Today is Thanksgiving, Michaela, and I just want to tell you that I am so thankful for you. Before you were born, I spent five years longing for you. Sometimes I look back on those years of infertility, and it feels as though God was saying to me, “Are you sure you want to do this? A high price will have to be paid, and it will hurt like hell.” But I did. I wanted you more than I wanted anything in the world, and I forged ahead, pushed God aside, and with the help of my doctor and a prescription for fertility pills, finally you were here. Finally I held you in my arms.
And I loved you, little girl. I loved you until my heart felt like it could burst. When you were a baby, I held you, I rocked you, I fastened you with a Snugli to me when I shopped, and when I did chores, so we were pressed together, our hearts beating as one. As you grew I watched you, and I was so proud of you. You grew into great beauty, and so smart, in the gifted and talented education program at school, and so creative, writing and drawing, and singing. But most of all you were nice, so very, very nice. However many little brothers and sisters the Lord sent into our lives, you always had your own place in my heart. My first child, you are the one who built the house in my heart and you have your own room there and always, always will.
People have asked if I would chosen to have you, if I had known what was going to happen. That is a hard question. For you, for your sake … well, I may have chosen not to have you rather than to let you suffer. But for my sake, I would never give you up. For your sake I would go through it all again and again and again. I would do it for the joy of your presence, for the sweetness of loving you. But I would choose it even considering what happened, for the vast, unexplainable richness you add to my life even in the dark labyrinth of grief, sorrow, fear and hope that has been my life for these last 26 years. You transformed me at the moment of your birth. In your loss, you continue to transform me on a daily basis, and to enrich my life beyond measure. And while really bringing up your presence in my heart is liable to set me to screaming and wailing about the horrible unfairness of it all, your presence is still warm and sweet and solid. I can still feel you in my arms.
So on this Thanksgiving Day, the 27th I have spent since you were stolen away, I am thankful for you, Michaela. And I am thankful for you wherever you are, whatever you have endured, whoever you are right now, today, on this day. I love you with a love that is beyond any boundaries of time or space or circumstance or explanation.
I love you forever, and forever, as long as I’m living, no matter what, you will be my baby girl. My arms ache to hold you, your grown up self. I can feel it even now, your heart to my heart, pressed together, beating out love, beating out healing for us both.