My dear sweet baby Amelia,
I feel like you’ve been a part of me for ages, but then all of a sudden you’ve been gone for twice as long. In my heart I know your spirit is all grown up, but please forgive me because to me, you’ll always be that broad-shouldered newborn with a kitten squeak.
When the doctor plopped you on my chest, I remember not recognizing you. Forgive me, Amelia, but you were far more beautiful than I’d imagined you would be. Then they whisked you away and I was left with fragmented memories of your gentle face. I couldn’t picture you anymore, and who could say you were really mine? If that would have been it and you had returned home again to your Heavenly Father, what sorrow I would have felt at never really knowing you.
But you came back to me – you always have in one way or another. I was blessed with two perfect days to see your face, to see your chest move up and down as you lived and breathed on this beautiful earth. I just wish you could have seen the way we admired you, Amelia. I wish you could have even caught the littlest glimpse of the way you brought complete strangers to tears because of your strength and spirit.
I remember when it was time to bring you home. I was frightened about the reality of losing you, and spent those precious moments walking a delicate balance of anxiety and joy that you were still with us.
I struggled the most when you crossed the threshold into our home, for I knew we had entered sacred ground. You were home, with us, for the last time here on earth. I was heartbroken but understanding that though we had brought you to our home, it wasn’t your home. You died in our arms just twelve hours later.
It was really hard for me after you left us. Things got dark, and I couldn’t see the sun right in front of my eyes. There were so many ‘should have been’s and I found myself drowning in your memories. I tried the “fake it til you make it” for a while until my world began to crumble beneath me and I couldn’t find solid ground.
It took me several days to really cry for you, and then one night I just lost it. I screamed out in pain and your Daddy just held me tight. I didn’t realize how severe the pain of empty arms could be. You were there, and then all of a sudden you weren’t, and I couldn’t make sense of it.
It’s been a long year, Amelia. I miss you more than I feel like I can bear sometimes, but I know you’re close. I know you’re watching over us as a family, in anxious anticipation to greet us again. There’s so much that extends beyond my mortal comprehension, but I know things are as they were always meant to be.
Happy birthday, my sweet baby girl. May you always know how much we love and miss you.
I’ve compiled some of my favorite images from our short hospital stay last year. Most images (meaning 99% of them) are by the talented Gail Pomare. Gail, we were beyond blessed to have you with us at the hospital!