Memories are all we have of you now, Sweet Baby Girl. Memories of all the good times and sadly memories of your last times. It's amazing how the details of the very last time seeing and holding you in our arms are so much more vivid.
This week at church a new series was started. Its title - 21 hours. Its focus - the last 21 hours of Jesus' life. Throughout the entire sermon all Mommy could think about was your last 21 hours. I know your last day was a good one - the best you could have had. From the moment you woke up early with a fever - to the sweet time we shared in Mommy and Daddy's bed trying to help you sleep comfortably - to the "fast bath" Mommy gave you before we left to head to Louisville - to the "uh-oh's" I heard on the other end of the phone as I called to check on you throughout the day - to the moment we got the call from the EMS worker saying you were unresponsive - to the last time we held you in our arms inside the ambulance late that night.
It's hard to understand how God lets things like this happen - especially when he knows the pain.
Springtime and Easter are going to be a tough time for Mommy and Daddy - maybe even more so than Christmas. For most people it is a time to be with family. It's a time to enjoy the flowers and the warmth of the weather to come. It's a time for family pictures and dresses and playing outside. It's a time for cookouts and afternoon walks. It's a time for Easter egg hunts and kite festivals.
All the things Mommy and Daddy enjoyed before you and with you, we now have to learn how to do without you. We do our best to make these times bearable, but truthfully they are often the most difficult.
Some people imagine that everything will get better when your baby sister is born. Sometimes I wonder if it will change things at all. Many are hopeful that all the sadness will be replaced. Mommy feels as though some people have a hard time fully understanding the difficult nature of this time. When people ask about pregnancy most Mommy's feel proud and enjoy the attention. When people ask me I get so nervous and scared that they don't know about you and what happened. People will often ask "Is this your first?" I used to fumble over my words trying to answer in a way that wouldn't make the other person feel bad for asking. Now I find it's one of the few ways I can tell people about you and about SUDC.
As we try to prepare for your little sister to come, it feels a bit more like we are losing more of you. Simple things like boxing up your clothes and washing your last bed sheet have been very emotional. Mommy and Daddy have made the best of it - if that is possible. Things like moving your toys and putting away some of your pictures makes Mommy feel guilty. We know that life goes on and we have to move forward. Mommy and Daddy also know that nothing will ever truly fix the emptiness we feel.
We will always wonder what life would have been like with you. We will wonder what kind of big sister you would have been to Layne. We will wonder what kinds of Disney shows you would have liked or how many words you would have been able to say now. We will wonder how you would have grown like your friends and what kinds of mischief you would be getting in to. We will wonder how long your hair would have been or what foods you would have liked. We will always wonder what kind of joy you would have brought to our lives.
We hope we can keep your memory alive by sharing pictures and videos of you for others to see. Memories are all we have to remember you by.
Love you, Sweet Girl.