what her life was here. The timing was just so hard and has been something that has been hard to live with. I am thankful that God allowed both mine and Matthew's and the other girls last time with Alissa all to be so special. Even though it was a stressful and busy time, we had really shown our love to her and she to us, and those memories mean so much to me now.

Even with all these times of hard trials, nothing has even come close to how it was to loose Alissa. Her death has taken everything out of me. And the trials keep coming. But I know God has a greater purpose. That all things will work together for the good, because I love Him and I believe that I am called according to His purpose. I don't understand, but still just having this trust is such a comfort.