What words can I say to honor you on this day? Nothing seems adequate. I literally have no idea how I made it a whole year without you here with me. We all miss you so much. In honor of the first anniversary of your birth, I asked friends and family to do something kind in your memory. You have touched so many people. Donations have been made to many different children’s organizations, planned parenthood, the Ronald McDonald House, and organizations to help other grieving mothers. People sent us stones from around the country, and even some from other parts of the world, so that we would know they were thinking of you. Candles have been lit, plants have been planted, stars have been adopted, and I hope that you know that your short life is causing so many good deeds.
But I would trade it all away in a second if I could have you back here with me, if I could be kissing your cheek, and singing Happy Birthday to you, as you stared in fascination at the candle I would have placed in whatever low-sugar ‘cupcake’ like substance I had made you. Instead, papa and I took the day off of work, and went on a hike. I wanted to feel connected to nature, to be close to you. We walked in the woods, away from the stresses and business of day-to-day life. We saw so many butterflies, perhaps a sign from you that you are still with me, still nearby. (I have enclosed a picture of butterflies mating, I think, although I am not quite sure how to interpret that sign). At one point, we reached a small overlook, and papa started crying. He said, “I wish I could share this with Sidney.” I hope that you know that I think of you constantly, and wish you were with us in all that we do. At the end of the day, after dinner, Eli, papa and I went to get ice cream, and I thought of you. We told Eli that we were eating ice cream for your birthday. He misses you too. At the cemetery, Eli talked to you and told you that he would always be your big brother and you will always be his little brother. He said that he will always love you, and that he misses you, and he hopes that you like all the stones we put on your grave. On the way home, papa started singing, “Day is Done.” He sang, “And if you take my hand, my son, all will be well when the day is done.” He used to sing that song to Eli a lot. I started crying. You will never get to take my hand, nor I yours. I try not to think of the ‘should haves’ and the ‘could haves’ and instead focus on what is. But it is hard, When what is is a world without you.
Please know that I love you. Please know that if I could do anything to change this reality, and have you alive and in my arms, I would. Please know that I am trying to be a mother that you would be proud to have. Please know that I will always be sorry. And please know that you will forever be in my heart. Tears drip down my cheeks as I write you this letter.
Love, always and forever,