My darling Ella –


Sunday is the day I’ve been dreading for the past year.  For, after Sunday, I will no longer be able to measure my time away from you in days, weeks, or months.  No.  After Sunday it will be in years – something I find impossible to believe.  Has it really been a year since I held your tiny hand and kissed your sweet toes?  A year since I held you to me as my tears fell?  A year since we were left with only a small pink hat, blanket and urn to remember you by?


Oh, my baby… how I long for you.  I wish I had more time with you.  I wish I had been able to hear your cries and comfort you.  And I wish you were able to hear your daddy and I tell you over and over how beautiful you are and how much we love you.


Ella, I’ve said in the past that your big brother Jack is the closest thing I have found for proof of God’s existence.  But that all changed with you.  I haven’t told this part of your story to many people – it’s too sacred.  But maybe that’s why it needs to be told. 


After the pain of finding out you were gone, after the 60 hours of labor, I was so tired.  Tired of trying to put on a brave face, tired of the emotional and physical pain, tired of sleeping in the hospital and missing my Jack.  All I wanted was for it to be over.  And then… at 7:05 PM that Saturday night, the 27th of June… it was.  It was over.  I felt you leave my body and all at once I realized that this was it – I was losing you.  I had lost you. 


There was no newborn cries filling the room.  No hustle and bustle or congratulations being offered.  Only a hushed silence as they took you from me.  Until my screams filled the room.  My anguished cries of Why God?  NO.  Cries I can hardly bear to remember because of the pain and desperation in my voice.  Your daddy was so afraid.  I was afraid.  And I could find no comfort.  Not in words, or in touch.  Until… until…


Until they placed you in my arms.  All 9 ounces and 9 inches of you.  Covered in your little pink blanket and hat that someone lovingly made for a baby just your size.  And all at once I felt it – God’s grace.  He held me in His hands as I held you.  He filled my heart and body and mind with His peace so I could be fully present during my all too brief time with you.  I could admire your beauty, marvel over your long arms and legs, laugh over your toes – so like your dad’s.  I could spend the time fully loving on you and be briefly suspended from my grief – there would be time enough for that later.  God held me as we kissed you goodbye and watched them carry you away.  He held me as I curled up on the hospital bed with your blanket and cried.  Ella, God is so good.  But I know that you know that as I pray you are with Him.


And I pray, most of all, that one day I will see your beautiful face again.  That I will be able to hold you and tell you how much you have been missed – every day.  How much you have been a real part of my life, of our lives as a family.  And, always Ella, how you are, have been, and always will be loved.


You will always be my daughter.  I will always be your Momma.  You will never be forgotten.  Your place in our family and in my heart is secure. 


With all my love, little one.


Your, Momma