One year without you, It doesn’t seem possible. I miss you so much it physically hurts, it really is like a piece of me is gone. But I get up every morning for you, even when I want to hide under the covers I get up because I want everyone to know about you. I want everyone to know that you were here.
I wish I could see you Eliza, so badly. I wish I could hug you and kiss you and tell you I love you a million times. I miss our morning snuggles so much, how you would shout “mama” and I would come into your room and you would jump back in your bed with a big smile on your face because you knew I was going to hug you tight and we were going to fall back asleep together. Sometimes I lay in your bed and imagine you’re with me and that always makes me cry.
You were such a gift Eliza and you still are. You made our lives so beautiful. You were perfect.
I still haven’t moved anything, everything that is yours is still in the exact place it was a year ago. I can’t even begin to imagine changing anything. I stir my coffee with your little spoons, I wash my face with your tiny little wash clothes and I wear your necklaces around my wrist, all of that somehow makes me feel close to you.
Everyone I meet who has a child in heaven tells me this gets better but it’s hard to believe because nothing can fill this giant hole in my heart. I guess I will just get used to it and maybe that empty feeling will start to feel a little less uncomfortable… but that hasn’t happened yet.
And those pinecones… they still show up for everybody. In the strangest most amazing places. I pray they always will.
Daddy misses you so much too but he isn’t like me, he tries to be strong and brave while I just fall apart. A few weeks ago I had to drive his car and when I got in I saw that he had a picture of me and you and a little pinecone hanging next to the car sun visor. He put it there all on his own and I didn’t know until that day. It makes me sad knowing he misses you so much too.
I wish you knew how many people love you Eliza. So so many… thousands I bet. That sweet smile is impossible not to love.
I’m so different now I see the world so differently. Without even knowing it you were teaching me during your 4 1/2 years. I love harder, my words are more kind and I have more grace for myself and for others. That’s you my love, that’s what your life did for me.
My baby I am so happy you are free. That you are whole. That you can finally talk and sing. I want to celebrate all of that for you. I want to celebrate that you will never experience tragedy or see how cruel the world can be, that you will never feel heartbreak or loss. It would have been impossible for me to protect you from all of that. Now you are safe from a world full of suffering, you are safe and sound with Jesus.
One evening a friend came over to visit, we cried and laughed and talked about how much we missed you. As I was walking her outside to the driveway something flew right by her face, we both jumped at first not knowing what it was. When it came back around we saw that it was an orange butterfly. An orange butterfly, at 9pm, in the dark…
Keep sending us signs my love. Butterflies, pinecones anything that reminds us of your sweet but short life. We all need them.
I want to keep writing, I want to some how find words to tell you how much I love you, how much I miss you, how thankful I am that you were mine but words don’t seem to be enough, words will never be enough. So I love you more than the sun and moon and stars will have to do.
I love you Eliza Hope, forever and ever.