Hi Sweet Baby Girl...
Another month has come and gone. Lately the months seem so short especially when we see how fast your little sister is growing. As each month passes it is the little things that Layne does that continues to remind us of you.
One of my favorite things to do is show Layne videos of you on my phone. Last Christmas Daddy got Mommy a new cell phone so that I could watch your videos anywhere I was. He put some of my favorite ones of you on there. The one at swim class. We sang your favorite song The Wheels on the Bus. At the end you clapped and smiled big up at Daddy. Mommy loved holding you in the water. The one of you swinging your arms dancing when you thought no one was looking while we were on vacation. You became so bashful when you realized Daddy was watching. You buried your head in the side of the bed.
I used to watch these videos all the time. Now I find myself watching Layne's expressions instead. Her little eyebrows and forehead raise up and down. She doesn't take her eye off of you. I want so much for her to know how great you made us feel!
As Layne grows older Mommy and Daddy love seeing her find so much joy in your things. Mommy remembers how difficult it was when I was pregnant with Layne to make room for her things. Since Layne would be taking your room it was necessary for Mommy and Daddy to move a lot of your things. No way did we ever consider getting rid of one single toy, sleeper, or blanket. Instead, we put your things in a box and stored them in the basement. We knew that one day we would want to look at all these things again.
Very soon after you passed away Mommy and Daddy's very good friends took on a most difficult task. With loving hearts and by our request, they combed through our entire house to remove all the baby things that were scattered about. Mommy and Daddy couldn't bear the thought of coming home without you only to find a house with reminders of you. From dirty laundry to diapers, to a whole cabinet full of baby food I purchased the day you passed. Spoons, bowls, and plates made just right for small hands. Even a sippy cup with a few drops of milk left behind. Everything of yours, with the exception of the pictures that hung on our walls and the things in your room, was packed away.
As Layne has grown it has made Mommy's heart so happy and sad at the same time to share your things with her. Every so often Mommy will round up enough courage and strength to go through another tub of your last things.
Just a little while ago when Layne started eating several meals a day, I knew it was time to search for those bibs and spoons. So one night while Daddy was working late, I did it. I went downstairs and carried the two purple tubs Mommy and Daddy's friends had packed for us. And in one night I sat in the living room floor pulling out one spoon and sippy cup at a time searching for any pieces of you that might remain as a reminder. Your toys, with batteries that had stopped working, your personalized CD that you never got to hear, your Outer Banks cup with your name on the side, your purple recorder you used to walk around the house blowing as loud as you could, the brand new sippy cups Mommy bought for you the day you passed that were never opened. Mommy sat in the floor tearful and sad searching for any evidence of you I could find on all those things.
Wrapped up in my own sorrow and surrounded by all your things, Mommy had briefly forgotten all about Layne sitting next to me. When I turned to look and see what she was doing, I couldn't help but smile when I saw her banging your cereal bowls together. It was then that I realized that pieces of you are all around us. We just have to remember to seek out the joy we find in the things you loved.
It won't be long before Layne will outgrow your things. I don't mind if the polka dots are faded on the outfits she wears or the colors are last seasons trend. What matters to me is that Layne is surrounded by you in the one way she can be. We love Layne so much and appreciate her for all the joy she brings to our days! She has truly been a lifesaver to Mommy and Daddy over the past year. We only imagine how full our hearts would be if we had the both of you to love each day.