Sixteen years ago today I became a mom. I remember holding you, tiny Elizabeth Ane, and marvelling over how tiny and fresh from God you were. I was excited, scared, in awe, and hopeful of many joyous years. Something magic happens that very first time you hold your very first baby. It is my most cherished memory and it stays tucked safely in my heart.
It’s hard to believe that was sixteen years ago. I know I never expected parenting to be like this. I don’t know that I recall exactly what I expected. I knew it would be hard, but I had no idea of the intense joys and the gut wrenching sorrows that would come.
I hope I have learned a lot in the last 16 years. And I hope I have become a better mom, wife, daughter, sister, and person through it all.
I held you and marveled at the end, though tears streaked my face and letting you go was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I marveled at your goodness, your readiness, and in the fact that you were meeting your Heavenly Father. I marveled at all you must be doing, and the thought of it has made me happy and joyous, though I miss you each and every day.
I have learned that Heavenly Father does indeed give us much more than we can handle and much more than we can bear – ALONE – and I have learned that as we lean on him He will bear all things for us and help us with the impossible burdens as they come. I know He loves us and I am grateful he doesn’t keep us from facing the hard impossible times, because as much as I miss you and love you and want you with us RIGHT NOW, I have seen so much growth in myself, my family and many others.
I am often surprised that I have survived this, and it is only through my Savior, Jesus Christ, that I have. Because of Him the grief has begun to mend and the pieces of our lives still cling together. Because of Him we will all be together again someday. I just need to keep fighting, keep plugging on.
Happy Sweet 16, Dearest Elizabeth.
Thank you for making me a mom for the first time.
Thank you for bringing me so many incredible years of joy!
I love you.