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Heather Gray

Flawed...but loved anyway.

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Happy Birthday

Happy-birthday

September 3, 2013

Dear Baby Girl,

Happy Birthday.

I miss you.

I miss your hugs, your smiles, and the way your eyes sparkled.  And so much more.

Time is supposed to make it easier, and I suppose in a lot of ways it does, but I don't think I'll ever quite get over wishing I could wrap my arms around you and hold you close.

It's been a hectic year for us.  Your brother is taller than me now, and busier.  Not busier than me.  Just busier than he used to be.  He loves school as much as always (which more or less means not at all).

We ran away and escaped to the beach last year on your birthday because we couldn't stand the thought of staying home and not having you there.  The beach isn't in our budget this year, though.  I thought about getting a bright pink cake to mark the day, but that seemed way too sad.  I don't think I'd be able to take a bite.  So I tried to think of other things we could do, but knowing you wouldn't be here to share it with us, everything I came up with sounded so empty.

I wanted to set the day aside to celebrate your life.

Even if I couldn't share that celebration with you.

So, we're going to adopt a cat.  Your brother's been asking for one, and I'm ready to relent.  It seems like a life-affirming way to mark your birthday, and I know it's something that you would be excited about if you were here.  I'd rather have you than a cat.  But I suppose that's obvious.

I'd like to tell you something wonderful and profound I've learned in this past year, but I've done a very good job of staying so busy that the profound moments have been few and far between.  I'm not saying that's right.  But it's how I've coped.  I'm starting to slow down now.  It's probably for the best.

I studied the names of God for a story I was working on.  I suppose it more or less sums up some what this past year has been like for me.  There has been no lightning bolt of revelation, but rather a long and steady holding onto of the things I know, even when they're not the things I feel.

God is almighty.  He is the giver of miracles.  He is everlasting.  He is the shepherd who protects and defends His flock.  He is faithful.  He is my refuge.  He is my peace.  He is God.

When I think about who God is, I can be happy for you.  It doesn't mean I miss you less, but it means I can, at least partially, put aside my own grief and sadness and think about how wonderful it must be for you in heaven.  Do they have birthdays in heaven?  What about hugs?

There aren't words big enough to capture the depth and breadth of my love for you, my sadness over losing you, or my anticipation at the thought of seeing you again someday in heaven.

You are so very missed, Ladybug.  Know how much I love you.  Even if I can't put my arms around you, my heart still holds you close.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl.

Love,

Mom

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