What do you write to a boy who you’re sure couldn’t possibly remember you, but who holds such a big piece of your heart? Nothing seems just right.
I love you Nicholas. I’ve thought about you all day today. Your silly baby laugh. Your independent determination. The adorable fashion statements you used to make. Your love for puppies. The list could go on and on.
I wonder what you are like now. I can’t believe you are already 10! I hope you had a happy birthday. I hope you felt my love and were showered by love from those closest to you.
As your head hits the pillow tonight I hope your heart is happy. I hope you dream of all the wonderful things that hitting double digits is going to bring. I hope you have the best year yet.
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“It is possible to feel both grief and gratitude simultaneously.” – Laura Anderson
I read that quote this morning and it was perfect. This year has brought so many wonderful things for me to be thankful for, but I’m still grieving all of you.
Everyday, but especially today (Thanksgiving), is a challenge to live while simultaneously feeling like my heart has been ripped out of my chest. To hope while feeling like there is none. To be in the here and now while so desperately just wanting to live in my memories.
I do it though. I get up, I smile, I pray, I end my day with my #thankful3… every single day.
I’m telling you this because it matters. It’s important. It’s important that you know there’s love. It’s important that you know there’s always hope. It’s important that you know it’s ok to have conflicting feelings.
I hope the day has brought you all joy and smiles.
Today you turn 15. Where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday you were born.
Have you ever heard the story of your name? I chose not to know if you were going to be a boy or a girl. If you were going to be a boy you would have been named Zachary or Lucas. As a girl it was Grace or Hannah. You made your debut with the cord wrapped around your neck, but doing remarkably well. So it seemed like Grace was the right name for you. All these years later I couldn’t imagine your name being anything else.
You have grown to a beautiful, kind, sweet, intelligent young lady. I am so proud to have you as my daughter.
I hope you did something fun today. I hope joy found you and that you feel my love. I hope you know you’re not forgotten and you’re extremely missed.
Today you turn 16. I can’t even believe it. I remember your birth like it was yesterday. You were so stubborn and didn’t want to come out of your comfortable home in my womb. At 42 weeks they had to evict you.
You were born so alert. You acted more like a three month old than a newborn. You were always so smart. At just a few weeks old you were holding your head up.
You were also always a mama’s girl. You wouldn’t fall asleep unless you were twirling my hair and sucking your fingers. Even as you aged you always wanted your mommy.
I miss our girl days. Our arts and crafts, baking, avocado cheese fries… and most importantly our chats. Life without you just isn’t as happy.
I pray you are doing well. I hope Covid hasn’t completely messed up your birthday. I hope your having fun and celebrating. I hope this year is filled with all the best things for you.
I know you’d never get anything I sent you so I took a Halloween picture of Bailey for you. It’s not much at all, but given the situation it’s the best I can do. I hope it makes you smile.
Today is the first day of school for the 20/21 school year. I know things are going to be so different for you all this year. Different doesn’t have to mean bad though.
I pray you embrace the changes. Find ways to make them fun when you can. I hope you still get to see your old friends, but if they are no longer on your team I hope you make new ones. You can always stay connected with your old friends with technology.
There are going to be moments when you are frustrated; pray, cry, journal, take a walk… Try different tools till you find one that helps. Don’t feel weak because you are upset. Everyone is having those moments right now.
Stay safe. Wear your mask and stay apart when you can. Hopefully soon this will all just be a memory.
Have fun and do your best. Most importantly know that you are loved no matter what happens this year.
Christopher Felix, yesterday you turned 12. Yesterday, I had no words. I miss you with every fiber of my being. You are my heart outside my body. 🧡
Usually, I try to celebrate you on your birthday. It takes my mind off of the hurt and it makes me feel closer to you, but this year was more somber. I still did orange day and people still prayed for you and left messages, but there was no celebrating here.
I hope there was there. I hope you had cake, smiles, and love. Though you shouldn’t be materialistic, I hope you got some awesome gifts.
Enjoy 12. Don’t rush through it to be a teen. There will be plenty of time for that. Be you. Be fun. Be silly. Be kind. Be love. 🧡
This is the first year that I don’t have anything special planned for Christopher’s birthday. His is one I have always wanted to celebrate given how complicated his pregnancy and birth were. All children should be celebrated, but when one almost dies it makes every milestone that much more special. Not to mention his love of orange has always made it easy for others to participate too.
I’ve always felt his essence, but this year it’s gone. There is a void where that feeling used to be and it’s hurting me. I need it back so badly. It motivated me, it pushed me, it made me always want to do better. Maybe it’s Covid changes or maybe it’s because I’ve been away for too long. I don’t know, but I pray it returns.
Last night I prayed God would send an angel to watch over you all and that you would all know without a shadow of a doubt that you are loved by me. Then I cried thinking maybe that would make you sad to know I actually do love you so I prayed that if that were the case that you would be angry with me so you wouldn’t have to feel that kind of pain.
I love you all so much. I want the best for each of you. I want to be your mom to the fullest extent, but the reality is that is never going to happen so I pray that what does happen at least doesn’t cause any of you sadness. I don’t know if that’s right or wrong as perhaps sadness is needed and would help you all in the long run, but the thought of any of you being sad is too much to think about.
Today the four youngest of you had a themed day from your school system.
Though I’m not there with you all I still wanted to participate. So I did just that.
For the F and the A, I took the pups on a hike. I wish it could have been all of my family, including all of you; but I made the best of what I had.
For the C, I have messaged several people this am and will be holding a Zoom support group later today for those who might be needing a little more connection.
For the T, I will be posting my #thankful3 on my personal Facebook like I do every night. Being thankful is so important. I’ve been posting my #thankful3 every night for years. It has tremendously helped me.
I hope that you all are having a good time participating in this theme day. 💚
On April 16th Bailey turned 8. We had a little party for her. I thought you might want to see some pictures.
Always and forever,
P.S. – Many people wrote her happy birthday messages. I was going to screenshot and share them here, but instead I left them on Facebook and tagged a special album for you. They will be there if you ever want to see them.