Today, we are honoring you. We are honoring the life you could have lived, and the woman you could have been. Because today Kendall, I should be in a hospital crying in pain but also for joy, giving birth to you. I should be anticipating your arrival. I should be wondering what outfit I will first put you in, and I should be arguing with Daddy about what we will name you. I should have an orange and yellow nursery all set up for you, complete with a fashionable wardrobe and that darling designer diaper bag I had my eye on that you know I would have rocked. But instead, today, I am only mourning your loss. I am missing you so fiercly it hurts.
I will never in this lifetime be able to marvel at your fingers and toes and squishy little thighs and thick dark hair. I’ll never know if you have dimples and bright blue eyes like your older brother Cade. But I do know you. I know the wonderful little girl you are, and the amazing, bright, talented woman that you would have grown up to be. I am devastated that I’ll never be able to see these things for a long time to come, until one day when we are reunited, and I get to hug you and laugh with you and tell you lots of stories about Daddy and Cade and all the things you missed out on by being taken from me so early. Yes, Kendall, I am devastated by your loss. But I am also joyful that I got to have you for even the shortest time I did, and I am blessed and grateful to God that I got to know you as only a mother carrying her child gets to know them.
I’ve been so caught up in being angry at your loss. Angry at myself for not being able to save you, and angry at God for taking you away from me far too early. Angry, even, Sweet Baby, at you, for leaving your mama when she needed you so badly to stay with her. And today, Kendall, that is why I am memorializing you. Because I know it is time for me to move on from the anger that consumes me, and move to the peace I can feel from God and all of the people here who love me and you and mourn your loss. I know it is time to let go of my anger and instead be grateful for you and for all you gave me, even when you were just inside me.
Because, Kendall, you gave me strength. Strength I had no idea I even had. You gave me courage to move on from an eating disorder that I have struggled with for ten years. I will always feel your loss in my life; there will always be a small part of my heart that is empty without you here. But your loss has also filled my life and heart with new things. It has filled my life with courage to face the things in my life that hurt me and move on from them, because Kendall if I can grieve for you and still breathe and live and thrive through it all, I know that nothing can stop me from living a happy life with no regret or resentment. When you died, I nearly died. I didn’t want to live anymore. I stopped eating and drinking and when I was in the hospital, having your sweet little body removed from mine, I nearly died. But, against all odds, through everything I’ve put my body through, I am here. I am alive. And I no longer will squander the life I have been given. I will never take for granted life and breathing and laughing again. That would be disrespectful to your short life, and it would be disrespectful to mine for all that I have endured. In short, Baby Girl, you have taught me to live. You have taught me that life is worth living. And, I promise, Sweet Girl, that I will never waste my life again. Your mama is going to make you proud.
Daddy and Cade and I will always miss you. We will never forget you. You will always be my first daughter, my second child. Times will change, new children will be born into our family, but I will never ever forget you and the vital role you play in my life and family and how you have impacted me for the better. I will never forget the life you could have lived. I will never forget how much you inadvertently taught your mama strength and courage and hope.
So, I hope you are in Heaven looking down on us right now, smiling in anticipation for all the balloons that will soon be sailing your way. I hope you will know that each balloon comes with love for you, and love for the life you could have lived. Know that these balloons are not just for you, but for others that people here have lost. I like to imagine that you and the others are in Heaven feeling joyful as we are honoring you and doing our best to let each other know how vital it is to learn and grow from the spirits that were taken from us too early. Letting go of these balloons does not mean that we are letting go of our love for you or for the grief we feel. It is letting go of the anger and resentment that has held us down since we have lost you.
Until me meet again, my baby, hold on to these balloons. For they represent the love and honor we have for you. You are my little hero. You saved me when no one else could save me. And for that, your mama will forever be indebted to you.
You are good. You are my daughter. And I love you.
Mom, wife, reader, writer, and napper extrordanaire. I think Ed sucks and life rocks. If you read my blog, you will find a fruitful abundance of evidentiary support regarding my neatness factor. It's pretty intense.