Monday, May 7, 2012

{Happy Birthday, Parker!}

My Dearest Parker, 

          Today you are celebrating your 6th birthday in Heaven.  It’s so hard to believe that you are six years old now.  Somehow I am still six years later at a total loss for words on what it was like to be with you in the final moments of your life.  Trying to memorize every single detail of your sweet face and fragile body.  Knowing that it would be the last time I would see or hold you until we meet again in Heaven.  Time has flown by at a miraculous pace my sweet girl but there isn’t a day that’s gone by that we haven’t felt the pain and sorrow of your passing.    

          Your life has given us so much in the last 6 years you’ve been gone.  I have tried over and over to not let your death define who I was and yet the more I tried not to label myself through you the more I realized the impact you have left on my life. Your life redefined who I am as mother, wife, sister, daughter and friend. You are one of the most important things that has ever happened to me and I can’t help but be moved and touched by the giant impact you left behind and the gifts you have given me. 

          You taught me so much in the short 20 hours that you graced our lives.  I remember the exact moment we made the decision to remove you from life support.  The hardest decision we have ever had to make.  I watched you in your Daddy’s arms gasping for air and I remember the moment you took your last breath.  I felt a part of me die.  It was honestly the most bittersweet moment of my life.  I knew the moment you died your sweet body entered the beautiful gates of Heaven whole and healthy but it also meant that I would never see your smile, hear your laugh or cry, see you graduate from high school, help you pick out your wedding dress or see you become a mother.   I felt like I had been robbed of so much and now I know that it’s all part of the plan that God has for our family.   

          Your life has humbled me in so many ways.  Your Daddy and I have grown closer together through our challenges although it hasn’t always been easy. We’ve seen some dark days but we always knew that in the end we would still be standing side by side.  On so many occasions we were told that marriages didn’t survive in situations like our own but our marriage has survived.  Your Daddy and I continue to grow and change daily from this tragedy and I believe we will for the rest of our lives.   How does losing a child not somehow change and reshape who you are and how you live?   

          The legacy you left us is amazing beyond words.  I never imagined that your life would be what it is today.  You have left behind something life changing not just for us but for every single person who hears your story.  I promised you as you lay fighting for your life that I would die telling your story and I assure you that nothing has changed.  The foundation and Parker’s House were just the beginning of our journey together.  Thank you for trusting us with so much.   

          I don’t know that time heals the pain but I know that time has given me the opportunity to sort things out.  I have found peace with your death.  And I am trying to put my heart back together piece by piece.  Your beautiful sister Landry helps with that.  I think the most valuable lesson that I have learned from you is that the true measure of life is not the type of experiences we go through but rather how we grow because of them. I have grown from everything that has happened, Parker. If someone would have asked me a 3 years ago to find purpose in your loss I would have been angry. But I know I am a better person today. I know that I am a stronger and more kindhearted person because of your life and death.   

          You’ve given me so much, Parker, but more than anything you have given me hope.  Hope to carry on each and every day.  You are more than just my daughter.  You are my guardian angel.  You help keep me grounded.  And you’ve taught me that it’s okay to be broken and fragile.  You’ve taught me that life truly is what you make of it.  I embrace all that you have given me and taught me.  I hope I’ve made you proud, Parker. 

           I am beyond blessed to be you & Landry’s mother.  Thank you for touching my life in so many ways.  Today you celebrate your 6th birthday sweet girl and I feel your presence today just like I do every day.  I know that today we are together because you live forever in my heart.  Until we meet again sweet girl……

You are forever loved.
You are forever missed.
You are never forgotten. 

I love you, Parker.