Little Miss Lucy and Zoë June,
Before your birthday month gets away from me, I wanted to write down some thoughts about both of you to keep my birthday letter tradition alive.
Lucy, you would have turned NINE YEARS OLD this past week. 9! What a big girl you would be. How tall would you be? Would you be patient and nurturing and mommy's little helper? How sassy would you be? I try, but I just can't quite picture exactly what your personality would be. I wonder what you'd be interested in. Biking? Singing? Dancing? I know I am guilty of painting a mental picture of you that is close to perfection. You'd be helping me with the younger kids, blonde and beautiful and cheerful all the time. You'd excel in school and be kind to everyone. It's easy to do this when you aren't here. And while I know you would be all of these things, I know you'd have your struggles and weaknesses, heartaches and disappointments. I just wish I could experience it all with you. It breaks my heart. It's a pain I'm learning to live with, adapt to, but can't focus on for too long or it will get me off track with the task at hand. The task of raising your brother and sister. Man, it takes energy.
But I want you to know something, Lucy. I feel like I am finally at the stage of "accepting" that you died. Seven years later, and my head and heart have stopped fighting with the facts. You are gone. Tragedies happen in life. They happen often, and to a lot of people. And they happened to me and daddy. But this is life. We think the picnic would be perfect if it weren't for the ants and the wind, but the ants and the wind ARE the picnic. They are life. We start on a road and want things to go smoothly, for the scenery to be beautiful and the car not to have any problems. But we encounter roadblock after roadblock. "If only all these things weren't in my way, then I could keep going and get back to smooth sailing and life again." But those roadblocks ARE life. Your death IS life. It is all part of life.
Of course I still miss you. Of course I still cry occasionally and yearn to see you with your siblings, but I have made peace that you are gone...that another birthday for you has come and gone and you weren't here to blow out your candles. This is life.
And Zoë, oh Zoë--you little spit fire. You have gotten SO big. You act like a teenage girl sometimes and it kills me. The way you sing "You're going down, down, down" while strumming Peter's guitar. The way you flirt and laugh and tease. You adore your big "brudder" even though the two of you fight like crazy. Fight, play, fight, play, fight, play...all.day.long.
"Pink!" is what you would say anytime you were asked what you wanted for your birthday. You wanted a pink flower cake and mommy tried her best to make you a decent one, but I was pressed for time. Eh, you're only 3, you loved it, you probably won't remember how fancy it was. (or wasn't)
Something I truly love about you, Zoë, is how sincerely and often you express gratitude. "For ME?! REALLY?!" You get so excited about the littlest of things. You remind me that life is a miracle worth celebrating. It amazes me the way you thank me every time I get you food, or open your door, unbuckle you, or get you dressed. You, with your cute little lisp, "Sanks, Mom." Oh, I just treasure you!
Both of you girls are absolutely beautiful. You both have/had remarkable hair, perfect pouty lips, and deep blue eyes. You are my pride and joy, my sweet June babies. My heart will surely burst the day I see you together again for the first time.
I love you forever and ever,