Thirteen years ago today, my fourth niece was born, a tiny girl with a damaged heart. Surgery to repair her small heart failed and, at the age of five months and one week, that little girl became our family angel. She swims with the dolphins now, bobbing and waving at us from the ocean on summer days at the beach. A person, a family is never the same after such a loss. There is no “getting over” the death of a baby. Life goes on, as it tends to do, but there will always be reminders to open the wound you thought was nearly healed. My dear sister, she has struggled. Maybe not always because her baby died, but….sometimes, because her baby died. For myself, losing my niece gave me a “life is short” attitude that is still with me, even thirteen years later. Knowing that girl gave me the courage to change my mind and have a child. And knowing that girl has helped me to remember to hold my boy a little closer, a little tighter, because life can change forever in a split second, in ways you never, ever expected.
Happy Birthday, dear small niece. You have not been forgotten. How could we forget such a girl as you?