As I sit here and type this…your 18th Birthday…it seems so surreal. How are you 18? How am I old enough to have an 18 year old? How is it that we don’t get to share this milestone together? How do you celebrate in Heaven? Do you see us down here celebrating all things Bailey and wishing more than anything you were right here with us?
All these things…another milestone I feel we were robbed of. That’s the hardest part, besides not physically seeing you everyday, missing all the milestones. Although it makes my heart happy to see all your friends growing up, going to homecoming, proms, getting to drive, checking out colleges, etc…my heart hurts at all the same time. It is so bittersweet to watch from the sidelines. I truly am happy for them and the life they are living and planning, but goodness it gets heavy for your momma sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for the 12 years, 1 month, 2 weeks and a couple hours I got to spend with you on this Earth. I wouldn’t trade that time for anything in the world and I would absolutely do it all over again, even if that is all the time I knew we would get to be together. I just wish we could have had more…more life together, more milestones, more birthdays and all the days in between. This time of year always gets to me. Not that I don’t miss you all the other days of the year, but mostly around this time and through the end of the year. This month begins our favorite season of the year beginning with your special day. The day my life would be forever changed in ways I never could have imagined, your birthday. Looking back to the day of your birth, let’s face it…I was a kid having a kid. Definitely not prepared at 21 years of age to raise another human let alone do it by myself…but we made the best of it didn’t we. We grew up together and learned from each other. Day by day you showed me how to love another human being with every part of me…always without reservations, in an unconditional way…the way you are supposed to love someone. I was so amazed that I could bring such a perfect little person into this world and I got to be her momma. Mimi used to say all the time “that girl is definitely your child”. From staying up late, to sleeping in, your weird and sometimes inappropriate sense of humor and your extreme love for clothes, shoes and shopping…you were definitely my girl in every way! My very own mini me. It is crazy to watch Ellie and Essen grow because although you three are different in so many ways, you three are also so very much alike in so many ways! Every now and again they will do something or look at me a certain way and for a split moment I see you. Maybe it’s God’s way of reminding me of the parts of me that were in you and are in them. The parts that make my heart smile and remember to be grateful for the gifts he blesses me with in this life.
You were my very own real life dream come true. You were the dream I got to see with my eyes wide open. You made me a better person. You made me want to go further than I thought I possibly could so I could give you the best life ever. I am so thankful for this day…for you! I don’t really know how to go on without you, even after all this time. Some may look at me, at our family, and think wow they have moved on…but honestly that couldn’t be further from the truth. In no way have we “moved on”…but I do think we have learned how to move forward. We learned how to celebrate days meant to be spent with you, holidays, milestones and find happiness in those days again. It is different from how we used to celebrate before but we still celebrate. No matter how much we smile and laugh and seem like we are enjoying the celebration, there is always a piece of us that is missing. My mind is never far from where you are. I think about you and hope I am making you proud. Of course there are days, like today, that I am very very sad and my heart longs for you…but I promise I don’t let those sad thoughts take over the whole day and I will make sure we celebrate in a way only you would. I remind myself that despite the life you were given, you were always genuinely happy…always finding the positive in your situation. You always wanted to help other people no matter what. You loved everyone and you absolutely loved life…so I want to live just like you every single day…especially on your day.
So don’t you worry my girl, I will smile despite the overwhelming sadness in my heart and mostly we will remember you and all things Bailey. I can’t wait to be where you are but I know your brothers and sisters still need me here so until then sweet girl…you will always be my missing piece. Enjoy being 18 and doing all the things we talked about…no doubt Heaven has everything you deserve and more <3