Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tonight, I Weep

by Bethany Conkel

I stood quietly to the side as I watched the momma tenderly stroke her baby’s head and lean over to kiss her cheek. She was so loving and gentle. Pain gripped my heart. They had done everything right. The baby was alone, on her back, in the crib. Yet, doing it “right” did not change the fact that they still lost her.

Hot tears swelled in my eyes as I directed the grandparents where to stand for pictures. “Grandma, place your hand right here. Okay, Grandpa, lean down and give her a kiss… Yes, that’s perfect” The words sounded so very wrong as they left my lips. Grandparents should not have to be getting pictures like these taken.
I gently slid a tiny beaded bracelet onto the baby girl’s wrist and placed an angel ornament in her hand, then held medical wires that were still attached out of the way for the photographer. Next I carefully positioned a frilly pink headband just off center on the sweet girl’s forehead, framing her precious face. Although she was gone, she still had a glow about her and was simply beautiful. Then it was time for prints, I tenderly cleaned the baby’s feet and added ink to each toe hoping to capture the perfect footprint, something special for her momma to cherish down the road.
Leaving the hospital that night thoughts and emotions collided in my mind as they swirled out of control…
~Why hadn’t words come easier? Why didn’t I say this instead of that? Would it have mattered even if I had said the perfect thing? I wish I could have taken away their pain. 

And, although I know that would not have been possible, guilt clung to me like a heavy coat.
~I should have gotten more hand prints. Will the ones I got be enough? Maybe I should have used a different color ink. Does it realllllly even matter? If I had gotten 100 perfect prints it would not have made things easier.
~She had done everything right. SO many of us had done everything right (prenatals, no alcohol, the perfect foods, lots of sleep, exercise…), and yet, so many of us still had to say goodbye. I guess doing it “right” doesn’t always matter. Sometimes death still comes when we least expect it.
~Maybe I should have taken more pictures of x,y, and z. Should I offer to go back and get more?
~Why does this situation seem so much harder than my own journey with Amalya? Was it the unexpected and suddenness of the loss? Oh, how thankful I felt in that moment for the time I was given to prepare to say goodbye. Yet it still hurts that either of us had to say goodbye at all.
That night sleep eluded me for the longest time. I continued to think of this momma holding her baby girl for one of the last.times.ever. I remembered that feeling and how much it hurt. I thought of all my loss momma friends and how that pain still haunts so many of us.
Mommas, even as I write this, several days later, my heart is heavy. I don’t have answers. I don’t have words of wisdom or comfort. All I can say is sometimes this journey is just gut wrenchingly painful. I believe that we have been called to bear each other’s burdens and to “weep with those who weep”. So, tonight I weep with this momma. I weep with you. I weep for the mommas who will join us on this journey in the future. I pray that eventually peace and healing will come. But, tonight… I just weep.
~ ~ ~
Sufficient Grace Ministries provides bereavement support for families suffering the loss of not only a baby, but a child up to age 2. Bethany had the opportunity to walk with this family and provide support through SGM.
~ ~ ~
Bethany Conkel lives in Ohio and is married to her wonderful husband, Eric. She is the mommy to two amazing children – one who is in heaven, the other here on earth. Bethany carried her precious son, Amalya Nathaniel (meaning: “work of the Lord”, “given by God”) to term after receiving the diagnosis of anencephaly when she was 11 weeks pregnant. Amalya lived for 1 hour and 20 minutes before taking hold of the Lord’s hand. After he passed, his liver, pancreas, and whole body were donated to scientific research. Bethany has since created a website about neonatal organ, tissue, and whole body donation called Purposeful Gift to help other families explore the option of donation. She is also a certified Birth and Bereavement Doula through Stillbirthday.com and serves with Sufficient Grace Ministries.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Gunner's Story, by his Mama

written by Jade Smith

This story is about a very special little boy named Gunner. Gunner was such a fighter and overcame so much too meet his mommy and daddy. We are so blessed to have had our son. He has enriched our lives more than I can ever put into words. Our son is truly a miracle.

