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..."