My Dearest Daughter,

Twelve years ago on Thanksgiving day, I brought you home for the first time.  Welcomed by family eagerly waiting with a big Thanksgiving dinner prepared, what a little blessing you were.   An 8 pound 2 oz tiny bundle of heartwarming love.  We passed you around like a little hot potato, each gawking at the awesomeness of new life.

A look in the mirror revealed a transformed young woman, three years out of college in the beginning of a career, just learning how to navigate in this big world. And then, to my surprise, you came along.  After 24 hours of labor and grueling pain, you arrived. I had no idea what had just happened, unable to comprehend the immense gift I had just been given.  You opened my heart to a whole new life that I had never imagined. What a fabulous day it was.

I can’t believe it’s been 12 years!  What a wonderful gift this has been to our family.  Every few years we get an extra special Thanksgiving and get to celebrate you in addition to all of our blessings.

Today is your day. Although you are with me everyday, today I will remember all the wonderful things you brought to my life.

So many things I have thought over the years.  What do I say? Do I say I’m sorry you’re there? Do I be selfish and say I wish you were here with me? Do I tell you I wish I could have traded places with you?  Do I ask for forgiveness because I’m here and you’re not? Do I just say I’m sorry or wonder if you are mad at me?  Do you know that I love you?  Are you okay?

All these and more. Thousands of times over the years, more so during the first two. I struggled day in and day out burying myself in self-pity and shame.  Yet, I know you are where God wanted you to be. After all, He is taking exceptional care of you. I always have to remind myself that you were His, only given to me love and care for until it was time for you to go back.   I know we will be reunited one day and when we do, I have so much to say.

For now, I want to say I love you and thank you. Thank you for making me a mother. A divine act that brought me back to the basics in life.

Thank you for showing me the value of imagination in the how fabulous the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny could be.  The laughter and tears opened my eyes to a world I’d never known as a mom, and as a bereaved mom.

Thank you for showing me the unconditional love a mother has for a daughter, the late nights staying up watching movies, the sleep overs, and of course the wonderful world of bright colors and just how fabulous nail polish can be.

Thank you for showing me it’s okay to laugh about the messes in life, like flushing too much toilet paper in the toilet until it overflows and floods the bathroom, painting the carpet with hot pink nail polish, and covering the dog’s accident on the rug with newspapers which I stepped on.  I know you were only trying to help clean it up before I woke up.  Your heart was always in the right place.

You were a beaming ray of sunshine who took the world by the reins and attracted the looks and comments of others when you didn’t even know it.  You had a glow about you.  You were a special treasure who lit up a dark room.  Your love for life, animals, the outdoors, and people in general was definitely something to be admired.  You were my little social butterfly, not afraid of anything who brought music to my life.

How wise you were at such a young age to know that God was preparing you for a life and future that would leave a legacy of smiles and impact on others.  Thank you for bringing me back to the Lord when you knew I would need Him most.

Thank you for letting me experience the exciting world of broadway plays with you. Seeing your eyes light up when your favorite characters came on stage was worth every penny.

Never taking one minute for granted on this earth, you taught me just how important it is to slow down in life while enjoying and savoring those moments sipping hot chocolate and eating cinnamon rolls, dreaming of the amazing things the future can bring.

Singing and dancing through life, you showed me that we all need to have an innocent spirit,like that of a child to see the amazing kingdom of eternal life.

I thank God and you for showing me what life is all about and just what really matters.  At the end of the day, it’s about being happy, carefree, loving others, self-confidence, humility and honoring God.  For he is the ultimate reason we are all here in the first place.

Today you turn 12! I can’t believe it. Even though I only had you for just under six years, I wouldn’t trade it for the world and would do it again in a heartbeat.  I know we will be reunited one spectacular day.  Until then, know that I love you and not a day goes by that you are not in my thoughts.  Thank you my sweat pea for showing me as you would say, “the best of both worlds.”

lydia collage3

11 thoughts on “A Thanksgiving Letter To My Daughter-Happy Birthday In Heaven

  1. Daphne, as a momma of a little girl who is weeks away from turning 6 years old, my heart weeps for you as I envision what it must have been like for you to say goodbye to your sweet girl. But, you my dear, serve as an example of how to look at such a tragic loss with our eyes wide open, waiting as God reveals the goodness of his love and grace through our trials. Thank you for teaching us even the smallest amount through your most trying time. Happy belated birthday to you Lydia! And happy thanksgiving to you all! I hope you have had a wonderful time together as a family on all your adventures!


    1. Thank you sweet Alysha. Your words are dear to my heart. Our families are irreplaceable, yet God absolutely reveals marvelous things when we slow down and seek him. Mostly importantly, He has provided us with hope and sometimes that is all we have. You too are an example of his amazing grace. When we can see the strength of others, our paths may not seem as terrifying. I look forward to our journey together!

  2. So beautiful. My son would have been 12 in two weeks. I am so sorry for your loss, but you were so blessed to have your precious daughter. ((Hugs))

    1. Thank you for your kind words and thank you for bringing me to your blog as well. I’m very sorry for the loss of your son and that we share in this grief journey. What a healing path you have found. I look forward to reading more about you!

  3. Even though it has been almost 12 years, I still have to “keep busy” to not focus on how empty I can feel. Helping others with grief helps me to heal, but at Christmas I always have a hard time. I put on my fake smile and deal with the world, but inside, I just feel like crying a lot of the time. It is a wound that will never completely heal. My son’s 12th birthday is in two weeks…. always hard. ❤

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