Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Stocking Full of Love...

Growing up in our house, opening our Christmas stockings were almost as much fun as opening the gifts under our tree. As we got older, we would find that our stockings were always filled with items that we needed...things that we used every day.
It was comforting this year, to find that Sofie's stocking was filled with much of the same...things that we need and that we use every day. A stocking full of love, hope, and celebration of life.

The amount of letters that poured into to fill Sofie's stocking leaves me humbled, and we shared a beautiful day as we read each one together. The words were so touching and simply perfect, that I decided that it is only right that this blog entry be comprised of your words to Sofie.
Here is a compilation of love letters to Sofie... Merry Christmas, baby girl. You are so loved.

Dearest Sofie,

About a year ago I watched as my good friend from high school was expecting her first child, a baby girl. I watched how excited your mom was with your arrival and I thought to myself, "this little girl will do amazing things."  Sofia, you are a beautiful angel, but I must brag and say that I was right, you continue to do amazing things. Little angel, you have changed my life.
You are amazing and have given me so many gifts. From the day your mommy told me that she was pregnant, I loved you.  I feel honored to have gotten to know you so early on,  I remember looking over to talk to your mommy and seeing a large kick or punch from you from across the office...we would laugh and giggle. I will always treasure these moments.
You are such a loved little girl. We talk about you every day!! Your mom and dad are so proud of you, we moms and dads are like that, you know. 
Although you are not able to be here physically, rest assured that you are in our hearts always. You have made so many lives "complete." You continue to inspire so many people. 
This time of year, many of us speak of wishes for peace on earth, that is one thing that you have brought to many. Your tiny beautiful spirit is doing so much. It is....showing us love, giving us hope, opening our eyes, rekindling compassion, bonding hundreds in a common understanding. Thank you, Sofie. 
The gift of your love continues to inspire others and bring smiles to the faces of children/parents through such a simple gift of a blanket...simple and beautiful much like yourself. 
Your life and love are the best gifts that I have ever been given, because they can never be lost and the value only increases!
You are pure radiance, you are light...filling the hearts of so many. And while I wish I could see you crawl around the Christmas Tree, playing with bows and getting into everything, I know that your Christmas will be nothing less than glorious. 
We wish for you sweet angel, on this day, that you feel the love and warmth that surround you on this your first Christmas Day!
I am sure that Heaven is drowning in pink up there. I believe that you make God smile every day. 
I bet you are excited as you attend the most special birthday party of the year! I bet great-grandma Angie is making her special Christmas cookies...please don't give too many to that chubby little dog who I know is following you around! 
Sofie, You are probably the most cutest and the most special angel I have ever known, I know my mommy loves you and your mama and daddy so much, because we ask God to watch over all of you each night. 
I think of you a lot, especially when we read "Guess How Much I love You", or I see a butterfly, or a beautiful sunset, or a particularly beautiful moon and now think, TTMABBG.
I'm glad that we are friends, even though it is in Heaven and not on Earth where our mommies and daddies want us to be, make sure to let your Mommy and Daddy know that we will be celebrating with Jesus this year so that we will not be alone. (ps. I hope you like this pink paper, I picked it out just for you!)
Sofie, you touched my heart. You are an amazing reminder that true love can be a comfort that helps people move forward.  Move forward with, and through their loved ones, their memories, and their gifts.
You have touched my life in a way that I can't explain. YOU Miss Sofia have forever changed my life. You are beautiful! Keep sending those butterflies!
I love you and miss you.

Thank you all for writing this Christmas Letter to our sweet, sweet girl. 
~ Sofie's Mama

Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Christmas Wish...

Pretty, pretty girl, 
My heart doesn't have many words today; but as I listened to one of my favorite Christmas songs yesterday, I realized that it captures how I feel completely.While I would give anything to see you in your perfect Christmas dress tonight as we get ready for church, I understand that cannot be. 

So here is my new Christmas wish as we face the festivities that lay ahead, with a heavy heart that longs to watch you tear into wrapping paper, all while stealing the show with your beautiful self.  Instead today...
"I pray on ChristmasThat the Lord will see me throughI pray on christmasHe'll show me what to do
I pray on ChristmasHe'll help me understandAnd I pray on ChristmasHe'll take me by the hand...
I pray on ChristmasThat God will lead the wayAnd I pray on christmasHe'll get me through another day
I pray on christmas...He'll get me through another day
I pray on ChristmasAll our problems gonna be worked outI pray on ChristmasGod'll show us what love's about
I pray on ChristmasTo do your will each dayAnd I pray on ChristmasThat I'll be with you in Heaven some day...
I pray on ChristmasThat God will lead the wayAnd I pray I really pray on ChristmasHe'll get me through another day..." ~Harry Connick Jr. 

