We received this poem from one of my closest friends on Anna’s birthday. One of the few who met her that morning, one who has felt the love and loss of her as much as we have. She even made our daughter a heartbreakingly sweet and tiny white tutu for her first birthday, as originally planned. Surely it will someday be placed behind glass amongst a few other sacred items to be treasured over the coming years.
I’ve been sitting here for longer than I care to admit, trying to convey the depth and breadth of who this friend has been for me. How next to Brad you have been my very life support in those moments I didn’t think I could do it - whether it be entering her room again for the first time, or simply breathing for the next hour. Getting me to laugh with a mutual understanding that laughter and despair can exist simultaneously. How you’ve met me and accepted me wherever I am, everytime - even before her death. Low, angry, irreverent, beaten, “normal”, hysterical, needy, numb or in need of a good ol’ fashioned girl time. You’ve let me love on your girls with abandon, and even bigger, let me cry on them too. (Send me the bill for any therapy that induces 20 years from now.) ;)
See? I’m trying to do it and I can’t. Your words below better represent who you are than anything I could possibly write. Thank you, thank you, thank you - to you and to all those life-giving friends whose hearts I know express the same sentiments.
Dearest Little Anna Marie
What would you be like on your first birthday?
Who would you look like, what would you say?
Would you be walking around and getting into stuff,
Or would playing with gift boxes entertain you enough?
Would you sleep through the night, how much noise would you make?
Would you take dainty bites or devour your cake?
There’s so much about you we can never know,
What you like to play, how tall you will grow.
Today we celebrate your life, though it was only inside.
It brought us so much: wonder, amazement, joy and pride.
But somehow that joy didn’t unfurl,
So we hold you close in our hearts today, little one-year-old girl.