It all started in September 2013 we found out we were expecting a baby and we were so happy!! We found out he was a little boy and we named him Gunner Elias Merritt. I had A great first half of my pregnancy we could not wait to meet our little boy. In January we went to the doctor for my 20 week ultrasound and they told me that something was very wrong and the baby had many possible defects. We were so very scared for our boy. 

They sent us to a high risk doctor that did a high resolution ultrasound and other testing. When the results came back our worst fears were confirmed. Gunner had a condition called Trisomy 18, it is known as a lethal condition. The life expectancy is very grim only 10% of these children make it to there 1st birthday. We were devastated and just utterly lost.

They wanted us to end the pregnancy sooner, "why wait they said it will not change the outcome? It will just be harder later on?".Tim and I did not see it this way they told us there was survivors with Trisomy 18, that was all we needed, we would try to give Gunner every chance he could have at a life no matter how short that time may be. 

Tim and I began to plan for Gunner's arrival.We knew there was a chance we would never get to meet Gunner alive because many children with this condition pass away before birth. So we did everything with Gunner why he was In my tummy we sang to him, and read him books. Bought him gifts for valentines day and Easter. We had tons of ultra sounds and went and took maternity pictures. We wanted to make the most of our time with Gunner. 

Through the rest of my pregnancy I began having more and more amniotic fluid turns out this was a side effect of Gunner's Condition. It caused my water to break at 32 weeks and our Gunner was born that morning at 11:15am April 6,2014.

He was breathing with help a little help and overall was doing well. Gunner was so strong and we were so happy to be able to meet our little boy. Our family got to meet Gunner and hold his little fingers.Daddy and Mommy got to hold him for the first time. We showed him the blanket his mommy made him and wrapped it around him.

We kissed his little forehead and held on to the time we had. Gunner continued to do well into the night but before morning came he began to have some serious issues.

We found out that Gunner had esophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistula. Basically his esophagus was not connected to his stomach and this caused stomach acid to go into his lungs. We were told there was nothing that we could do and we had to prepare to let go of our boy. We spent the morning making the most of the small amount of time we had left. It was the saddest and happiest day of our lives. 

At 1:15 pm Gunner left this earth to be with god in heaven. For 26 hours and 15 minutes we had our son and just like that he was gone. No words can explain the pain we feel or the love we feel for our son. The days that followed were so unreal we planned a funeral for Gunner and chose an urn. A week later we had a beautiful funeral and said goodbye to him for the last time. I didn't want to leave him there at the funeral home just like I didn't want to leave him at the hospital. Gunner was taken from us so quickly and it changed our lives forever. 

I am writing this six months after Gunner was born and it still doesn't seem real. 

We love you Gunner to the moon and back and we will never stop sharing your life with others. 

~ ~ ~

You can follow Gunner's Journey @ facebook.com/Gunnershope

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Here I Am: Grief and Mourning

by Heather Kimble

Here I am. I made it a year. 

I’m still broken inside. I’m still hurting. I’m still grieving.

There are good days and there are days I don’t even want to function. And you know what? That’s ok. I’m surviving without my daughter and that itself is an accomplishment. 

I haven’t let Hannah’s death control my every waking moment. However, it now is part of who I am.

If there is one thing I have learned over the first year of living without Hannah, it’s that I will not allow people to dictate how I grieve and mourn. I don’t care what others may think (which is completely not like me).

That’s what I want to share with you today: Don’t let others dictate how you grieve and mourn your baby(s).

It’s so important to do what heals you (The exceptions are turning to drugs and alcohol. Please don’t, they only numb the pain. The pain will always be there waiting for you in the end). There is absolutely NO time limit. This is something that will be with all of us for the rest of our lives. You may choose to keep it close to you, while another mom may choose to share her journey very publicly. Neither is wrong and there are many variations in between.

