To my sweet Avelyn KayLee Grace ~
Happy 1st Birthday baby girl. It is officially here. May 7th. Exactly a year ago, your Daddy & I - your big pregnant Mommy - traveled to Children's Mercy for an early morning appt for you. The sono specialist/physician on May 5th had noticed possible fluid on your heart and he recommended you have an echocardiogram to "rule this out." This appt was set up for May 7th @ 8am - and never in our wildest dreams did we think you would be arriving just a few short hours after this. Immediately after they delivered you via C-section and you were stabilized, they wheeled me in to see you. I later realized you already had tubes & wires hooked up to you, but at that moment I didn't see any of them. All I remember is me reaching for your hand, holding your hand, then you turning to look at me - opening your eyes to see me as you heard my voice. Little did I know this would be one of only a few times you would be able to open your eyes; your little body was so swollen you weren't able to do this easily. This fact makes this moment even that much more precious; that by the sound of my voice, you opened those heavy, swollen eyes and turned to look at me, your Mommy. This moment is so precious to me; thankfully one of your sweet nurses took pictures of this moment, but even without them, I will always have this moment engrained in my head, and in my heart. At that moment and for the next 2 weeks the thought never, ever crossed my mind that we would have to say goodbye to you only 16 short days later. It wasn't until the day before you found yourself in heaven that I finally realized this was a possibility.
On the evening of your 16th day, just before you found yourself in heaven, another moment I will always have in my mind and cherish in my heart is the picture of your Daddy holding you, looking at you intently, singing & talking to you - and as the picture shows - a tear glistening down his cheek. We were taking all of this in for a few minutes before the doctor came back in to check on you again and at that exact time stated you were gone. As hard as this moment was and as much as I was sobbing, I love this precious picture because you went from being alive - lying in your Daddy's arms, enjoying his presence, his voice, his love - immediately into your heavenly Father's arms - enjoying His presence, His voice, His love. Hard for us. Freedom for you.
We are going to try our best to celebrate you today. Just a small celebration with me, your daddy, & your sisters. Where God has led us since you were born has been quite the journey. A roller coaster full of ups & downs. Missing you with all that we are & at the same time seeing, hearing, and feeling the impact of the short life you did live and the lasting impact you are making from your seat high above us all. This impact has been on me - your Mommy, on your Daddy, on friends & family who have shared stories with us, and as my new friend Kim put it today - on many others down the road we will probably never even realize. Our Avelyn SonShine Journey is well underway and we are hoping and praying the children's bibles - God's Word in stories, will change lives for Him.
I am so thankful for our friend Jenn who graciously offered to make a cake for you for your 1st birthday. She admitted she didn't know what to say/ask, how to say it, or even is she should, but I had been thinking about this, and her timing couldn't have been better. Praise God. So tonight we will put 3 candles on your cake - one for you and one for each of your sisters. We will celebrate you. I'm not sure how I will do or where my emotions will be; I pray I can keep it together for your sisters' sake. One thing I do know, you're having a beautiful party in heaven today, bigger & better than any party any of us here on earth will ever have. Knowing you are happy, healthy - free of all tubes & wires, and sitting in the holy presence of our Lord & Savior gives me such peace & inner joy.
I miss you so much baby girl. I am so thankful for you and the love I was able to show you during your short time here on this earth; we packed in a whole lotta love in those 16 days and I am thankful for every moment.
"You are my Sunshine, my only Sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray. You'll never know dear how much I love you." Your Sun - Shines for me every day.
Happy 1st Birthday sweet Avelyn. Mommy loves you...