And I will try my best not to cry, but at some point, the tears will flow.
Because there should be two of you running around. Because no matter how much we celebrate Jax, there will always be a big piece of my heart that’s missing. Because no matter what I do, how much I plan or how perfect it all seems, it just won’t ever be quite right without you there..
This year i’ve become so insanely emotional. I think it’s because your brother is so incredibly big now. He’s smart. He’s hilarious. He rarely takes a breath in between sentences. He’s independent. You did such a great job of getting him to us. He will go to pre-k in a few weeks. Harper. Big big things are happening. Life seems to be moving faster with him. It’s a big, crazy, tear-filled time for your mommy.
With every single milestone, I wonder what it would be like with both of you here.
I imagine constantly what you would be like, how your little personality would shine, the things you would love and hate. In my mind even though you looked just like me, you would be much like your Daddy. You’d be my laid back, quieter kid. I can’t imagine your ever getting a word in edgewise with your brother around. I’m sure he would communicate enough for both of you. He is loud and crazy. He all but tap dances into the room. But he’s cautious and a little bit of a scaredy cat just like I am. I always worried that he would be jumping off of furniture and breaking bones, but that’s just not the case. You, my sweet girl, would be sneaky and unafraid. You would give me daily heart palpitations. He is my snuggle bunny like Daddy and Sissy, and I’m certain that you would get your independence and “please don’t touch me” attitude from your mommy…. and it would drive me just a little bit crazy.
I watch your brother play and love, and live his life and I know without a doubt that you two would have had the best time together. He sometimes lapses into this crazy language that I don’t understand. He makes up words and gives them definitions. It makes me think that somehow he still has that twin language thing I read about when I was pregnant with you. As much as it makes me sad to live my life without you, I sometimes think it’s the saddest that he doesn’t have you around. You’re very much a part of him as you are Daddy and me. We talk about you. He asks questions, and wants to know as much about you as possible.
I bought your brother’s first real backpack this summer, and in my head I picked one out for you too. His is a dinosaur, and yours is the cutest purple owl. It’s precious. I picked out another for you that’s bigger because I didn’t know if you’d need special care equipment with you. I filed it away with my list of birthday and Christmas gifts I’ve made for you over the last four years. This year I’ve added a Sofia the First Enchanted castle to the list for you. You’ll have your own pink cupcake amongst all of the others at the party this weekend, and when it’s all over and everybody has gone home, your daddy and I will sit with it and shed some tears. Then we’ll put it in the box in the freezer with the others. I sometimes find myself wondering to the girls side of the children’s department wondering if you’d like this outfit or that. It sounds crazy. It feels like I’m setting myself up for more tears and sadness. But it gives you life again for me. I can’t explain it, but it helps.
There isn’t a single day that goes by that my heart doesn’t feel your absence. I relive your birthday and every second I had with you as much as possible. I’m afraid one day I’ll forget. It scares me.
Just Saturday, a sweet church friend who prayed for you constantly talked to me about you. She reminded me that she has your photo in her bible, and how much you and Jax changed her life. Imagine that sweet girl. You only breathed outside of my belly for under 2 hours, and you changed a life. If that was it, my heart would burst with pride… but you, precious love changed so many. Because of you, people pray differently, they love differently, they give sacrificially. Your daddy and I are no exception. Because of you, other mommies and daddies who can’t hold their babies are able to have a special plate to hold and remember their babies. Each one has your name on it. This makes me so proud. I’m as proud of you as I am your brother when he learns a new skill or your Sissy when she aces the Libero. I could jump up and down and cheer for you just thinking about it. You continue to make us so very proud.
You are my always my reminder of God’s incredible love for us. One of our favorite verses has always been James 1:17; “ Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” It’s on my wedding ring. It’s always been God’s promise over my marriage to Daddy, and over our family. You, precious girl, are our good and perfect gift. You’re our reminder that even in our darkest moments, when we don't understand our own grief or when we fail to show grace, His love is steadfast and unchanging. You’re our proof that even the smallest among us can make the greatest impact on the world around them… and you’re not stopping that impact any time soon. I’m so very thankful.
Happy Birthday week, Harper! Never stop changing our world for the better.