Just to give a brief definition, grief is the feeling of being said and mourning is expressing that sadness.

Feelings of Grief:

~ Anger
~ Denial and Isolation
~ Bargaining
~ Depression
~ Acceptance

Examples of Expressions of Grief (Mourning):

~ Celebrating your baby’s birthday (with a party, simply a cake, etc)

~ Honoring/Remembering your baby on their due date (balloon release, dinner with family, paying it forward, etc)

~ Raising money or collecting donations for a non-profit in memory of your baby

~ Creating a slideshow of your pregnancy and baby

~ Including your baby’s picture, blanket, stuffed animal, etc. in family pictures

~ Purchase a “coming home” outfit

~ Purchase "first" outfits and/or items (example: first 4th of July outfit, first pair of sunglasses, first Christmas dress, etc.)

~ Purchase the first 12 months stickers and first 12 months outfits (example: 1 month sticker with a pink onesie size 0-3 months, 3 month sticker with a flower onesie size 3-6 months, etc.)

~ Create artwork  that captures your feelings

There are many ways you can choose to express your grief. Please also know that it’s never too late to start mourning your baby. There is no set time frame to express your grief.

The way we each choose to mourn is a person decision and journey. What are some ways you have chosen to express your grief?

Love Always,

~ ~ ~

Heather Kimble lives in the Philadelphia area. She is married to her best friend, Jason and is mommy to Hannah Sue Kimble. Hannah is her only child. Heather carried Hannah after receiving a fatal diagnosis and was told to terminate. Heather was told to terminate based on the serious risk to her own personal health. She doesn't believe in termination and chose to carry Hannah with love. Hannah passed away and was born sleeping on December 23rd, 2013. Heather and Jason treasure every moment they had with Hannah during pregnancy and after delivery. Hannah has inspired a nonprofit started by her parents to help others and to help break the silence by sharing their journey of baby loss. Visit her blog, Hannah's Heart and Love, and follow her page on Facebook

Monday, February 16, 2015

Letters to Charlie, Lillian, and Braxton

The following letters are a part of our Love Letter series. To learn more, click HERE. To read all the letters in this series, click HERE.

Today is the final day of Love Letters for 2015. If you would like to participate, please feel free to comment below with your baby's letter. 

Letter to Charlie, from Tawni Willetts

My sweet little nephew, Charlie.

I think about you all the time and how you left our lives way to soon. It is so unfair, but I have to have faith that God had something greater for you. I see your little face in Jordyn's all the time and while it makes me sad to think you will never be there to run and play with her and Brody and Chloe, I know you are always with all of us. Sweet boy we love and miss you so much!

Aunt Tawni

Letter to Lillian, from Brianna McKinley

Dear Lillian Ember,

This is your crazy Aunt Bri. I never got to meet you or hold you or even see you, but I know that you are a beautiful girl, just like your cousin Kiki. We would have had some crazy and fun times with you just like we have had with your mommy, but for now, you can look down on us and laugh at how silly we can be and the funny situation we get ourselves into. We will never know, in this life, why God chose to bring you back to Him before we could get to know you, but we know that you are with Him waiting for your crazy family to meet you someday. You cousin Kiki was so happy when she found out you were a girl and even guessed your name before your mommy told her. She dances for you sometimes and hopes you are watching and trying to dance with her. Your little brother is a cutie and although you won't get to tease him and squabble together in this life, I am sure you are watching over him. So many people love you and miss you and can't wait to meet you again in our other, better life. 

