Saturday, June 11, 2011

Eleven Months

Hi Sweet Girl,

Mommy and Daddy just got home from visiting your spot at the cemetery. Daddy has made it so pretty this spring. About a month ago he planted a whole bunch of pink and white flowers all around your stone. They have grown so bright and full. He goes there almost everyday to water them. I wish you could see how pretty they look. Mommy thinks it's Daddy's way of still being able to take care of you.

A few weeks ago Mommy and Daddy went to the dance recital. Last year you wore your navy dress and together we played in the hallways and outside on the little preschool playground between numbers. You really liked seeing the "big kids" on stage and even danced between the seats during some of the songs. What good memories.

This year's recital was special in a very different way. Just before intermission, a group of very talented girls performed a lyrical dance to the Christian song "Homesick". Not only is that one of Mommy's favorite Christian songs, it also describes with just the right words how Mommy and Daddy feel about not having you here with us.

Just as the dance number began two groups of little girls began blowing bubbles on both sides of the stage. Throughout the dance you could see the heart felt expressions on the girls' faces. Some were tearful, others were solemn. At the end, the dancers raised a stitched quilt with large letters that read "We Dance for Kaden". Each girl had written a special message and signed their name on the individual squares.

The dance was a beautiful representation of love and loss. Who could have thought a dance could bring such a rush of emotions to Mommy - sadness for not having you with us - love for the girls who worked so hard to make it special - happiness that your memory could be shared and not forgotten. I wish I could describe to you how special it was.

Something else that was really special this past month was our Memorial Day gathering. Last year at Memorial Day Mommy loved watching you smile as you rode down the big hill in your red wagon with Daddy. Mommy laughs when I look at the pictures of you in your "too small outfit". We all treasure the picture of you and your buddies sitting on the steps. What a fun day it was.

This year on Memorial Day we invited just about every person in our family and most of our closest friends to share your special garden and celebrate your sister's arrival. Nearly 65 people came to be part of the day. Daddy told everyone the story about how your pond came to be and Uncle Jamie said a nice prayer that helped remind us that where you are is where we all want to be one day. It turned out to be a pretty special day.

It's been eleven months. Each month we miss you the same. Each month we dig deeper to hold on to you and the memories we have. Most times we laugh and smile as we share and remember. It seems like every good conversation and memory is followed with a sigh of sadness. I guess it's because we still cannot understand how you could really be gone.

Having Layne here has helped Mommy and Daddy smile more. I think it's because we get to tell her all about her big sister. When I give Layne a bath I tell her how you loved bubbles and even say the same silly things. All the songs I used to sing to you I now sing to Layne. In the very beginning Mommy felt sad about that. At first Mommy and Daddy both felt bad for enjoying Layne so much. Daddy described it best when he said he felt like he was cheating on you. We decided that when we love on Layne we are also loving on you in one of the only ways we can. We hope you feel it.

We love you baby girl and always will.