In June 2006 our beloved firstborn daughter, Anita, suffocated on a baby blanket. She was exactly 100 days old when I found her lifeless form in the crib. Ani's short life had been so full of vibrant health and marked by her joyous curiosity, that her sudden death came as a complete shock. In spite of the indescribable pain of losing this precious girl, I am grateful for the privilege of sharing the brief time we had together.
My sweet daughter. I miss you! My arms ached with emptiness when you left. Your short life seemed over all too soon. Gladly would I have taken your place. I grieved what was and is no longer. Your contagious smile would brighten up the day for everyone around. Each time you awoke, you would start grinning from ear to ear, causing your pacifier to plop out of your mouth. On our last day together you even learned to laugh out loud. What a beautiful sound that was! I also loved to hear your happy babbling voice as you watched your brothers play. I savored the calm feeling of holding you close and smelling your sweet baby skin when you fell asleep in my arms after nursing.
All that, has left such a void in my life; but I also grieved what should have been. I wondered about the things you would have learned over the years. I pictured you excitedly bursting into the house to explain a new discovery to me, hoping that I would share your enthusiasm. I envisioned the adventures you would have had with your best friend. I was sure there would be a lot of giggles in our home as you played dress ups or hide-and-seek together. I dreamed about Daddy proudly leading you down the aisle to meet the man who was to become your husband. Even thinking of my own death, I wanted you to be there to hold my hand as I drew my last breath. These things were not to be. It seems unfair, as if you and I were robbed of all this.
And yet, as you behold the face of Jesus right now, you are learning things that are light-years beyond what you could have discovered or comprehended on earth. I can't wait to hear the excitement in your voice as you share what God has made known to you. Rather than missing out, it seems like you got to graduate early. You definitely have the best friend there ever was. Jesus will never disappoint you, He is always there for you, and He is completely trustworthy. It is true that Daddy won't get to walk you down the aisle on your wedding day; you are with Christ, the groom, already. But you will get to take our hands and guide us to Him one day, instead. You will be there as I take my last breath, after all, ready to greet me and show me our forever home. Home! It makes the thought of heaven all the sweeter, knowing that one day we will be reunited in a place where there will be no more tears, death, or mourning.
I will never stop loving you!
"When the perishable puts on the imperishable and the mortal puts on immortality then shall come to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory,' 'O death where is your victory?' 'O death where is your sting?'" (1 Cor. 15:54+55)