Hi Sweet Girl,
It's June and with summer comes vacation time for us. It won't be long before we take your baby brother Jack to the beach for the first time. Tonight, I found myself revisiting some of our last memories made as a family on our vacation with friends to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. As Mommy scrolled through the pictures of you and me and of you and daddy, the memories, warm feelings, and perfectly happy times came back like it was yesterday.
In these pictures Mommy sees so much joy. In our eyes there is no glimmer of sadness or hint of disappointment. In our smiles there are no signs of sorrow or burdens of grief peering through. Our hands hold your weight and our hearts hold the excitement of all that we have to look forward to in this life with you. In these images Mommy only sees complete and pure joy.
That was six years ago. The pictures since then have been a smorgasbord of emotional and physical highs and lows. After much needed time to heal and the blessings of your sister Layne and baby brother Jack, Mommy and Daddy are just now at a place where life is feeling a little more balanced again. Our joy is finally beginning to cancel out all the sadness and grief. Our smiles in pictures these days are beginning to resemble those captured in our memories with you all that time ago. The pictures being painted are finally more like our reality again.
With the recent turn of the calendar, Jack turned 17 months old. So much of you is wrapped up in him. From the squishy legs to the toothy grin, he's a boy version of you for sure. Mommy sees so many of your sweet expressions in his precious face. Even his jibber-jabber carries a similar tune. When Mommy looks at him, watches him, loves on him and plays with him, I find it incredibly difficult to believe this is where it all stopped with you. You were one day shy of 17 months when you unexpectedly passed away. One day shy of another day with us.
Looking ahead to our vacation Mommy can't help but be excited for all the moments we will get to experience with Jack's first visit to the beach. Mommy's thankful that through your life and through our loss, we have gained an incredible appreciation for the joy that comes with the simple things.
If a picture like this is worth a thousand words, the emotion it stirs in this Mommy's heart is completely priceless.
|My favorite part of this picture is Daddy's smile. He was always so happy to see you and play with you and would work so hard to get you to giggle and laugh. He loved you so much and Mommy loved him even more because of it.|
|Mommy always thought you looked so grown up in this picture. I love the way the sun highlights the rolls on your arms...one of Mommy's many favorite parts of you. No other baby could compete with those "muscles".|
|Your smile in this picture is what I often think your smile might have been like today. I love how your eyes are smiling back too!|