Today you would be 11 months old. 11 months ago we got to meet you and be amazed by you. We always knew you were special, incredible really, but meeting you just confirmed it. Daddy and I switch off between imagining you as you would be here at 11 months old and what life is really like for you now. We have imagined you as a precious angel above. Somehow, though, we think even an angelic you is still so "you." Daddy and I joke that you wear a leather jacket and drive all around the clouds on your Harley. I love that image of you and it always makes me smile.
Hadley, we want you to know you are a part of our daily life. Never does a day end and we have not spoken about you. You are our daughter and naturally, we speak of you all the time. I worry sometimes that as the days pass, you will slip further and further from me. That I'll forget your scent, the way your soft skin felt, your precious tiny fingernails, and your flexed itty bitty feet. When I feel sad about it, daddy reminds me that there's no possible way I will forget a thing. We are made of the same stuff, dear girl, and as I am, so are you. I am so thankful we have so many of your pretty pictures. Want to know something? I look at every single one every day.
These 11 months have been filled with all sorts of things: fun times, adventures,lessons learned, laughter, reflection, and hope. But through it all, you are missing from us. And that is so painful. We will never "get over you," Instead, we will learn to live and love and laugh with that missing piece. Around that hole in hearts, we are striving to honor your life and make something beautiful.
We have felt your presence in so many ways over the past few months. For starters, about three weeks after you passed, I was home alone, looking at your pictures and the tears began to fall. I was devastated that your life was cut short and we would never get to watch you grow. I was in despair, and sinking into that awful question that still haunts me from time to time: "Why us?" Suddenly I felt you there, right there with me, and instantly the tears dried, a smile came to my face, and I just knew you were safe. Not just safe, but happy and loved. I hold onto that moment. In a much less dramatic fashion, you've also shown up to us in other ways. Daddy and I decided a crown was your symbol after your favorite book, "Princess Baby." Now, sweet girl, we see crowns everywhere and always view them as a little wink from you. It seems that they always pop up whenever we're talking about you or thinking of you. Also whenever daddy or I are having a rough day, we give each other your special wink, "The Hadley Eye," we've called it, and that reminds us to try and be as tough and strong as you are.
Mommy and Daddy