A few of my friends wrote letters to their children on their birthdays this past year. I have been so excited to do the same for you. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I think it would be under these circumstances, but I still want to write it nonetheless.
Lucy, you are amazing. I always knew you were special. Every child is special, but you were exceptional. You ARE exceptional. I have never seen a child with more energy, spunk, and love of life. I marveled at you everyday; wondering how on earth you could be so incredible. So smart. So cute. And how you could be mine. You epitomized joy. Every one of God's creations was a reason to celebrate. Nothing went unnoticed by you. I have never seen a more observant child. One word that describes you so well is the word PRESENT. You were very present. You had a knowing smile from a very young age.
From the moment you kicked so hard that it shook the bed WHILE YOU WERE STILL IN MY WOMB, I knew we were in for it with you. You came out kicking and didn't stop. But it wasn't kicking and screaming. It was the getting-the biggest-kick-out-of-life kind of kicking. I think you knew you would only be here for a short and time and you were determined to fit a lifetime's experiences into two years. And you did just that.
When Daddy and I found out you were coming to our family, I was very scared. I didn't know how I was going to take care of a little baby. I was worried about money and other silly things. But on the morning of June 11th, 2006, while driving to the hospital to welcome you into this world, I couldn't stop crying. Not because I was scared anymore, but because I was so happy. I didn't know how anyone could be as blessed as I. We were so excited to meet you. At first, Daddy thought I was giving birth to a little kitten because you had so much hair. When we finally got to see your entire little body, daddy was still concerned because you had a slope from the tip of the nose to the top of your head...like a Mayan statue. "She's going to have a hard life, but we'll love her anyway," he admitted to thinking. But he soon realized he was wrong. You were the most beautiful little angel we've ever laid eyes on. Your curly corn silk locks were more marvelous to us than chocolate truffles, European landscapes, the seven world wonders, and outer space. I remember Daddy holding you one night during those first few months and saying, "Honey, LOOK! She's growing. Right now. Right here in my arms. I can see her growing." And grow you did.
You grew right into our hearts. You grew into the hearts of your Nana and Poppa, Grandma and Grandpa, Aunts and Uncles. You grew into the hearts of the Kimball Ward, the Egyptian Theatre, Showtime friends, Young Ambassadors, the Prospector Branch, the Boys and Girls Club, and anyone who ever looked upon your face. And you are still growing there. You are blossoming and beautifying these hearts. You are making us better people. You are changing us into new creatures.
It brought me so much joy to see you enjoy musicals. It may sound trite, but I think the opportunity I had to play Peter Pan was a huge and important part of your earthly experience. The symbolism of flying, Never Never Land, never growing up...they were all the things you got to do. Peter Pan was your every waking moment. Everything you saw and did somehow tied back to Peter Pan, Mommy flying, Captain Hook. You wanted so badly to fly. Perhaps that is why you jumped so high, so vigorously, and so often. I have no doubt you are singing and jumping and dancing and blessing lives on the other side of the veil.
I have chronicled much of your life already on this blog, and I think you know now, more than ever before, just how much Daddy and I love you. You have probably seen us weeping and mourning, aching with our entire beings for you. Maybe I should say we are suffering for each other, not for you. We know you are safe and happy. We are hurting for ourselves because we don't get to see you everyday and tickle you and run with you and bathe with you and laugh with you and squeeze you and delight in you. But somehow we will make it through without you physically here. There are several reasons that we will make it even though we miss you more than tongue can tell. And those several reasons are called friends. Family and friends. Mommy and Daddy have so many people who love us. Even people we don't know. You have given us all a taste of heaven on earth, Lucy. You have shown us what it means to be One, like the Savior admonishes. Through your death, you have saved many lives. The Donor Coalition sent us a letter telling us that you are a hero. I know they are right. You are my hero.
So today, on your second birthday, as we celebrate all that you are, all that you are teaching us, all that you will become, I want to thank you for the re-birth you have given me. I don't know a greater gift I can give you today than a new and resolved commitment to Heavenly Father. I will honor Him and live worthy of His spirit so that I can return to His presence and be with you for eternity. That is my birthday gift to you today, Lucy. Happy Birthday, Booger Baby.
I love you with every heartbeat,
P.S. Can you do something about the snow? Or is this what you wanted on your birthday? You did love the snow.
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