Love Aunt Bri

Letter to Braxton, from Brian LaChance

Hey buddy, I know that I haven't really talked to you that much. Also, I haven't talked to mommy about you that much either. It just hurts so much and I can't believe that this had to happen. I want you to know that I love you with everything in me. I know that there isn't a single second of any day that goes by that I don't think about you. I know you are watching over everyone and protecting us. Also probably making fun of us sometimes at the stupid things that we do. I can't wait to see you again, those 6 minutes with you was not near enough, but I know that you are always with me in my heart and that is just the most amazing feeling. I do want to say thank you for everything you have done for everyone even though you were so small. You have definitely brought everyone closer together, especially mommy and me. You will always be my special little boy and no one can take your place or take you away from me. I love you so much Braxton, until we meet again and I get to hug you, you will always be carried around in my heart.<33

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Letters to Hannah, Nolan, Cora, Samuel, and Lillian

The following letters are a part of our Love Letter series. To learn more, click HERE. To read all the letters in this series, click HERE

Letters to Hannah and Nolan, from Melissa Kolenda

My Dearest Hannah and Nolan,

I can barely bring myself to write this, as it just makes the realization of you not here with me even more real. Yet, I find that the only thing that helps me deal with this grief is talking about you and to you. 

My first baby Hannah, you brought us so much joy with the big surprise that your daddy and I would be parents for the very first time. You captured my heart and my every thought as you grew inside of me. Although we never got to meet you, I feel blessed to have been able to carry you as long as I did and share that time with just you and I. As you know, you have 3 younger brothers...one of which is with you right now. The other 2 will learn about you and celebrate you just as your daddy and I do. We love you Hannah (Banana) Nielle Kaci Kolenda...forever and always.

My sweet sweet Nolan, so tiny and perfect. We loved every second we got to spend with you. We cherish every memento that we have and we hold on to your memory with such love. It is hard to believe that it has been 4 months already since I last held you. We speak of you everyday and imagine what a great addition you would be to this house full of boys. The pain of losing you was temporarily overshadowed by the beauty and awe that was before us, as I got to birth you and hold you. I am so blessed to have been able to spend those 5 amazing hours with you and that time will be engraved in my heart forever. We love you Nolan Gabriel Palmer Kolenda....forever and always.

We still hold in our hearts the excitement of expectant parents for the day when we will see you both on that Blessed Day in Glory. Until then, fly high my sweet angels..... 

Love always and forever.... to the moon and back,
Mommy and Daddy

Letter to Cora, from Jessica Shoopman

To my sweet Baby Cora,

Mommy prayed and waited for you for such a very long time. It felt surreal when I first saw your little heart beating away on the screen. I fell in love with you from the second I saw you. I was changed for the rest of forever by your sweet little soul. I wish I could hold you. My arms ache for you. I would give anything to bring you back so that Daddy and I could be with you again. Knowing that you're in Heaven, and knowing that you're loved even more than I could love you is the only thing that keeps me sane. I have an empty place in my heart that can never be filled. I look forward to the day that Daddy and I can be with you again. I love you so much.

Letter to Samuel, from MaryJo Carlson

To our most beautiful grandson Samuel Evan,

As each year passes we grow you in our minds. Oh how very special this year should have been with an almost 3 years old celebrating Valentine’s Day. We can just imagine all the preparations you and your mama would have done to make it a very special day. We can see you sitting at the table making homemade valentines and we know they would have included one for us. (Your mama is like that, she never misses a beat in making others feel special) We imagine you standing on a chair or step stool helping make those delicious heart shaped cookies that look as good as they taste. We can simply imagine your little face with red frosting all around your lips from the sneak tastes. We know you would have made a secret shopping trip with mama to buy daddy something special. And another shopping trip with daddy to buy mama something special. And while you were gone with daddy mama would be out buying you something special. We can just see your house all decked out for the day and looking quite magical. You know how we can imagine all of this Samuel because we know how very much your mama as she was growing up looked forward to having her own little one to celebrate with. She had lots of practice making holidays so very special and just perfect. 

