I knew I wanted to write a blog on the year anniversary that my daughter went to meet Jesus, but I imagined doing it on the actual date — February 7th. However, the longer I’ve been awake this morning, the more today seems like the actual anniversary. I mean it was on a Saturday, and the day started lazily on the couch just hanging out with my sweet girl, sort of like I am today with Owen. My dad (who I miss dearly) came by and brought me lunch and did a few handyman things for me as he always did. It was just the start to your typical weekend. Here she is cuddling with her stuffed animals that day.
Kyle and I were pretty excited though, because on this day he was planning on taking Mabry Kate on her first date — to a father/daughter Valentine’s Day dance. He spent his whole morning running around picking out her outfit, and even ordering her her very own corsage. While Kyle was out and about, I enjoyed a two hour nap cuddling with her. We then got up and I gave her a bath and painted her sweet little fingernails for the first time. I almost forgot take a picture, but then I remembered, and snapped the last picture there is of her.
It wasn’t 15 minutes later that my worst nightmare began to unfold. Every parent’s worst nightmare.
I cannot wrap my mind around the strange and unbelievable fact that it has been a year since I held her, cared for her, cuddled with her, kissed her, touched her, dressed her, just plain mothered her. One year. That’s even longer than the amount of time we had her here on earth. There are no words. The only words I can muster out that bring any sort of comfort is that I’m one year closer to eternity with our heavenly father, where she is now. I just talked to one of my co-workers the other day, who just so happens to be one of my best friends, about a verse in “Amazing Grace” that also brings comfort:
When we’ve been there 10,000 years, bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun.
That is amazing to me. It’s sometimes hard for my mind to comprehend, but it’s comforting.
You see, as hard as this day was and is even a year later and will always be, I believe Kyle and I were getting her ready for the ultimate father/daughter dance. I was so blessed and privileged to dress her in her finest clothes; to make sure she looked amazingly beautiful, as she always did, as we handed her over to our heavenly father — the one who created this beautiful hero. And what many people don’t know, is that Kyle did get to dance with her. He didn’t dance with her in the ways he had hoped or the ways he had envisioned that day, but he danced with her in ways not many father’s will ever do. He danced with her as she took her last breath here on earth. He danced with her as her spirit, what truly makes her who she is, left her body and was united with her Maker and her Healer; like when a father walks his daughter down the aisle to her groom. That to me is the most beautiful picture I can make out of any of this.
Mabry, we struggle every single day to live life without your physical form here. We are constantly reminded of you every single day. There are no words that can explain the depth of our pain and our grief, but there are also no words that can express the immense amount of love we have for you. You will ALWAYS be a part of our lives. There will NEVER be a moment that we don’t think of you. I am so extremely proud of you — how hard you fought, how you saved your brother’s life, how you will save the lives of future babies born in Tennessee, how you strengthened my faith, your dad’s faith and the faith of so many others (some we don’t even know). You may not be here with us physically for the remainder of this life, but you are spiritually, and I constantly look for you. Thank you for always reminding me that you are. Until I get to see you again, I will devote my life to keeping your spirit alive in ways only God can. I love you more than I even understand and I miss you more than words can describe.