Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dear Maelee,


Oh sweet firstborn, how I ache for you yet.

I am sitting here with a precious quiet moment, ready to light your candle soon and witnessing this completely gorgeous sunset with Grandma and Grandpa's great view. And my mother heart remembers you. Somewhere too far away is a hospital room where I got to hold your six pounds, eight ounces of babyness, watch your daddy play you guitar and say goodbye when every ounce of me screamed NO.

Having your sister has brought up many thoughts of you. I wonder so much these days. I wonder what you would think of your sister. What you would think of her name. I hope you'd like that it ends in lee too. I still like yours a bit better because I've had three and a half years of saying it and longing for it. I have shockingly even called your sister Maelee a few times (though I have called her Eli even more). The first time I did this I smiled because even though you aren't here, you are still so much a part of my heart and mind. Please know, oh sweet daughter, please know you are not replaced in my heart because we have Annalee. Her presence, just like Eli's, lessens the blow of your absence but it in no way replaces you.

I ache for the fact we never got to see you pink and full of life. We never got to experience you the way you should have been, we never got to really see what you looked like because you had been gone from this world for too long. I always thought your tongue stuck out because you were dead and it was just what happened. But after seeing Annalee, I know she's got your tongue because it looks just like yours did and it sticks out all the time. So now I'm happy to have made this connection between you and her, how sweet that she has the same mouth as you. I think you probably have many similarities and someday in heaven I hope to know that fully. 

You know your sister is using most all of your stuff. I wonder if you would be happy about that. It's been hard to see these birdie sheets with a baby on them and knowing it's not you. Oh how I dreamed about putting you in that crib with these little clothes and blankets. Most of the time I'm glad for it all, for all these redemptive moments. But sometimes it just hurts that these aren't true hand-me-downs.

I am completely thankful for you, my sweet daughter. I'm glad for your existence and even though I won't ever be glad to have lost you, I'm grateful for all the good from your loss. I am such a better mama because of you. I can't even imagine how I would parent Eli and Annalee without having gone through losing you. Today when life was just crazy, sleep-deprived from your sister's feeding issues, un-showered and surrounded by dirty clothes full of bodily fluids, and feeling bummed after your brother accidentally put my iPhone in the sink full of water and instead of posting about you on facebook I'm posting about my phone... even while all this life happens, every moment is better because of you. God has granted me perspective I would never have otherwise. Oh Maelee, please know how grateful I am for all that you continue to teach me.

I love you, as much as I love your siblings. You'll always be special. You'll always be my firstborn. You'll always be remembered.

-Your Mom

9 comments:

Kristi Bothur said...

Heather, I'm in tears reading this. I have been praying for you, knowing that having a living daughter in your arms would be the truest meaning of "bittersweet". I am still praying for you.

Sidni Mikulecky said...

Beautiful...

Amanda said...

Praying for you all and miss ALL of you...Much love.
~The Campbells

Sarah said...

Thinking of you guys today. Loved reading your letter to Maelee.

Dori said...

Gracious, lovely words to Maelee. What a blessing she continues to be to your family.

lissare14 said...

Prayers sent your way and a special one for little Miss Maelee.

Anonymous said...

Sending Love.
-the mathers'

Anonymous said...

Heather and Greg, I am thankful that Annalee was born safe and healthy. Your letter to Maelee has me blubbering like a baby myself. You are so right that no matter how many children come along, not one of them takes the place of your firstborn. I know that Nathaniel will forever be in my heart and that because of him I am a better G Ma. I don't sweat the small stuff anymore, I just enjoy every minute that I have with my grandchildren. You, Greg and Eli are in my prayers and now I will add Annalee. She is a precious beautiful little girl. Stay warm this winter and know that you and your family are missed down here in the south. Shirley (Sidni's Mom)

Rebekah said...

This is beautiful Heather!