We miss you so very much Samuel. Not just on holidays but each and every day. So in our missing you, we imagine you. We imagine the ‘what might have been’ and we imagine what you might be doing in heaven. We assume there doesn’t need to be a special holiday for Valentine’s Day in heaven because every day you are shown extravagant love and you give it right back. Yes, we are quite certain every day is a holiday in heaven.
Some days it is downright unbearable without you here and some days we tell ourselves you wouldn’t want to come back as it is just too unimaginably awesome living there. We will never quite understand why we didn’t get to keep you to love and to spoil and to celebrate this life with. And so instead of asking the whys anymore we say “let’s imagine Samuel again today”.

We love you with all our being precious little guy. We miss you with all our hearts. We can’t wait to come where you are so we can stop the imagining and start living each and every day with you.
Did you catch those kisses we blew to you again today? 

See you soon 

Loving you this and every day,
Grama and Grampa

Letter to Lillian, from Bethany Stewart

Dearest Lillian Ember,

From the moment I knew you were inside me I fell madly in love with you, each day I spent dreaming of all we would do together and all you would become. The moment I saw you inside my love grew deeper as if it was even possible but it was, mommy knew you were GIRL long before we found out, each day we made memories and celebrated life, I am so glad we got it that we were parents the second you came to be inside! When we found out you were our baby girl. Fell in love again. Then the fight for your life began- I never fought so hard for anyone like I did you. You are worth it. And I would do it all over again for you in a heartbeat, the day I birthed you and held you was the best day ever and yet it was our only one here on earth. I fell in love even harder and deeper with my little mighty yet tiny 1lb7.8oz princess!

Lily, I honor you for you made us a family. You gifted me the most precious gift ever. Motherhood. And I am so grateful for this. I want to say thank you for all you teach me about LOVE. The kind that transcends time and space. The kind even death can not separate. It is fierce and powerful, beautiful, brave and Pure. Just like you. 
You will always be loved and always be missed beyond words. 
You are our baby girl always and forever. 

I love you so much, all in the world!! Xoxoxo 
Daddy and Arrow do too !!

Letters to Ivanka, Harley, Charlie, Lily, and Lillian

The following letters are a part of our Love Letter series. To learn more, click HERE. To read all the letters in this series, click HERE

Letter to Ivanka, from her family

If Zia Jojo wrote everything I feel in my heart and soul I would be writing for days... The moment mommy and daddy told us the great news that they were having a baby we were so excited and we couldn't wait for the day to come when we finally would meet you. Your cousins, your Zio and I were so excited. We planned and we planned and we planned but little did we know that while we were so busy planning for your arrival God had different plans for you:(( . We still don't understand but we know it's God's will.

My beautiful Ivanka we love and miss you so much and our hearts will forever be broken . I promise that we will forever keep your memory alive... I will forever cherish the moment I held you in my arms ...we love you so very much

Zia Jojo, Zio Kirk and your cousins 
Patricia, Maria & Giuliana

Til we meet again my lil' princess Ivanka Rose Caruso

Letter to Harley, from Kristi Lumpkin

My dear, precious Harley, 

Your Daddy and I love you so much. Words can't even describe it accurately. We miss you more than we can put into words. 

Every day, minute and hour we think of you. You were so beautiful. A perfect mixture of your Daddy and I. We will miss you this Valentines Day and everyday in between. 

You will not be forgotten. I long to see you again. That first time will be in eternity. You knew love your whole life. The first face you saw was Jesus. We love you and miss until the last breath we take.

Letter to Charlie, from Reatha Mendenhall

To my beautiful grandson Charlie,

I love you and miss you so much! I pray for help in understanding why you were taken from us, but I do believe we will all be together someday! Now you are watching over me instead of me getting to watch out for you! Doesn't seem fair, but you will be in my heart forever and I will feel your love every time I look at your mom, dad and big sister! I see you in them and it makes me so proud!! There is only one you! You will always be loved and never forgotten!!! Until I see that sweet little face again!! 

