Happy 6th Birthday my love! I can't believe where the time has gone. In my mind, time has frozen still. Somehow I don't remember you last birthdays. The past three years have seemed like a complete blur. As I sit to write you, the tears are flowing down my face and a picture of a three year old is etched in my mind. I want to so badly grab the past three years back and hold on to the moments. However, God has written different plans, and as painful as they are, I look at who you are today and I could not be anymore proud of you.
As your mom, I am hurt and I look at the past three years with a lot of pain and little memory. Somehow it has been a complete blur. However, God has given us this amazing summer where I feel like we have been able to make many memories, have the snuggles you so enjoy, and talk and laugh together. I feel as though my mind is once again working and I can now etch your beautiful, freckled covered nose, gorgeous blue eyes, long blond hair picture into my mind.
Three years ago you turned three, mom was pregnant and we were all scared about what was going to be happening. We knew that you would be welcoming a new sister, we knew that she was going to be sick, but we could not have prepared ourselves for the ride God wrote for us.
The sites and sounds and smells and fears and pains of three years ago are still so fresh in my mind. When I look at you, sometimes it is hard for me to see who you are today, I still see you as that little girl. I cry because I feel like I missed so much with you. I really have no clue where that time went. I know that I was doing as I needed to do, you were in loving arms, and mostly I was there. But I write you this letter to let you know how much I love you and how proud I am of you.
Three years ago we had your birthday party at the toy store in town. Mom was unable to drive and I was really not suppose to be out. Your grandma's and your aunt made that day possible. There were many loving friends who came to support us as well. We didn't know when mommy would be going to the hospital so we tried to take advantage of all those moments, we tried to soak up every last snuggle we could. I am so glad we did.
You were so excited to have your very first friend birthday party. You had picked out a gorgeous princess cake with your grandma. You were so excited. And moments after your party ended you left with your grandma. Mommy needed to have her rest. My arms were so empty, I wanted to continue to celebrate with you, I wanted that moment to never end. Your pony tail bopped around in the wind as you put your foot in grandma's van. I waved goodbye and tried not to show my tears.
Six short days later, grandma brought you back to the house. You were wearing the cutest little dress. Your face was so beautiful and you had a smile that lit up the room. I remember your hug. You strong arms wrapped around mommy's neck with your little hands patty my shoulders. Mommy and daddy were leaving for the hospital. We did not know if your sister would be born that day or if mommy would have to stay in the hospital. We were nervous and scared. You were so happy to be home and playing with all of your new toys from your birthday. You waved at me, told me you loved me, and said it was all going to be all right. I remember that day as if it were yesterday.
We ended up having your sister that night. Grandma and grandpa drove you to Milwaukee late that night and you swam and feel asleep in grandpa's arms. At 9:00 that night, Lydia was born and a new chapter in our life was beginning. It was scary, but nothing broke your smile. You were always thinking about other people. You gave me strength because I missed you so much.
I remember the next day, you walked into that hospital room. You had the cutest little flowered dress on. Your aunt gave it to you because you were growing out of your clothes and mommy was so busy she did not noticed. You were so shy. You saw mommy and ran to her. We showed you your new sister and you were shy. You did not want to leave your grandma's side. Eventually you warmed up and once you did, there was no separating you from your sister.
The next five months we spent more time apart then we did together. I tried so hard to be strong, but it tore me apart to see you hurt so much, to know that you had to spend so much time apart from me. All you wanted to do was snuggle, and believe me, that is all that mommy wanted to do too! This was just the beginning, but you were so strong and brave. God gave you two of the best grandma's who took such good care of you. He gave you cousins that kept you running and playing until all hours of the night and He gave you aunts that cared for you as if you were theirs.
Coming home was amazing. You took care of your sister like a pro. You were always there to give a helping hand and comfort the saddest of souls. I know there was never much time to be with just you, it seems as though Lydia's needs were always put before yours. As a mom, it is so hard; but I did my very best. As a mom, I was stretched so thin, but God gave us an entire community that helped you understand just how much you are loved, just how important you are.
I look at you today and I am so proud of who God made you. When I think of the past three years I often think of the pain and trauma our entire family endured, but you survived. Most times we talk about Lydia and what a fighter she is. I think you one too. You were behind the scenes and you often were left to the side. You did not complain or hide. You wore your smile, you showed your tears. You were a big girl when you should have been mommy's little girl.
But you are a better person because of this experience. You understand and care far beyond your years. You notice the smallest of details and you love so deep. It is not the road I would have picked for you, but I am so glad that God is the author of your path because you are one amazing girl.
I realize that we are on a journey with your sister, that her medical needs will always be there. But some how God has really brought all of us together. He has allowed me to see you for who you are today. The pain is still there, but I am so enjoying being your mom. I wanted to let you know how special this birthday is for me. I see you in that pretty little flowery dress holding your sister for the very first time. Your eyes lit up the room and you were the proudest sister ever. Today, you are one amazing little six year old, filled with love and compassion far beyond your years. Because of what you have done for you sister, she is wearing that dress today, looking up to you, learning from you, and wanting to be just like you. What an amazing role model you are!
I love you Allison. I am so proud to be your mom. Lydia has a GREAT big sister. Thanks for being so selfless and allowing us to grow together as a family. I can't wait to see what else God has in store for you as you continue to spread your wings and soar.