Happy first birthday, precious girl. How I wish you were here to celebrate.
Daddy took the day off of work today so we could be as a family. He made us a special breakfast, then we went with your sisters to a movie. After that, we took flowers and balloons to the cemetery. Your big sisters shared things they loved and remembered about you before they let the pink balloons float up and away into the sky, like they did the day of your memorial service. Liv asked, "Do you think God will catch them?" I told her he would definitely let you know that they let the balloons go in honor of you.
We rested a little this afternoon and then went to dinner. We talked about what you might be doing in Heaven. Emily thought you were probably dancing, and Daddy said he thought you might be singing too. I said I wasn't sure what you were doing, but whatever it was, you were doing it beautifully with more joy than we can imagine.
We watched your video when we got home. I love reliving the memories of our time with you. It was the best in my life...I loved having all five of us together. I miss you so terribly. It hasn't been the same since.
The day we brought you home from the hospital was one I didn't think we would see. And I began to hope that maybe, just maybe, you would defy all odds and stay with us a long time. I imagined for a moment celebrating your first birthday...pink flowers and balloons all over the house, cupcakes adorned with millions of sprinkles (applied by Emily, of course), and family and friends celebrating the wonder of the occasion with us.
But that wasn't God's plan, and soon, too soon, you were gone. I was so glad Daddy decided to throw you a "One Day Old" birthday party at the hospital. I'm glad you got to hear the voices of loved ones singing and celebrating you. You were a miracle.
I miss you, Avery. I miss you so much I can't put it into words. As difficult as it was to lose you, and continues to be to move forward without you, none of that compares to the joy you brought us in your short little life. I would do it all again a million times. I am so thankful God gave you to us. To say it is a privilege to be your mom is an understatement. Everyday I thank God that He chose us to be your parents. Everyday I ask Him to tell you how much I love you. Everyday I ask him to tell you how much I would have loved to have taken care of you for the rest of my life.
You changed us, Avery. God used you to grow us in ways I couldn't have grown without you. For a long time I thought I would never consider having another child...there are never guarantees, and I didn't think I could risk going through that kind of pain again. But now, here we are, expecting your baby sister in a few months. You gave us the courage, Avery. The moment I met you and held you in my arms, I knew every risk was worth it.
Avery Joy, you are my precious girl. I am so thankful that we have the hope of seeing you again in eternity. My heart couldn't take it if I thought it was all over. But I believe you are with Jesus, and I can't wait to be there with you someday.
I love you, Avery. I love you so much.