Grandma Reatha

Letter to Lily, from Kellie Soper

To my sweet Lily girl,

Right now my words seem so small and so insignificant. "I miss you" just doesn't seem like enough.

I found out almost a year ago I was pregnant with you. As with many days in the past year, this is one I will never forget. I was so excited, but also so nervous. I was nervous it was too soon. Your brother was only 10 months old. I was worried I was robbing him of his time as an only child. Most of all, I was worried that it wasn't possible to love another tiny human the way I loved your brother. 

What a silly fear! As you grew and danced in my belly my love for you grew exponentially. Honestly though, I didn't know how much I loved you until I learned I wouldn't get to keep you.

I thank God every single day that I had the chance to know you. I love you sweet Lily girl and I miss you like crazy.

Letter to Lillian, from Becca Collier

This is for my niece Lillian Ember Stewart...

The other day at church my pastor said when we get to Heaven we Will know our loved ones even if we have never met them. Even though I know that one day I will meet you and through pictures and your little brother I will know you this reasures me. I am blessed to know that in everything you are with us in spirit but I look forward to the day when we celebrate the return of Jesus and you are one that get to count among my beloved. 

Love Aunt Becca

Friday, February 13, 2015

Letters to Bennet, Sadie, Lucas, Layla, and Isabella

The following letters are a part of our Love Letter series. To learn more, click HERE. To read all the letters in this series, click HERE

Letter to Bennet, from Joy Bornstein

My Bennet,

I miss you so much.A missing that is a physical ache.
For your beautiful round cheeks.
The dark soft hair you got from your Daddy.
Your eyes, that I'm sure were his, too, though you could never open them for me.
Your toes and fingers, so perfect and tiny.
Your little button nose and heart-shaped lips. 
Your face so like your big brother's, but very uniquely YOU.
I long to hear you cry. Laugh. Breath.
To rock you to sleep. To dance with you and your big brother again, like I did while you still grew in me. 
And sing "I'll love you forever" and kiss you goodnight, smoothing back your dark, beautiful hair.
We wonder who you'd be, what you'd be like.
We miss you so much, baby boy, your Daddy and me.
And love you always.
I miss you in such a painful and intense way. Today has been 9 weeks since you were born and died, and today is your due date.
I see mothers carrying their babies around, and in effort to fill my empty hands I fumble with your initials around my neck, consoling myself. I try to remember even if you aren't visible like these other babies, needing your baby carrier and to be comforted by the breast, you are still here- within my heart. It's not enough. 
I want you sweet girl....I want to see who you are at 2 and at 5 and at 14 and at 30. I know I can't. But I will spend every day wishing things had been different. 
All my love,

Letter to Sadie, from her Mommy

Dear Sadie,

I miss you in such a painful and intense way. Today has been 9 weeks since you were born and died, and today is your due date.

I see mothers carrying their babies around, and in effort to fill my empty hands I fumble with your initials around my neck, consoling myself. I try to remember even if you aren't visible like these other babies, needing your baby carrier and to be consoled by the breast, you are still here- within my heart. It's not enough. 

I want you sweet girl....I want to see who you are at 2 and at 5 and at 14 and at 30. I know I can't. But I will spend every day wishing things had been different. 

I love you so much it hurts, & I'm proud of you my beautiful, peaceful, sweet, silent daughter. I ache for you now and always.

Letter to  Lucas, from Beccy New

To my gorgeous son, Lucas

I have been putting off writing this letter to you, because I am not sure how to say everything in just one letter. It is over 3 years since I held you for the first and last time. I remember thinking maybe if I held you long enough you would prove the doctors wrong and rally. That maybe my skin would warm you and stop you being so very cold. I held you for 7 hours until your strong brave heart finally stopped beating and I wish I could have that time again. I would tell you all about your older sister, your twin brother and your newest baby brother. I would make sure your big sister got to meet you. I would make sure your grandparents and aunts and uncle got to meet you. I would tell you you will always be part of our family and one day I will find and hold you again. I would tell you to run, laugh, love and be kind, wherever you were going next. I would tell you I was so very sorry I couldn't protect you as you deserved. I would tell you you were taking a piece of my heart with you and that you were always in mine.

