Today, the memories of this day, just one short year ago, wash over me....the fear, the doubt, the heartache, and countless hours spent on my knees, begging God for the strength I needed to get through this day and however many difficult days that would follow.
I won't sugar coat and even attempt to say that those days weren't hard, that they didn't push me to the very brink of falling to pieces on an almost daily basis. It WAS hard. It WAS painful. It WAS a test of everything I thought I believed in. I felt helpless at times. I was angry at moments. I cried. A lot.
16 days away from home. More prayers than I have ever said in my life. Hours spent beside the impossibly large metal crib where my sweet girl lie, so impossibly tiny within its confines, covered in tubes and wires.
Like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, as the days passed, that tiny still baby faded away to be replaced by a whole lot of fiery wing fluttering, all tempered with a whole lot of sass.
Those quiet days wrapped in the bubble that was the Pediatric ICU gave me something special that I wouldn't have had without them......time spent focusing completely on my daughter. Days overflowing with drinking her in, without the distractions of the outside world, praising God for the return of rosy cheeks, cuddly babies, and heart stopping smiles.
There are no words for how grateful I am, still. I feel as if every single day, each smile, each bubble of laughter is the most precious gift. At least a thousand times over the last year I have found myself breathless, thinking that that second, that brief moment in time is the most perfect moment I could ever hope for. If not for this day, none of those moments would exist.
The scars are fading now, both the ones on Liddy's tiny chest and the ones on my heart.
Yet a trace of both will always remain. And those feelings of awe and gratefulness for her beautiful life will never fade at all.
This day is every bit as important as the day that Liddy was born. In a very real sense, she was born again today. And so was our family.
Happy 1st re-birthday, sweet angel. We love you so very much!