* This was originally written in 2011. While the setting and the weather were much different today, the sentiment of the letter is exactly the same.
*We’ve added 2 more daughters since I typed this out. 2 more people to share Avery’s story with. 2 more sisters to adore her and celebrate each important milestone with.

 

 

Avery,

Looking out the window today, some might say the weather is fitting for such an anniversary.  The dark clouds have rolled in, emptied themselves and have taken the day away from us.

The yard is soggy, the grass, flowers and trees that were so close to full bloom for the spring are now left damp, cold and drooping.  Weather says there is more to come tonight and so the dreary day is forecasted into a dreary night.

That’s what some would say.  It’s not, however, what your sisters, your mother and I are saying.  We look out of the window today and see another day filled with hope, a day where the closeness to God, which you delivered for us, can never and will never be forgotten.

Today’s rain reminds me of the refreshing encouragement that God gives to us.  The clean and untainted spiritual blessing of the Holy Spirit brightly penetrates even the thickest of rain clouds.

Your passing is a hand on the small of my back that is always guiding me toward God.  Your passing introduced me to a whole new understanding of life and death and an appreciation for both.

This is only one reason of many that I will never remember your death with emotions of sadness.  Everyday I thank God for your mother, the strongest woman I know.  I thank God daily for Paige and Aubrey, as well as the newest addition soon to arrive.

Avery, I also thank God for you.  I will never forget the four hours we spent in that hospital room….just your mother, you and me.  There was something so divinely special about those moments. It was as if Jesus Himself, along with familiar angels were gathered around us.

I cannot even begin to express the encompassing love, mercy and grace your mother and I experienced in that room with you.  There just aren’t words.  It was real though, very, very real.

Occasionally when someone asks how do I know there is a Heaven or a God, I don’t say it to them because I know they’d never understand, but Avery it’s because of you.  It’s because of your death I tasted Heaven.

I’m sorry for selfish reasons that you didn’t live. Strange as it may sound, I am not sorry you died.  I’m confident you’re happy where you are and likely have a far better understanding of what all took place and why it took place than your mother and I do.

Truth is we feel blessed to have a daughter preparing for our arrival on the other side some day.  There is simply no better place for my daughter to be.

Paige and Aubrey are with me and I’m openly happy to admit that I enjoy their presence in my daily life, but setting aside human pride I must also say it is the second best place for them to be.  This is second best for all of us really.

Someday, a long time from now I know we will be all together.  Call me delusional or disturbed, but it does excite me thinking about that day.

No Avery, today isn’t gloomy for your earthly family…. We celebrate today knowing full well you exist.  You exist in a reality far more special and real than the one we belong to.

We also know that you are aware of us, we’ve been reminded many times, many ways.

We will meet someday in Heaven.  I don’t know that you are a baby there.

At times I like to think you as a bundle of joy for our grandparents and other loved ones who moved on.  Other times I like to think of you as a fully matured being, a young woman, that is preparing for us and will be able to greet us when our veils are lifted.

In fact, I have often dreamed and fantasized about what you and I will say to each other when we first come together on your side of reality.  I fully expect you will know me and I will immediately recognize you, we will be brother and sister in Christ.

Before we speak, I know there will be a long awaited embrace and my first words to you are likely to be “Thank You So Much”.   Heaven was already a place worth living to get to, you being there has only made it that much more desirable and real.

Today we enjoy the life God blessed us with and we celebrate the even better life you have in Heaven.

We know what the weather forecast is, but to be honest….today is one of the most beautiful days of the year.

We sang Happy Birthday at your headstone and know you are enjoying our praise for God in your honor.

Under the direction of your big sister Paige and little sister Aubrey we made you a birthday cake.  Yellow cake, chocolate icing and lots of sprinkles on top….even had your name on it.

I’m sure the celebration you enjoy in Heaven is far greater than this, but we didn’t want your birthday to pass without our own little celebration of what you mean to us.

Lovingly,

Your proud father

 

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