This is a letter to my little girl Aleah Grace. If you don’t know my story, click here to read about it. On March 23rd, she would be turning six years old.
It has been six years since we met face to face.
It feels like it was yesterday and a lifetime ago all at once.
In my mind I try and picture you as a six year old, running around, playing games with your friends, going to school, picking out your own clothes, you and me having conversations about life together. What would your personality be like? Would you be sweet and kind? Would you be a home body or a social butterfly? What color are your eyes, sweet baby girl? I never got to see them open.
I am your mother. I feel like I know everything about you and yet I know nothing. 59 minutes was not enough. Yet in those 59 minutes my heart claimed you again and again.
You are MY baby. Though days, months, and years separate us, I am proud to tell you that my Mama-heart still searches for you, still misses you with every fiber of my being. I know that I will go to my grave missing the little girl I met for 59 minutes, who changed my whole world.
In 59 minutes you taught me all the important things in life. You taught me how to love. You taught me how to be brave. You taught me that I can do hard things. You taught me what it means to love recklessly. Because loving you has changed everything inside me. You have given me compassion for others. You have made me see the world is so much bigger than myself. You have given me a perspective of eternity that never made total sense to me until you left to go be in it. You showed me that sacrifice and pain have a purpose, even if it isn’t what I would choose. As your parent, I thought I would be the one teaching you about all the important things in life, but you my sweet child, are the one teaching me.
Grief in our culture often is a bad word that everyone tries to avoid. Grief ushers in words like sorrow, sadness, anger, and loneliness into our lives. But what I never fully realized until you came into my life is love comes with a cost. Grief is the cost I pay for that love. Aleah, it has been the pleasure of my life to grieve you because it is proof of my love for you. You are worth all the thousands of tears that have streamed down my face the last six years. You are worth the thousands more tears that I will cry over you in the future. You are worth the thousands of nights that I have thought of you before I drift off to sleep. You are worth the thousands of “what ifs” that flirt through my mind. My heart will NEVER forget you. After all this time, I miss you the same as the night you left.
Sweet girl, happy 6th birthday. I’m sending you kisses from earth for Jesus to give you in heaven. Until we meet again.