Friday, March 11, 2016

February 28th

February 28th is a date that Mommy will never forget.  It was the day you were set to be due.  I remember when Dr. Youkilis first mentioned this date.  I recall thinking how nice it would be to have you a few weeks past Valentine's Day.  Mommy didn't want you to ever have to share your special day with a holiday. I was always thinking toward the future.

When you were born seventeen days early, Mommy and Daddy were both so surprised.  To be quite honest, Mommy was a little disappointed.  Not because I didn't want to see your sweet face, it was more so because your birthday would be just a few days before Valentine's Day.  The moment I saw you all that went out the window. It was love at first sight seeing your tiny little features.  Mommy no longer cared when you were born.  I was just so happy to hold a healthy and perfect baby girl.

Fast forward to your first birthday. Mommy found out real quickly that February 11th was the best birthday.  Your day sat perfectly between Christmas and Daddy's birthday. It gave Mommy just enough time to recover from the rush of the holidays.  It gave me the right amount of time to make your birthday party super special.  Mommy would have never imagined this would be the only chance I would get to plan a special day for you.

November 2010.  It had been almost five months since you passed away.  Life was completely different than the year before.  It was just Mommy and Daddy.  And that was really hard.

That November, Mommy and Daddy saw that a new Disney movie had just come out.  Mommy, being the kid at heart, loved Disney movies, so Daddy took me to see it.  

As Mommy and Daddy sat together watching the movie,we were surprised to see how similar this story was to ours.  In the beginning, the mother and father were overjoyed by the birth of their first born, a daughter.  Soon after being born, a terrible old woman kidnapped their baby, leaving them heartbroken and sad.  As the movie progressed, we learned that the woman would raise their baby as her own, just to use the special power she possessed in her magic hair.  We watched as the years went by and her parents continued to mourn over her, their lost child. It was like looking into our future.

Luckily the whole movie wasn't all gloom and doom. There were many funny parts, and one thing was special.  Each year on their daughter's birthday they would release a lantern into the sky.  The entire kingdom would join with them and release hundreds more lanterns.  And each year, the kidnapped young girl would watch and wonder.  She would see these beautiful lights in the sky and have no idea that these lights were being lit for her.  In the end, she would eventually be drawn to these lanterns and learn they were for her.  Her parents would be reunited with her after many, many years apart. Like all Disney movies, all would live happily ever after.

As Mommy and Daddy sat in the movie theater, surrounded by many moms and dads with their kids, we were taken aback by all the similarities. Mommy even got teary-eyed in a few parts.  So much of this story reminded Mommy of you. At the end, Mommy left feeling quite disappointed that our story wouldn't end like theirs. In spite of that, Mommy loved this movie so very much.

Fast forward to February 28th, just a few weeks ago.  It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  One of the first nice days in weeks, Mommy, Daddy, Layne, and Jack decided to make the most of the beautiful day by grilling and sitting out on the deck.  While we were out there, Layne, completely on her own, decided she wanted to celebrate you.  She told Mommy she wanted to have a birthday celebration for you.  One idea after another spouted out of her mouth.  She was motivated.  She was excited.  She was on a little mission. She brought Barbies and toys, made decorations, and drew pictures.  She walked around the deck picking up all the solar power lanterns by their handles.  She placed them strategically on top of the posts and railings so they faced directly up toward the sky. After that, she "lit" them as she began to sing Happy Birthday to you in her four year-old voice.

Your little sis, Layne, playing on the back deck. 

Watching her reminded me of that movie.  Seeing how she loves you in such a pure and simple way was the best reminder that you're never lost.  You're sweet spirit lives with us.  We know right where you are, and one day we will experience the happily-ever-after we once thought we'd never have.

Love and miss you sweet girl...

You and Daddy, March 2010.