March 22 you would have turned 12 years old! I can’t believe that it’s been 12 years since I held you in my arms. This year has been an especially painful one in missing you. You were only on this earth for close to 3 short months, in my tummy for 9 months before that, yet the empty place in my heart is so big sometimes. A lot of people have described grief as a scab. After a while the bleeding stops and the scab forms on top. If you scratch away the scab, the bleeding starts again. For me, it is now more like a bruise. On the surface, a bruise appears as a slight discoloration and many people don’t even know it’s there. Most days even I go along and don’t notice it. But there are times when something can bump or press against the bruise and I am reminded of the pain underneath. It still hurts.
As I think about you turning 12 this year, I do realize that you would probably be walking around with someone else’s heart in your body – another child who would have had to die in order for you to live. That is a hard thought and one that does help me to trust God and His sovereignty over your life. He numbered your days before one of them came to be. Even though the life you were given on this earth was short as we count days, it was still a full one. You had to go through so much and yet you fought so hard. We will always be proud of you! Daddy & I were talking at a ballgame recently and noticing the girls that would be your friends. They are turning into young women and experiencing all kinds of new things. If it was up to us you would be here, too, with them.
You would be amazed at how big Nate is and what a neat young man he has become. He loves you still and often talks about you. You made a big impact on his life, as well. You would love Stephen & Betsy. They wish so much that they could have known you here, but you are the big sister! They also talk about how they long to meet you someday in Heaven.
Daddy and I look at Betsy growing up and see you so much in her. As a baby, she favored you so strongly that it sometimes took our breath away! We even came across a baby picture the other day where she could have passed for you. What a sweet gift that was.
I don’t know what you are doing in Heaven. I know what the Bible tells us about it and I believe you are praising our Lord Jesus in healthy perfection. In my mind, I still picture you as a baby, but I trust you are just as He wants you to be and that I will know you when I get there.
I know there are many children there with you. Some never felt the sweet kisses of their mommies and daddies; some grew into days or years and then joined you there. There are many mommies and daddies down here who ache for you and the precious ones there with you. We miss you Samuel, Landon, Addison, Collier, Conley, Ben, Rebekah,Emily, and so many others. It makes us pray that we don’t get too stuck on this world and the things in it. What is waiting for us is so much better!
A little girl named Maria is also there. I bet you have met her. Her daddy is a singer that Daddy & I have always enjoyed. He wrote several songs as he was dealing with the sadness over losing Maria on earth. One of the lines of his songs says that, “Heaven is the face of a little girl.” That’s exactly how Daddy & I feel. And I know that God understands. I long to see my Lord Jesus as you now do, but my heart aches to hold you again and to never be away from you for another day. Another of the lines in Maria’s daddy’s song says that “Heaven is the place where she takes my hand and leads me to You, and we both run into Your arms.” I long for the day where you and I run hand-in-hand into the arms of our sweet Savior.
I love you, sweet Abby. You are my first precious daughter and you will always be in my heart, in my thoughts, and in my life. I am so glad that this earth is not our final home. Our time together will eclipse the time we’ve been apart. Happy birthday my precious, sweet girl.