Thursday, February 25, 2016


Dear Kenley,

Happy Birthday, baby girl!   You are three years old today.   Three!  It's so hard to believe so much time has passed since I held you in my arms.  1,095 days.  1,095 times I have woken up with you missing from me.  1,095 times I have gone to bed without having you in my arms.   If I live sixty more years, that will be almost 22,000 more days.   All without you.

What more can I really say at this point that I haven't already said to you?   How many more times can I say I miss you?   How many more times can I tell you how much I wish you were here with us?  How, more than anything, I want to be able to watch my two girls grow up together as the sisters they should be?   

This last year has seemed so much more difficult than the previous two.  I think it's because I'm getting even farther away from you - because the baby I know isn't even remotely the child you should be.  Each day that passes makes you more of a mystery, and it breaks my heart.  What would you enjoy doing?   What would your favorite color be?  Your favorite book?   Would you be talkative like your little sister?  Would you share her love of school buses?   Would your hair have lightened or would you have stayed my raven-haired beauty?   I look for you in the eyes of your sister, but you aren't there.  I look for you in the children at the grocery store, but that's not you either.   You are nowhere and everywhere all at once and it takes all of my strength to keep myself balanced between a world where you never died and the world where I actually live.  

I miss you, my dear little ninja.   My heart skips the beats where you should be, and I am forever out of synch.   No matter how many years pass, my scars will always ache for you, scars that stretch over each other, winding around and across my soul in rivers of pain and hurt.  Every day, they tear and heal and tear and heal as I settle into a life where you are not.  A life where I work so hard to make your death mean something as I try to turn your memory into a legacy.

When I look at all I have done in your name - when I look at all that has been accomplished because of your tiny little life - I am both in awe and in tears.   The more of a difference you make, the more I feel the sting of your absence.  Every award, every accolade, every message of thanks, hurts as much as it heals.   Because they wouldn't exist if you were here, and they are hollow replacements for your beautiful face - for the life you didn't get to have.  

You are gone.  You are not here to celebrate your third birthday.   You will not eat cake.  You will not open presents.   You will not get ice cream all over your shirt and fall asleep in the car.   You will not do any of those things this year or any year.  You will not go to preschool, or kindergarten, or college.   Sometimes, I am selfish and I make your death all about me.   I am a Heartbroken Mother, and it's hard to live a life without your child.  But, honestly, none of this is about me.  The unfairness isn't that I have to live without you - the unfairness is that you never got the chance to live at all.  YOU were the one robbed.  YOU were the one who deserves more. 

This isn't my story - it's yours.   A story of a little girl who wasn't - who was loved so deeply and so fiercely that she still managed to change the world - even if it's just mine.

I will tell it until the day I die. 

I love you, my beautiful girl.  A mother's love is forever, spanning across time and space into eternity.   When I think I have reached the end of my rope, I remember that I love you with the light of all the stars in the universe. - and that my rope, made from stardust, is infinite.  

Starlight, Star bright, you're the star my heart holds tight.




  1. Beautiful. ❤
    Happy birthday Kenley.

  2. Happy birthday sweet Kenley... Shine bright tonight little star...