My dearest Lillian,
Did you know that the last Sunday in September is Daughter's Day? It's been going around Facebook the past few days. Lots of pictures with "Like and share if you love your daughter" or "Share so the world knows how proud you are of your daughter" or a hundred other ways people use to get people to like and share their pictures. I don't like people trying to make me do things. I just don't. When the blurb starts "You can't watch this without crying" I almost always skip the video. Cause I won't cry - mostly cause they told me to. Also, I am not so often moved to tears over things like cute puppies. Usually if I cry watching videos it involves laughing so hard I cry. Or a very spiritual experience sometimes does it - but not always. I wouldn't really classify myself as a crier. I digress.
I don't like people trying to get me to do what they want. Ask my brothers. They'll tell you the best way to get me to do anything as a kid was to tell me I couldn't do something because I was a girl. I climbed trees and caught snakes with the best of them. :) I still don't really like people trying to make me do things. So I never like or share posts like that. Truthfully, they annoy me. But this time it hit my heart to see all the mothers posting about their daughters.
Last night was the general women's broadcast for the church. Every time I find myself watching mothers and daughters and wishing you were here to go with me. I know, you technically wouldn't even be 8 yet - but in my mind you are a bit older than you would really be if you were here. Mostly, it's just something I wish I could do with you and I never will. I suppose life will be full of those moments. I realized it about prom dress shopping not long ago. And that opened a flood of things I never get to do as your mom. Oh, I'm sure in the eternal scheme of things most of them don't even matter one tiny bit. But on this earth, some of them feel like a big deal. I've noticed a lot of them this past year.
I was already missing you a lot. I'm sure part of the reason I feel emotional is that it's been a rough week around here. I spent a good portion of two days at the hospital. One to get a tonsillectomy consultation for Caleb, and Dad had a hernia repaired on Thursday. I had no idea how exhausting it would be for me for him to have surgery. Half the battle is making sure he doesn't overdo things. He is not a very good patient. It is a good thing he doesn't have to be the patient very often. Gavin's been up at night working on teeth and maybe an ear infection. Dad gets up 1-2 times a night to take medicine and usually that wakes me up too. It's been a long week. And I'm always more emotional when I'm tired. It's just the way I'm built.
Yesterday, knowing that today I would miss you a lot, I drove all over town to find pink lilies. For some reason they're hard to find when I am specifically looking for them, even if they were there just a couple days before. I finally ended up going to a florist and got a gorgeous bunch of lilies. She told me they were Stargazer lilies - which truthfully aren't quite the right pink lilies - but I was really tired of driving all over town so I agreed. I can't express my joy to find they were pink lilies. She said "They're not the official stargazer lilies cause they don't have as much white, but they're still called stargazers." I wanted to tell her that Stargazer is the name of the lily - they all have different names. But I didn't. I said thanks anyway and took my gorgeous pink lilies home. There are 5 of them open today and each one is about as big as my hand fully extended. There are at least two more that will open in the next few days. I love lilies!!! I hope you do to. If you don't, there will be a moment in heaven where we will probably laugh about how much you dislike them and I kept getting more to remind me of you.
I wonder if you think I've forgotten about you the past few weeks. I haven't. I've spent a lot more time thinking of your baby brother. I suppose I can't really help it. You've been gone for nearly 7 years. Most days I don't feel a strong heartache and loss when it comes to you. I was completely blindsided by going through this again. It's different this time. Some things are easier. Some things are harder. I still hate it. I just want my babies to be with me. A mommy isn't supposed to have to say goodbye to her babies. It's just....not fair. I know, I know. Life isn't fair and there's nothing anyone can do. Still - it's about the only thing I can think of to say these days. Still, I haven't forgotten you. I think of you often and you will be forever my sweet daughter.
Sometimes it's really hard to not have you here. This weekend I kept wishing I could turn around and find you'd be there. You're always that close in my mind. Sometimes I wish the world could see you the way I do. Then people might quit asking me "are you going to try again for a girl?" when I venture out with three boys. I know I would ruin everyone else's day by mentioning you. So I don't. I remind myself I have you. I might even think an angry thought or two in my head. But I never say anything. I don't want to ruin anyone's day. And I don't want my boys to think I don't love them even if they're not girls. So I don't say anything. I say "I wouldn't know what to do with a girl" or "we like boys" or something like that. It's true, and maybe sometimes kinda flippant. But I wish people wouldn't comment. Sometimes it hurts like a slap in the face. And going out to do errands with three small children isn't easy. I don't need to feel like I've been slapped too.
Thank you for always being close to me. I hadn't realized how close you really stayed until we did this again. Baby Sam isn't as physically as close to me as you are. More often than not, I believe he's slightly put out that I wish he was closer. He's learning - but it's not just a natural thing for him, I guess. I didn't know how lucky I was to feel you so close almost any time my thoughts turned to you. Thank you. I don't know what things you're missing out on in heaven by staying so close, but it comforts me greatly feeling you are close.
I wish you could be here, my girl. I really do. I know losing you has taught me things I never would have learned otherwise. I know it has shaped my person to be who I am today. I suppose I am grateful, but I still wish you were here. Buying lilies when I'm thinking of you brings me joy, but it's not the same as having you here. I can't bring you here. But I can bring lilies home and it makes me smile and think of you. And so I do it. I think some people think I'm crazy. But it doesn't matter. I do what I do to make ME happy. And thinking of you makes me happy. I am grateful to be your mother. I am sure you are up in heaven doing all kinds of great work. I am certain you are happy. I am glad you can be learning from my grandma. I've been missing her a lot too. I'm glad you two can be together in heaven. I think she would love that your middle name is Jane. Rumor has it she wanted my middle name to be Jane. Either way, we gave you the middle name of Jane because of her always calling me Tasty Jane. I'm glad you guys have each other and baby Sam and Grandpa Fred - and I'm sure a lot of other people too. It would be really hard to feel like you were alone. It is my nature to take care of other people. I can't be there to take care of you so I have to leave it up to others.
I love you, Lillian. Happy Daughter's Day!