I paced the aisles yesterday clutching 2 gold-foiled balloons. One was the number one, and the other a three. I held these balloons and aimlessly walked aisle after aisle trying to come to grips with the fact that you would be turning 13 tomorrow.
It feels like yesterday that we were celebrating the milestone of your first birthday. Family, friends, and our church family gathered in honour of your special day as we dedicated you and celebrated your 1st birthday. I was so thankful you were with us, as we had a few touch-and-go moments prior. I remember you in your beautiful pink dress in your lovely pram and the feeling of such love. You were our Valentine’s baby after all…you encompassed love.
Yet, somehow 12 years have gone by and now you would be 13. As I looked at toys and clothes I couldn’t help but wonder what you would want for your 13th birthday if you were still here. Would you be into flamingos or llamas? Or would you be swept up into the world of T Swift looking up to your older sister? Or perhaps like your older brother, you would love skating on our little homemade rink the last 2 days with him? Life for a grieving parent is full of these bittersweet wonderings. Bitter for we will never know what might have been, but sweet in the indulgence of hopeful imagination.
My darling angel girl now teenager, you are missed. How I wish I could catch a glimpse of you in heaven. How I long to see the beautiful glow and sparkle in those precious green eyes. I wish I could see how strong you have grown and hear all about the years that we have spent apart. I wish I could hold you again and feel your heart close to mine. I wish I could tell you how you changed me and how you inspire me everyday to get up and live this life, giving my best so that I can honour you and the One who gave you to me.
I hope you knew just how loved you were when you were with us, and how that love has not diminished over the years, but has indeed grown. You were our sweetest Valentine, and will forever be. Happy Valentines Day and Happy 13th Birthday Gracie, we celebrate and remember you always.