Friday, November 11, 2011



Sweet Baby Kaden,

On the day you were born Mommy found significance with the number 11. The eleventh of February was the single most life-changing day of Mommy's life. Each month as you grew a little more it became my simple mission to celebrate your day. Mommy always called it your special day for the very reason that I wanted you to know just how loved you were. Early on I imagined that as we added more babies to our little family, each one would have their own day reflective of their birthday.

To me, the eleventh was even more special because it was the day after Mommy and Daddy were married. Soon after Mommy and Daddy were married, we set aside the tenth as "You and Me Day". Mommy and Daddy would always go out on a special date on the tenth of each month. After you were born, we jokingly called the tenth "You, Me, and We Day" to include you. =) Mommy loved how these two special days fell back to back.

Mommy has always been funny about numbers. Math was always my favorite subject growing up. Mommy is one of those people who likes to find patterns in numbers, count to see how many steps it takes to walk up the stairs or reach the car from the door. Mommy chose 6.10.06 as her and Daddy's wedding date because the idea of symmetry in numbers seemed pretty neat. I know it probably sounds pretty dorky, but that's just how Mommy's brain works. I'm no mathematician, but numbers have always been so intriguing.

I have to say, I've never thought of myself as superstitious, nor have I ever believed in supernatural powers or experiences of any kind. I really don't believe in all that stuff. Maybe it's because your Aunt Keshia made Mommy watch too many scary movies about those sorts of things when I was younger. Maybe it's because that stuff creeps me out when I think of the possible bad things that could come about if you dive too deep into it all.

Even though I do not believe in all that, I do think there is something to be said about the significance of time related to you.

On July 10, 2010 you went to sleep and never woke up again.

At 11:11 p.m. Mommy and Daddy got the call from the EMT while driving back from a wedding in Cincinnati.

After the fog lifted in the days following your visitation and funeral, Mommy started to take note of the number 11 on the clocks in the house. It seemed like every time I glanced at the time the clocks always read some hour and 11. Those first few months after you passed you were always on my mind - every second, every minute, every hour. When I would see the clock read 11 I would tell myself that you must be thinking of us. That would make me smile.

After a month or two of noticing this coincidence with the number 11 I mentioned it to Daddy.

In the middle of the night I would wake up just to look up and see 3:11 or 4:11 shine brightly on the clock. When I would go to make a call or return a text, 2:11 or 5:11 would reflect back to me. Daddy would start to notice it too.

About this time we also received the official certificate no parent ever wants to receive. On it was the time of your death - 11:10 p.m.

In some unusual way Mommy likes to think that your first minute in heaven was at 11:11. At that very same moment on earth, Mommy and Daddy were getting a gut-wrenching call telling us you were no longer here. I also like to think that the next day, July 11, 2010 you spent your special day with Jesus.

To a lot of people this all probably sounds completely crazy. I think of it as a special way of you telling Mommy you are okay.

Everyday I see the number 11 on a clock. Sometimes I see it four or five times in one day. I used to wonder if I was looking for the number in a desperate attempt to share just one minute with you. But after taking note of what is taking place during that instant, I know it is beyond me.

In May when Layne had her newborn pictures taken with Michele, sweet memories of your first photos flashed in my mind. I happened to glance up at the clock and saw the time read 2:11. This summer when Mommy was rushing to make Layne's footprints for Daddy's Father's Day card before he got home, I thought for a moment about how much fun you would have had doing it with us. I glanced up in a hurry to check the time and the microwave clock read 11:11. This morning after sharing a story about you to my teaching assistant at school I glanced down to check a video on my computer and saw the time 8:11. These are just a few instances. I could easily give 20 more.

Whether it's on my alarm clock, stove, cell phone, computer, or television, when I see the number 11 on a digital clock I always pause for a moment to think of you. Sometimes I smile. And sometimes I sigh wondering what that very moment would be like if you were still here with us. I think it is somehow your special way of saying you miss us, too.

Mommy has heard that if you google the significance of the number eleven many things will note some kind of spiritual connection associated with that number. I like to think that. In some bizarre way, it makes me happy to think that your spirit lives with us - even if it's only through a number.

Love you and miss you baby girl.