Happy Birthday, my little Heaven Dweller

My Dearest Rory,

                Happy Birthday, my little Heaven Dweller. Somehow it has been a whole year since you came careening into our lives. What a crazy, happy day. You brought so much joy and love with you.

                We miss you, Rory. We think of you every day. There have been times – many, many times – when your Daddy and I didn’t know how we were going to make it through another minute without you. Losing you is the hardest thing we have even done, or will ever do. Losing you isn’t something that happened almost a year ago. It happens every day. Every time we see a little girl. Every time we see something cute and girlie and pink. Every time we think of you, we wonder what it would be like to have you with us. Our sense of loss never leaves. You are precious, baby girl, and we treasure our memories of you.

                You will always be known as our feisty little fighter. As the little girl who, when well, barely needed help breathing and screamed to be fed an hour before schedule. You were the little one who would ball up her fists and shake them whenever you were mad and didn’t want your bum changed. You were the tiny little person who loved sleeping on Mommy and Daddy’s chest. You loved lullabies and holding hands. And then, when you got sick, you fought so hard to stay. You went through so much, you endured so much. We will forever be amazed at how hard you fought to stay with us. It’s a war we will always wish you would have won. But we remember, sweet baby girl. We will always remember.

                We wouldn’t trade those days we had with you for anything. And that’s why, on August 26th, we celebrated your first birthday. It wasn’t meant to be a grieving day. It wasn’t meant to be a second funeral. You were born, you were here, and you had to be celebrated! Rory Rose came and left her mark on our hearts… and on the world.

                Your Daddy made you a beautiful sign with your name on it that we can hang in the nursery. I made cupcakes with pink frosting in the cupcake holders we bought a day or two after you were born. Your Auntie Leanne made a gorgeous ‘smash cake’ that I can keep in my china cabinet forever. Family and close family came and brought small gifts for your memory chest and flowers.

                We went to your grave. We laid out the flowers. I don’t think a grave has ever looked so beautiful. It’s full of roses, lilies, daisies, carnations, and more. We wrote you notes and tied them to pink helium balloons and released them after we sang Happy Birthday.

                Your birthday was beautiful. No, it wasn’t how I imagined it would be when you were born. I didn’t know I would be wondering what you would be like as a vivacious one year old. I didn’t know a piece of my heart would be forever broken and screaming out for you. I didn’t know I’d have to learn how to be happy again. I didn’t know I’d be finding a guilty type of solace and comfort in your baby brother and wondering how a heart can hold so much joy and sadness all at once. But for what it was… as a celebration and day of remembering you… it was tragically beautiful.

                We miss you, Rory Rose. We love you. We love, love, love, love, love you. Forever and always.

                Happy Birthday, my little Heaven Dweller.


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