Here we are, 7 years after you moved to Heaven, and your momma still misses you as much as she did on that first day. Not a day goes by I don’t wonder what you are doing or how life would be if you were still physically here on Earth with me. I do often reflect on our life stages and think to myself it was all too good to be true. No way did I get to have the most perfect human as my very own for 12 years, 1 month, 2 weeks plus a few hours…and every single day I am thankful I did. So many life lessons I didn’t recognize at the time are surfacing now. I meet so many people that are just like me, missing their babies (no matter how old you are you will always be my baby) and I think to myself, gosh I know exactly how they are feeling. Our stories may be different and the way you went to Heaven may be different…but I am a momma and they are a momma…and a momma missing her baby is no different. So I thought, instead of focusing this writing on the sadness I feel at this time of year or how much of a struggle it is to get through the holidays without you…I thought maybe I would share some of those life lessons…and maybe it will help just one person. So here it goes, my list of lessons learned from our short chapter of life together:
1. There will be some very very hard days, but I don’t have to let those days linger. I can acknowledge how hard the day is and make a decision as to how I will get through it. I am in control of how the hard days play out. Sometimes I let the sadness stay awhile until I am ready to let it go again and that is ok. Somedays it is ok to not be ok.
2. Despite the overwhelming sadness I feel sometimes, it is nothing in comparison to the blessings and happiness I have felt and still feel in this life. Perspective is everything. If I allow myself to only focus on my loss, I will miss out on enjoying all the good things in my life.
3. You didn’t leave me, you simply made it HOME before me.
4. Regardless if you are here on Earth or up in Heaven, I will always have 5 children…only 4 live in our house now and that is ok but it doesn’t change how I will answer. So when the question is asked how many children we have the answer is always 5 without hesitation…and I don’t have to feel awkward about that or explain why I still say 5, because it is very simple…the 5 of you were ours to love for a lifetime!
5. God didn’t take you from me. He simply allowed me to be called your momma for as long as your life purpose took. And even though I think 12 years, 1 month, 2 weeks and a few hours wasn’t nearly long enough, I know you came to this Earth for a purpose and you fulfilled it 100%. I know His plan is far greater than anything I can comprehend right now, but one day I know I will see the bigger picture and why our life had to play out this way.
6. Grief never ends. Regardless of how long it has been or how much time goes by, grief will always be part of our life now. I will say managing the grief is easier now that I have had a little time to process it all, but it is still there, triggered sometimes daily, by the simplest things. Although, I am not afraid to say I am still grieving…because where there is great love there will be lots and lots of grief. Someone once said it is the price you pay for loving someone wholeheartedly…and that is the absolute truth.
7. It is possible to fully love life again with a broken heart. You fake it until you make it, but one day you laugh again and it is a genuine laugh. You feel the happiness you haven’t felt in a very long time and it feels like coming home after being away for so long. The broken pieces will always be there but in time you figure out how to live with them and you realize it’s all the broken pieces that are making you feel whole again.
8. You live life differently. I don’t sweat the small stuff. My priorities are much different than they used to be. Life will pass you by if you focus all your energy on things outside of your control. There is no room for worry or anxiety in my life. When it is time to worry is when I will worry!
9. Tell the people you love how much they mean to you. Spend time with those people and make them a priority in your life. Make as many memories as you can with those people because one day those memories will be the only thing left and living a life full of memories sounds much better than living the rest of your life with regret.
10. Jesus…love Jesus, love people like Jesus, and know where you are going when your time on Earth is done. My girl, you knew exactly where your eternal home was which is why you didn’t live scared of anything you faced. You were able to live each day with peace and a smile because you already knew how things were going to end…and for that, I will forever be grateful.
If you are reading this and you lost someone, I pray peace finds you once you are able to sort through the initial stages of grief. I hope one day you can think of your loved one and only cry tears of happiness because of the precious memories you have and not just out of sadness. I pray you are comforted in knowing you can have eternity with them one day if you choose to. Just because life ends on this Earth, doesn’t mean it’s the end of the story…just a chapter in our lives. This Earth was never meant to be our home. It is only a temporary place of passing through for us to learn some lessons and fulfill our life’s purpose. Heaven will always be our home…some just get there a little quicker than others.
I will always love you Bailey… you will always have the best parts of me…and you will always be my missing piece until I get to be where you are…thank you for showing me how to live a full life regardless of how much time we are given. Thank you for showing me the true meaning of love and how meaningful a life legacy can be! Can’t wait to be where you are…
All my love,