Halia, my sweet girl,
Happy Birthday! Where has this year gone? I cannot even begin to believe that only one year ago the hardest day of my life occurred: the day I got to hold you in my arms and say good-bye. How much you are still truly loved and truly missed. I see you everywhere: in flowers and butterflies, Easter and Thanksgiving, in what could have been and what is, in your brother, Caleb. I still wonder who you would have been, would you have my eyes, and what it would be like to raise you, daughter… it is hard some days to not stay in this place.
But most days, I spend my day in gratitude for being blessed to be your mom. I may not get to raise you, but I get to love you and honor you all my life. Because of you, I cherish all parts of life so much more; I hug more, listen more, and am present more. What an invaluable gift that you have given me! How can I ever thank you enough, my precious one? I have more empathy for others and can sit with those in their deepest pain. Thank you. I found friendships that have gone deeper than I ever knew possible and have a more fulfilling marriage. Thank you for that gift. The little things are just not a big deal anymore. Love is the most important thing. I forgive more and think of myself less. These are all because of your sweet life. And look at your little brother, Caleb. How can I not see you every time I look at his face? He would not be here without you. My love for you both is so entwined. And my faith has grown mature and strong because of you. Thank you… thank you.
So, although today is so very difficult and I deeply wish it were not this way, you will always be my “baby mine.” You have blessed me so much with your sweet life, and I pray for the day I get to hold you once more.