Wednesday, July 8, 2015

To my living daughter

Letter to daughter

To my living daughter,

You have taught me so many lessons in a time of such darkness for me.  You can’t comprehend it yet, but your sister died during birth.  We told you, but you are too little to understand what it means.  However, as a family, we continue to honor and remember your sister each day.  We collect shells and river rocks to paint for her, we watch the flowers grow and tend to the garden, and we do special hikes and walks that bring all of us together. 

You have taught me such grand lessons about life, love, courage, and resilience after losing Quinn.  After such despair, what is there left to do?  Live.  In life, we hurt and grieve but we also love and have joy.  You have been kind and gentle with me – coming to me to give me hugs and kisses in moments of sadness.  Oh how I love feeling your arms around my neck.  You pat my back and I am engulfed in your love.  You ask me if I’m sad in your tiny little voice and you care so much.  Your sister has taught me so much about love, but so have you.  My love for you has transformed, reshaped, and deepened.  It has transcended all that I thought I knew about love.

You have taught me that the days keep moving forward and there is beauty and wonder in the world every single day.  You help me see it.  You help me live in the present, which is such a powerful lesson and one that fills my life with wholeness.  You stop to pick me flowers or show me a bumble bee.  You stare for long minutes at the interesting creature called a praying mantis sitting on our day lilies.  You go joyously with me outside in bare feet and the rain to chase a rainbow.  You squeal when you see an airplane, truck, or lawnmower, and show me the wonders of the world each day.  Seeing groundhogs, deer, and rabbits on our runs together brings you such joy and reminds me that world truly is marvelous.  Sometimes we are blinded by our own darkness that we can’t see it.  But Riley, I am so lucky to have you to remind me how to live.

You have taught me how to be courageous.  You have showed me how to leave my comfort zone and be brave.  You talk to children you don’t know at the playground and immediately play with them.  For days after, you continue to talk and ask about them.  When I’m with someone new, I think of you and strike up a conversation.  You have brought new friendship to my life and you have helped me discover the goodness of others. 

Oh my child, how you are resilient.  You have shown this to me over and over again, and this is the lesson I need most.  When you were nine months old, you had a major surgery.  While you recovered in your hospital crib, you were crawling all around, and standing up against the rails.  You were getting all of your wires and tubes tangled because the last thing you wanted to do was rest.  I think about that moment often and how strong you were then and how that was an indicator of your strength today.  When I need strength, I get it from you, Riley. 

I know this is only the beginning of the lessons you will teach me.  In our lifetime together, I have so much more to learn from you.   I’m the luckiest person in the world to be your mom.  You have truly changed me, Riley.  Thank you for being my inspiration on this journey and for showing me the way.

All my heart and all my love. x 

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