You would have been a year old today and we would have been having a big birthday party celebrating your FIRST! Family would have come and mommy would have made you a cake...or maybe cupcakes. Daddy would have cooked hot dogs on the grill for all your guests while we watched you dig your little hands into your cake.
But God had other plans.
I wonder what you are doing today instead of celebrating your First Birthday with us. Are you still sitting at the feet of Jesus? Are you playing with Kyler, Kelan, Brett, Wesley, Taylor, Maria, Nate, Laynee, and so many other kids who live in heaven? Have you and Laynee discussed the handicaps you had here on earth and how you are now perfect? And you really are! I am one parent who can truly say I have a perfect baby. :) Sometimes I wish you weren't perfect, because that would mean you are here. But someday my hurt will be gone because I will be next to you...worshiping Jesus forever!
Have you sat with Gram and heard all about your Papa when he was a little boy? How about Mamaw and Papaw, have you heard the stories about when your Great-Papaw worked in the coal mines?
I wonder if you know all about me, and how much I love you and how desperately I miss you. But I also wonder if you know I'm OK? It still hurts, and I am sure it always will. But there is something inside my heart that makes me know that it is also OK. A year ago today I still did not know how I could deal with telling you good-bye to life as I know it. But I did, and somehow I have peace in spite of not having you here. I think it's called "Grace" ... I'm sure Jesus has told you about it.
You have a little friend here, one who would have been your buddy because you would have grown up together. I love to watch him grow, and every time I hear about a milestones he has reached it gives me an idea of what you might have been doing by now. Not too long ago I heard that he was saying "Mama" and "Dada" and my heart skipped a beat. Wow! You would have been talking! Smiling! Holding my hand! Making my world brighter!
But it was the darkness of that time that caused your light to shine even brighter!!!
I still hear people talk about how they could share with someone the story of Audrey Ann and how she touched so many people. I hear about how your footprints have led to a conversation about heaven and the Jesus that you now know so well. I got a birthday card for you, but really for me, it told me how HUGE of an impact you had on her life.
You were only 2 pounds! And you were only here for 4 days!
And so I think, if God had let you have a "normal" healthy birth and life, then you never would have caught the attention of so many people. That is simply awesome. Is it what I wanted?....NO! But I will bow to The Almighty and His plan for you so that He might have the Glory and the Preeminence.
And when that is my biggest desire, nothing else really matters!
I love you, sweet Audrey,
p.s. Ella and Daddy miss you and love you