I have always loved thanksgiving, especially the last few years because it has allowed me to take a step back and be extremely grateful. No matter what stage of the last four years we were in I could always take a day to say that I was grateful for all that I had. This year I am struggling. I do feel extremely grateful that Quinn and Ruby are in my life, along with my amazing family and friends but a large cloud has covered the day. Lila is no longer here. Last thanksgiving the girls all stayed home while Quinn went to dinner because Lila was too ill to go. I know that this thanksgiving she is so happy that she is not sick on my couch but I would gladly take her. I know that it is selfish, I know that wishing her back in a broken body is wrong but I can't stop from wanting her here today. The house is quiet, Quinn and Ruby are taking a pre dinner nap and all I can do is imagine that I would be snuggling Lila close and tickling her back, telling her how beautiful she was and she would let out a little sigh and look at me from under her lashes and give me a small side grin. I feel so incomplete without her. I need her, the wait to see her again feels unbearable. So instead of being swallowed by that dark monster called grief I am going to remind myself all that I got to experience.
- Lila lived, she lived past that horrible stay in the nicu somehow managing to live even while swallowing milk into her lungs.
-Lila smiled. I remember sitting on my couch crying and pleading with the Lord to give me one interactive smile. Just one, and when her life was all said in done I had had hundreds. Hundreds of beautiful, sweet smiles that were in response to my voice and laughter.
-moments of pure clarity. There were times when Lila would look straight into my eyes and see me. It was as if her disability was taken away for a moment and she could actually communicate with my soul. She would always give me a smile in these moments and it was a different smile, a reassuring, all knowing kind of smile, one that let me know that she was in on the plan.
-Doctors who saved my girl more than once, a children's hospital twenty minutes away from my house. Who knew that having Primary's so close would mean more precious time.
-laughter. full body, all consuming laughter. Lila could laugh. Her whole body was in on it. It could be random or very deliberate. I loved when she would laugh in response to her daddy's teasing.
-the knowledge of angels. I know they were with her. I know she saw them in the brigham city temple. I have never seen her eyes so bright or a longer smile. I know they filled my home the day she passed. I know they watched her at night when the sleep deprivation got the better of me and I didn't "feel" Lila wake up.
-Lila got to be a big sister. This was one of the greatest miracles of all. Lila and Ruby had a sister. They played together and loved each other. Laying next to each other both would always hold onto each other and smile and laugh, Ruby before it was expected to of babies. They loved each other so much and I know that will be a bond that wont be broken.
-we still got to have adventures. Lila swam in the ocean and in swimming pools. She had cousins bury her feet in the sand. She took a plane ride. She hiked in our beloved mountains and watched fireworks in my arms. She ate cotton candy and had birthday parties. She went on train rides and floated down lazy rivers. She had sleepovers with her best friends. She wore matching Halloween costumes with her bestie. She snuggled under Christmas lights and cheered on daddy's teams. She talked with grandma and grandpa. She dressed up in Princess gowns. She had cousins argue over who got to sit by her. She went to summer baseball games and BBQ's. She had her first kiss by the neighbor boy. She took long walks and had dance parties in the kitchen. She held her baby sister.
-Lila waited till we were at home to pass. I worried about how the end would be. If I would have doctors shouting at me to make a decision. If I would choose to crack her chest and cause her pain. But instead she left this life has she lived it peacefully.
-I am grateful for those final sweet and sacred moments with my little girl. How I felt inspired to tell her just how much we loved her, that the last words on this Earth that she heard were full of love and gratitude towards her. That she choose to leave only after her mother told her that if she had to she could. She is my hero and my greatest example of strength.
-Lila's spirit. anyone who got to know her knew just how brightly she shined. She was a giant in a small body. Her quiet and immobile self could fill the room. You would walk in and just feel her. She was amazing.
- 45 months. I am grateful for 45 miraculous months. filled with joy, love, heartache and peace.
-comfort. how in the midst of all of this i can still feel at times the same way as I did with her in my arms. I now just imagine her holding me.
Lila- happy thanksgiving beautiful girl. I know you feel so much better this thanksgiving than last, to which I am happy for you. I wish you were here to love on. It doesn't feel like the holidays without you. I miss you so much. I know that you couldn't stay, life was getting so much harder for you but I want you to know just how thankful I am for you this day. I am thankful for your loving example. I am grateful for all that you did for me. You have been patient, loving and understanding. We miss you. Have a wonderful thanksgiving.