One more day closer until I can "be with you in Heaven some day". Merry Christmas baby girl. ~Mama

Monday, December 12, 2011


Sweet Sofie, 
The past 2 weeks, I had the honor of being able to share you, your life, and our story with the folks that your mama works with everyday. It was an intimate look into how our lives have changed since you entered the world.
As I sit down to write this, I am immediately struck by one of your e-cards that I just re-read the other day. It begins, "Dear Sofie, you were born to change the people around you forever. First, your parents, then everyone else. You have already made people look to God more than ever. Great start." 
I choke up every time I read those words, not just out of sadness because I miss you terribly but out of the sheer power of those statements. 
You were born to change the people around you forever, and that you did. Great start. 
When I look back towards the early days of our journey, I feel like I lost myself in the obvious lessons. You know,  "the life is unfair & terribly unbalanced" lesson. Sometimes it was hard for me to see through the cloud of tears in my eyes to recognize fully the most powerful lessons that you have taught not only me, but so many who have been touched by you. The lesson of love.  
For 10 months when people have asked me how I do what I do, (it's always a silly question to me and my answer is always the same.) "I'm just a proud mom who loves her daughter." I don't do anything differently than any other mom who puts their child first. 
When people have asked me how I let go of my anger and continue to face each day, my answer has always been, "I miss her terribly, every second of every day but, I love her even more than I miss her." I choose to focus on that love, even in those dark, difficult moments....I learned that from your daddy. 
Finally, when people have asked me how I feel like I have changed in these last 10 months, my answer is simple. "She has taught me how to live and love differently."
Love is everywhere to be found, when I think of you, sweet baby girl. 
Love gives me joy, strength, faith, and hope. 
Love is you.
As I prepared to share our story with the last batch of my co-workers, I reflected on many things from the past few weeks: A difficult Thanksgiving holiday, in which you should have been slinging sweet potatoes at your Daddy and me, but instead there was not a single food stain on our clothes from you; I breathed deeply as  we were hurled into the next Holiday season with reminders of just how special, amazing, and different this Christmas was supposed to be, as we experienced the joy of Christmas through the eyes of our 11 month old baby girl; but instead we celebrated you at the annual Remembrance Service for children who have left us much too soon. I reflected back to the first session of our work retreat, and was overcome as I kept playing and replaying some very wise words that were shared that day.
"Every sentence has a period".  Our lives on this Earth are final. "Every sentence has a period." Those words struck me, the minute they were spoken. My initial reaction was to respond with an, "I don't want a period at the end of my sentence, I want an exclamation point!" But as the week went on, and I thought about you, your daddy; and our beautiful family of three; you changed my perspective once again. 
Every sentence does have a period. It doesn't matter what kind of car you drive, how much money you make, or how successful you are...that period will find its way to the end of your sentence. It doesn't matter how much crying, pleading, praying, yelling, kicking, or screaming (trust me I know), we can not escape that period. 
But it isn't the period that matters, it is the words of your sentence that make a statement. (pun intended)
Think about it...every sentence that is read; be it clever, funny, sad, thrilling, short, long, run-on, grammatically correct or not; every sentence is read the same. The period is never spoken. It is assumed. It is there. We see it, we acknowledge and regard it, but it is not mentioned. What is mentioned, the parts that invoke feelings, emotions of love, fear, anxiety, thrill, joy, hope, or invites laughter; are the words of that sentence. 
The period is not what matters. 
The words of our "life" sentence is what matters the most. We never know when that period is coming, so we need to make sure that our sentence is complete and makes the statement that we want to make. 
Some sentences are very long, others are average length. Your sentence was much too short for your daddy and me, I do wish it had gone on for chapters and chapters. (But my heart knows that it still does). 
When I was sharing our story and our lives together, my head kept inquiring, "What is Sofie's sentence?"
I kept envisioning your short, sweet sentence over and over again....and it never changed. 
Love. Period. And that Sweet baby girl, is one pretty powerful sentence.
I'm not sure that my sentence is complete, but it is much more the statement that I want it to be today because of you. As long as my sentence has you in it, then I know it will be a statement that I can be proud of.  When it is time for that period to find its way to me, I hope that the Great Writer places your sentence just before and just after mine. Love. You encompass my statement; your life and our love, together, with your daddy's....those are some sentences that I think are worth reading. Love. 

"So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love..." 1 Cor 13:13

I love you, Sweet Pea. 

1 Cor 13:1-13
1 "...If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
2 And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing.
3 If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated,
5 it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
6 it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the Truth.
7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.
9 For we know partially and we prophesy partially,
10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
11 When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.
12 At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.
13 So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love..."