Sunday, August 17, 2014
This morning I woke up at 5:00 am. It was still dark outside, and I could hear the birds chirping outside of our window. Everything else around me was peaceful and silent. But your mommy watched the clock as those precious minutes ticked away. Then the moment came when the bright red letters flashed 5:16. My precious girl, in that moment I could remember you so clearly. I remember the cold bright room. I remember the faded voices of the doctors and nurses. I remember the kind and reassuring words being spoken in my ear. I remember seeing some part of your body pressed up tight against my stomach, oblivious to what was going on around you in the outside world. I remember laughing with the nurse as we saw you wiggle around inside of me. I remember being numb, and watching you disappear from my view as a blue sheet was raised. I remember feeling such indescribable peace. I remember your dad coming into the room and sitting beside me. I remember holding his hand, tightly. I remember waiting, knowing we were going to meet you very soon. I remember feeling the pushing and pulling as I knew it was almost time. I remember hearing the words "the baby is out". I remember the nurses exclaiming how much dark hair you had. I remember seeing them pass you to the neonatal doctor. I remember waiting. I remember turning my head to try and see my first glimpse of you. I remember watching them gently place you into your daddy's outstretched arms. I remember the doctor's reassuring voice telling us we made the right decision. Then everything froze. The only thing that mattered my sweet girl, was seeing you. All those months of wondering and guessing what you would look like, and now you were finally here. You took your mommy's breath away. I never dreamed you would be so beautiful.
Your little body was gently placed onto my chest, and I could feel the warmth of life. Your mouth was open, and I felt your little chest rise with breath. You were the most perfect baby. Your tiny little nose, your silky soft cheeks. The dark curly hair that covered your head. Your mommy remembers placing my finger in your perfect, tiny hand. My sweet girl, you were everything I had dreamed for and so much more. In that moment, I told you how much I loved you. I told you how beautiful you were. I kissed your fingers and your wrinkly forehead. I know that you felt me. I know that you heard me. But most of all my little Caroline, I pray that you will always know how much I love you.
Not a moment goes by that I do not think about you. Each time I feel my heart beat, I know that it beats for you. My precious daughter, you were and will always be my heart. I love you so deeply that it hurts. Sometimes the ache I feel is so great that I cannot move. I have never felt such pain throughout my entire body, as I feel when I am missing you. But Caroline, I know that this pain comes because of how deeply I love you. The truth is that having those 19 minutes with you, and having those 35 weeks with you, was worth every single second of pain that I must face now. If I had the choice, I would go through the pain over and over again, if it meant that I could have just one more second with you in my arms.
This morning as I watched those 19 minutes tick by, I was lost in memories. That day you were born was so joyful and happy. I felt such purpose, as I held you so tight. In those moments, I did not think about how I would have to give you away. Instead, I rejoiced in the beauty of the moments. I watched as your grandparents held you in their arms. I watched as your aunts and uncles gently passed you around, and gazed at you with such love. I watched as our families laughed together and cried together. I watched as your daddy held you so carefully. I watched as your daddy fell in love with you. I watched as you were baptized. I watched as we prayed over your tiny body. I watched as the nurses gently cared for you, and treated you with such love and respect. But most of all my precious baby, your mommy memorized you. I memorized every detail of your beautiful body, and I hold those memories deep inside my heart. Even two months later, I can still remember what it felt like to comb your silky black hair. I can still remember holding your tiny little fingers. I remember kissing your soft cheeks and nose. I remember how perfectly you fit in my arms. I remember how right it felt to have you there.
This morning in the dark silence, I cried tears of joy, and tears of pain. It hurts to be alone my sweet girl. I want more than anything to have you back in my arms. I want those memories to be only the beginning, the beginning of a happy and healthy long life with you. But instead, I realize those are the only memories I have, and so I must cherish them forever. I will hold them close to my heart always.
Today your daddy and I went to visit your grave. We brought you purple flowers to place inside your vase. As we walked through the damp grass, I saw your pinwheel spinning in the distance. I knew that you were that watching over us. Your daddy held me close as I cried. I cried for everything we are missing with you. I cried for the two months I have been aching with empty arms. I cried for the life I wish we could share with you. I cried with the deep pain of missing you. I cried just knowing it is only going to get harder with each day that goes by. But most of all Caroline, I cried because of how much I love you, and how I wish I could whisper it into your ear just one more time.
I wish I could tell you that it gets easier as time goes on. But I truly miss you more now than I ever did before. Each day that goes by gets a little harder, as I am forced to move forward without you in my life. I will miss you every moment of my life Caroline.
Yet as difficult as this day has been, I have been blessed to feel joy. The memories that flood my mind remind me of that happy day two months ago. That day when my life stood still. That day when we met our beautiful gift from God.
Caroline, I want you to know that no matter how much time goes by, you will never be forgotten. Your mommy will continue to honor your life and share your story for as long as God gives me breath. But most of all sweet girl, your mommy will love you more deeply than I ever thought possible. I will cherish the memories of that special day two months ago, and I will hold you in my heart forever. Your mommy loves you so very much my beautiful Caroline Joy.
Tonight I would like to invite you to light a candle in honor of Caroline. As you watch the steady flame flicker, we can be reminded that she is being held safely in the arms of Jesus. Please join me tonight by honoring the life of my sweet little daughter. I would love to see a picture of the candle you lit in her honor. Please share a picture in the comment area below, or on my Facebook page.