Thursday, December 6, 2018

Letter to my Angel Baby - A Decade Later

Dear Celeste Alia,

It has been one decade, that is 10 years, 120 months, 3,650 days, 87,600 hours, 5,256,000 minutes, or 315,360,000 seconds since we met and said goodbye to you. Not a single year, month, day, hour, minute, or second of that time have you not been a part of. While I never got to hear your voice, or see all of your firsts, or even been able to hug and kiss you all that time you are so very much a part of every fiber of my being and who I am today. You were the wake up call I needed to stop taking everything I had for granted. To really embrace and hold on with all of my might to that which is most precious to me. Thank you sweet angel baby for making me who I am today.

And don't get me wrong, I still wish with every part of me that you were here with us instead. That I could have heard your first words, seen you take your first steps, sent you off to five first days of school. Told you a million times to stop bickering with your brother and sisters. I would do anything to have you here with us instead, but I know this is the way it had to be.

It's hard to look back at December 6, 2008. We really barely even had an opportunity to know you were coming and then had to come to terms with the fact that we now had to say our goodbyes. I hope you know and feel all of our love all this time you have been in heaven. Even your little sister Alyssa in her oh so inquisitive way loves you. She asks about you often.

I hope you and all the other angels are getting along great in heaven. Please give all of our love to all of our family who we have had to say goodbye to. If you are so inclined we'd love it if you would stop in sometime again soon to let us know you're around.

Love you and miss you sweet Angel. Happy birthday and merry Christmas.


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Happy 11th Birthday, CJ

Dear CJ,

Time flies when you're having fun. These last 11 years sure seem to have gone by quick. You have always been great at keeping us on our toes too. And what a year this has been, eh? I do hope you'll remember it to have been mostly good.

I so love our one on one time together, even though it doesn't happen often. You are really fun to talk to though. Super cool to hang out with, and if anyone tells you otherwise, well then they're just crazy and must not know what cool is. And you have to believe me, because I'm your mom and I know what I'm talking about.

So this year, your last year in elementary school, I really want you to enjoy this time. There are fun and exciting things coming up, but don't focus so much on what's to come and miss what's right in front of you. Some of my fondest memories of my childhood came when I was in 5th grade. So cherish these moments. Don't be in such a hurry to get older.

Always know Daddy and I will always be here for you no matter what. We will always love you. Even when you're rolling your eyes at us or talking back. And when you get so mad that nothing matters to you anymore, at least in that moment, I want you to take a deep breath and walk away and take a moment to gather yourself.

You are a smart boy with amazing insights. Don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise. Rock 11 buddy, this is going to be a great year for you.

Happy 11th birthday. I love you.


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Happy 19th Birthday Natalie

Dear Natalie,

This is a rough year for us, and probably the hardest birthday letter I have had to write to you to date. And probably not for the reasons you think. I love you so much and I hate the wedge that has come between us. Maybe it's all a part of growing up and spreading your wings. Probably mostly because I have a hard time letting go. I can't bear to see you hurt and yet it feels like I'm also the one that keeps causing you pain. Maybe someday you'll get where I'm coming from, I'm hoping sooner rather than later of course. I really just want you to be happy and a successful productive member of society. And as shocking as it may be I do know a thing or two. I know it's hard to step out of your comfort zone and just bite the bullet and go for it, but sometimes that's what you have to do to have all of those life experiences that you want.

We are so very much alike in so many ways, which is part of why we probably fight so very hard. The path that you are walking down is a very similar one to what I took. And while I would never change a thing about the choices I have made in life, I also don't want you to follow in my footsteps just because I wouldn't change anything about my life. You can have everything you want if you can find a nice even keel balance. And sometimes that might mean saying no to the person you want to disappoint the least right now. If he truly loves you, then he should understand and want to support you.

For the last 19 years now I have advocated for you to make sure that no one ever takes you for granted and that they will see what I know is inside of you. And guess what Kiddo, I'm not going to stop now just because you are an adult. Face it, you are stuck with me. No one will know you the way that I do. No one else knows the story of you the way that I do. And no one else will ever love you the way that I do. You are a piece of my heart walking outside of my body and I will fight fiercely to make sure that you are treated right. I do have room in my heart to open up to that special someone in your life, but you have got to give me a fair shake and not put us in uncomfortable positions where I feel like I, and therefore you (because you are a piece of my heart) are being disrespected.

