I lost my first child, Lilly Mae, to miscarriage at thirteen weeks gestation on February 13, 2005. This letter was originally written to her on Saturday, May 14, 2016.
It has been thirteen years since I lost my girl, and while the pain eases with time, it never leaves. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. The ache of Lilly’s loss is something I carry with me every day. Her short life changed me in ways I never thought possible, and I am profoundly grateful to be her mama.
Lilly Mae, your name means “Beautiful Beloved” and you are with me always.
Dear Lilly Mae,
I saw a little girl two days ago that looked just the way I picture you in my mind. Dark brown hair in natural curls, olive skin, and dark eyes just like me. She was around 11 years old, wearing a ruffled khaki skirt and white collared shirt with sweet brown sandals, and I thought my heart was going to drop to the broken concrete beneath my feet. Her eyes caught mine as she ran to catch up to her mother in the school parking lot where I pick up your brothers every day. She quickly smiled at me, slipped her hand into her mother’s, and together they walked to their car with the evening sun warming their faces. And I wanted to bawl my head off.
Not one day goes by that I don’t feel the ache of missing you. It is something that I will carry with me every day for the rest of my life, reminding me of the bitterness of loss but also the beauty of becoming a mother for the first time and the special ways that you have changed our family. Your memory is written into our lives in many ways… From lilies on the dining room table in August to celebrate what would have been your birthday to prayers I whisper at night, asking God to hold you close and snuggle you up like I would.
We remember you, my sweet girl.
Each year, we celebrate Daughter’s Day the Sunday after Mother’s Day in honor of the daughters in our family. It is hard for me to write about the sting I feel every year on this day knowing that I cannot scoop you into my arms and pull you into my chest and whisper, “I am so glad God made me your mommy. Do you know?” into your ear like I do your brothers every year on their special day, Son’s Day. I wonder what gift you would pick and what home-cooked meal you would choose for your Daughter’s Day dinner. Most of all, I will miss being able to look across the table at your sweet face and tell you just how precious you are to me, how much I cherish your beautiful heart, and how honored I am that God would choose me to be the one you call mama.
Tomorrow we will celebrate your life and the beautiful ways that your memory brings light to our family. There will be tears, but my heart will be overflowing with gratitude for all that you have taught me and for the promise that I will hold you one day. What a beautiful day that will be. Happy Daughter’s Day to you, my sweet girl.
I love you always,