At 9:04 am on December 27 I heard you cry. It was not the loud, angry cry of a newborn baby, furiously protesting their introduction to the large, cold world around them. It was just the soft meow of a kitten, but a protest nonetheless. That small cry let me know you were alive and I thanked God over and over again in my mind for that moment and any moments I would get with you. Laughter ensued as doctors and nurses marveled at your hair- the hair I had not yet seen but knew you had after months of unrelenting heartburn. They placed you on my chest and I was full of joy and fear. I never wanted this moment of life to end as I whispered “Stay with me Ella. Stay with me baby,” over and over and over in your ear.
Every day you stayed was full of wonder. Wonder at the miracle you were. Wonder at how our lives would be changed forever. Wonder at your strength and courage, your ability to bounce back and to stay. I am so proud of you and so glad I got to be your mommy.
There were never any words for our love. Just my finger squeezed inside your clenched fist. My cheek against yours, feeling your soft breath. My lips against the soft downy fur of your wrinkled forehead. Feeling the steady movement of your body against my chest that let me know you were still breathing and that you would stay.
In the countless hours you spent on my chest, there were many I even forgot you were there. You were once again part of my body and we were connected- just like we will be for eternity. I still feel you with me and I pray that feeling stays too.
Ella, I can’t wait to see you again. I can’t wait for you to laugh at me and tell me how silly I was to worry about you while you danced in Heaven with Jesus. While you partied with Nana and Caca, Great Grandpa George and Great Grandma Mary Hose, Great Grandpa Ken and GG, Aunt Jeannie, your uncles Corey and Jonny, and your cousin Grace. I can’t wait to hear your voice and feel your touch again.
Thank you for staying Ella.
I love you.