We all feel your loss gorgeous boy, but you will always be part of our family and we love you and try to honour you by living and loving, until we meet again. 

I love you, little lionheart
Mummy xxx

Letter to Layla, from Racheal Mutter

Dear Layla,

I'm not sure where to begin. It's been 11 months since you went to be with Jesus. In these past 11 months, my whole world did a 360. I've never in my life imagined that I would be a horrible statistic. I never imagined living my life every day, without one of my children. But, I'm here. I'm in this surreal tragic world now. Every day I open my eyes I think of you, and when I close them I hope to dream of you. I'm very passionate about telling people your story, and spreading awareness for the disorder that took you from me! Every single day, I relive the pain. Every memory box I make, I picture me being wheeled out of that hospital holding yours instead of you. Everywhere I go, I include you somehow whether it be wearing a little light blue awareness ribbon on my shirt, or wearing smeared makeup and bags under my eyes from crying. Every thing I do, you're included. I wish I could touch you one last time. I wish I could smell your sweet scent and kiss you. I want to tell you one more time, just how much I love you.

I've tried very hard to make your legacy known and so far, I think I'm doing a pretty good job. Many days, I cringe when someone messages me to inquire about a box, or other memorial things I make in your honor. I cringe because that's one more mommy that feels the pain I feel. One more mommy who will never get to hold their baby in this world. 

You've made mommy into a whole new person sweetheart. You have mommy a new relationship with God, you helped me to see the true colors of the world. You gave me the courage to reach out and help someone in the situation I am in now. Above all, you my love, gave me a daughter. You have your brothers a baby sister and your daddy, you have him a little princess. I am so proud of you Layla, for holding on and fighting for your life for 34 weeks. Many times, I cursed God, for not giving me a single minute to look in your eye and tell you I love you. He just took you from me! How selfish I was, to be angry that I didn't get the satisfaction of knowing you outside of my womb. If I would have gotten that wish, you would have suffered. You would have felt pain, and you would have had to gasp for air as you slipped off into the arms of angels. As much as I wanted to look into those beautiful blue eyes of yours and look deep into your soul, I'm okay with not being able to. I'm okay with God being the first thing you seen when your little eyes opened. I'm okay with God being the first thing you seen when your little eyes opened. I'm okay that he saved you from pain, and me and daddy from the agony of having to see you suffer. 

Layla Rae, I love you all the way to the stars and back a million gazillion times over. You have a piece of my heart up there in Heaven with you my little warrior, so keep it safe for me because I'm going to come to Heaven one day, and I'm going to get that piece of my heart back! Butterfly kisses my sweet little girl.


Letter to Isabella, from Emily Rodríguez Quirós de Victoria

Dear Isabella Sofia, my most precious gift, my beloved little girl, my only child;

Before I met you, I thought I had everything, and I needed of nothing. When I met you I knew happiness was having you in my arms, I knew that finally I had everything, and now I know I only needed you, since you fulfilled all the dreams I ever had. 

Baby girl, although you fell asleep in God arms unexpectedly I want you to know that you are the most precious gift I have ever receive. Your little short life gave me strength and now all I want to do is to make you proud. Daddy and I love you so much, your little cousins always talk about you and how much they love you. Your grandparents miss you so much, and we feel we're drowning from time to time. Some other times we know we have to keep on strong, faithful and hopeful to reach you whenever it's our time. Daddy and I want to tell you thank you, because you make our dream come true, you're everything we ever wanted and knowing you're now an angel hurts us very much but make us so proud because you got further than us, because you were so big you accomplished your mission way before we could accomplished our. 

Thank you for all your love, we love you and miss you every single second of our lives!
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