Today is our daughters' birthday. This poem was read at their memorial service by our pastor.
Your tiny legs leapt over this life
And into eternity
With one great stride.
From the safety of your mother’s womb
To the cradling hands of the Father.
You never felt earth’s harsh chill.
You know now of what we only dream,
The future for which we hope:
That the distance between this world and the next
Is shortened by God’s embrace;
That heaven’s gravity will not fail you,
That you are alive and well
Whisper words from the other side
Sing for us an angel song
Let us hear the voice we have missed.
Bend heaven’s rules
Tell us of the face of Jesus
Assure us of our destiny.
Help us as we wait for the day
Of your full-bodied embrace.
Allison Elizabeth, my blessed first born. I remember vividly feeling you move around and kicking in the days before you born. Because your placenta was empty, I was able to feel every kick, move and stretch that you made. I am thankful for that. You are definitely the "big sister," you came out weighing almost two ounces more and being close to an inch longer! Did you know that your father named you? We had your name picked out, we just didn't know which one of you would get it. Since you were "baby A" your father decided that you should have the name that began with "A." Did you know that we share middle names too? It is a family name--your great-grandmother and great-aunt also have the name Elizabeth. Because of you my love, I was able to share 7 more days than anticipated with you and your sister in my belly; you hung in there for as long as you could. There are so many things I want to tell you about, to share with you and to teach you. I know this can't happen this side of heaven, so I wait for the day when I can hold you in my arms and whisper to you how much I love you.
Emily Ann, my sweet baby. 11 minutes after your sister was born, you were born. Ever since I can remember, all of my dolls growing up had the name "Emily." It was pretty much set in stone from the time we knew we were having twins that one of you would have this name. I remember holding your sweet hands after you were born, they were so soft and your fingers were long and beautiful. Your Aunt Christy even commented that they were so pretty and reminded her of Nana's hands, your great-grandmother. You have carried on a tradition with your name--Ann was Nana's middle name, it is your Aunt Christy's middle name and it is your cousin, Jessica's middle name. I sit here and wish with all my heart that I could say your name out loud and that you would come running to me. I know you can't, you are in a much better place.
To both of my girls, you changed our lives. You are missed and loved. My love for you, as your mother, goes deeper than I ever thought love could go. Oh how I wish you were here to celebrate your birthday. I picture the two of you digging your hands into birthday cake, surrounded by friends and family. I envision pink dresses, bows in your hair and cheeks that I can't seem to get enough of. I know that you are celebrating in heaven but it doesn't take away the sting, the pain and the longing I have for you. I am selfish, I want you here with me. Your father and I miss you everyday. There is not a day that goes by that I don't touch the two rings that are on my necklace and think of you.
The tears have come less frequently over the last couple of months than they did a year ago, but as we celebrate your lives today, they are flowing. I will re-read the poem. I will stand and look at your footprints that we have framed. I will look at the pictures we have of you. I will do the same thing I have done everyday since the day you were born--I will remember you.
We will visit your marker today at the memorial gardens and the reality of life and death will be real to us as we will clean off the stone that says you are buried there. We will listen to the birds singing and we will weep. There is mourning and grief today, but more so, I desire that this day be one of a celebration. A day that is remembered as one with the highest and deepest of love for two precious babies.
Allison Elizabeth and Emily Ann, my sweet, precious and beautiful daughters, your lives are remembered today and celebrated. We love you and can't wait to hold you again.