While you are trying to figure out your place in life please don't lose yourself in the process. Remember the things that have always been important to you. It doesn't have to be one or the other, you can have it all. Sacrifices will have to be made, but never forget your values and where you come from. I was at this story from the very beginning, and I won't see it through to the end, but please let me be there with you until my end.

I love you. Happy 19th birthday Nat!

Love always,

My Dearest Celeste

I haven't written to you in a while, or really about you even. You would be 9 right about now. I'm not entirely sure what it is that made me want to write to you now. Of course today was your due date. While I do think of you daily, this is the day that you're definitely not far from my thoughts at all. Wonder what you would have been like, what you would have liked, what you would have disliked. Would you want to have participated in our girl day of manicures with your oldest sister and baby sister, or preferred to skip it like your older sister? Would you love to read and write, or work with your hands? What would your relationship be like with your siblings? I wonder how different things would have turned out if we hadn't lost you. I guess I've been doing a lot of reflection lately on things. What would have happened if we followed a different road or more to the point someone else had followed a different road. Perhaps that is why I felt the need to write to you now. All of those what could have beens.

We can't go back though, all we can do is go forward. While I will probably always wonder what could have been and who you could have been I will just have to go on. There was a reason I didn't get to be your mother here on earth, and someday in the hopefully very distant future we will meet again and perhaps some of my questions will be answered. I will continue to look for signs though that you are always with us, always in my heart, always on my mind, always watching over us. I miss you Angel Celeste Alia. I love you.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Happy Sweet 16 Kaitlyn

Dear Kaitlyn,

How is it that you are 16? I can't believe it. It has been a pleasure being your mother and watching you learn and grow. You have been an amazing advocate for yourself especially this year at school and really have kept yourself on the right track. I'm so proud and very relieved to know that you got this. And always know I will also always have your back. So if you're ever "not getting your way" (ha-ha) you know who to call on. I will take on anyone who's not treating you right or doing for you what you deserve.

I know things around here have been very crazy and tense lately. It's not your job though to fix things that have been happening at home lately. I appreciate and love you so much that you want to make things easier for me, but I know everything will work out just the way it's supposed to. I might get mad and yell and scream and maybe even complain about what's happening, but it's not something you need to be worried about. You just keep being you and working your butt off to get whatever you want.

The sky is the limit for you. I can't wait to see what the next two years of high school are going to bring for you and beyond. I have no doubt that whatever you want to happen you will make happen for yourself though and you'll do it with courage and conviction never losing who you are. Keep dreaming big and pushing hard. You keep breaking those glass ceilings and showing people that when you put your mind to something you will make it happen!

Happy sweet 16 Katie Kiddles. I hope it's everything you wanted.


Friday, February 2, 2018

Alyssa's 7th Birthday

Dear Alyssa,

Seven years sure goes by fast, probably because you're the fun one as you so hysterically like to tell us. And truth be told, it has been a fun ride with you up to this point. Not only are you funny, but your quick wit and amazing imagination keeps us on our toes. We never know what it is you're going to say. You are a shining star and you let everyone who meets you know it.

The sky is the limit for you my dear sweet daughter. Whatever you do I am sure you will be smiling and making others laugh. Never let anyone take that gift away from you. Just keep on being you, shine bright, and don't ever let anyone stifle your creativity and imagination.

Always know Daddy and I love you forever and always no matter what. We will never stop. Looking forward to what the next seven years and beyond is going to be like with you. Happy seventh birthday my beautiful girl, I hope it has been everything you imagined it could be.

Love always,

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Happy 10th Birthday CJ

Dear CJ,

A whole decade has passed since you first came into our lives. You are everything I ever imagined and then some.  This has been a wild 10 years with you, but all very memorable. I'm looking forward to what the next 10 years will bring. Will you continue playing baseball? Go on to pursue being a monster truck driver? Or perhaps you'll fall back in love with fire fighting.

Whatever you do, I just hope you'll be happy doing it. That's all I ever want.  I hope you will always have that big heart that you have and that great sense of humor.  And even though most of time your stubbornness drives me crazy I want you to keep that too, just maybe not as much with me.

I hope 10 is all you imagined it would be.  Happy birthday CJ! I love you.