Dear Erin

It stayed with me when someone recently told your mom and I since all of this started that God doesn’t operate by the same clock we do. He doesn’t measure in seconds, minutes, hours, or days. We can be hurt by our measurement of time. Let me explain.

It hurts so much to know we have been given such little time to get to know you. We won’t get to see the beautiful child we know you would become: the color of your hair and of your eyes. How chubby of a baby you’d turn into. Whose features you would inherit. Would you get that cute ball your mom has on the end of her nose? Would you get my ears? (It did appear when we saw you in the hospital that you might have gotten my chin, so I’m sorry about that), the music of your crying voice.

It also hurts to know we won’t get the time to share you with your wonderful aunts and uncles (you have a lot of them!), your little cousins, your grandmas and grandpas, and all of your other family members. We can’t share you with our friends, our new friends we’ve met in the last few weeks, and people the future will bring into our lives. It hurts because I won’t see the look on my mom and dad’s face when they would have laid eyes on you as their first grandchild. It’s hard to fathom how much hurt has been felt in such a few, short weeks. Weeks that have felt like a lifetime.

Your mom and I have been surrounded by God throughout this terrible time, though, Erin. We know and trust He’s looking out for us. We’ve been surrounded by Him through compassionate people called to do His work at Alexandra’s House, surrounded by loving family members at home and helped by understanding people at work, blessed with caring people at the hospital and at our doctor’s visits, and surrounded by family and friends here today. Those friends are now our family. The pain of these seconds, minutes, hours, and days since we found out we could not keep you has been eased by them. Their actions, their words, their thoughts and prayers. Their flowers.

When people go through something like this, I notice how easy it is to think more deeply on things that you see or hear, and about what people tell you. When that someone told me that God doesn’t operate by the same clock we do, I stopped to think about it. Your mom and I might not ever understand why God gave us such little time with you. I’m sure there is a reason.

But what I did realize is that even though your mom carried you safely in her belly and under her heart for only 23 short weeks, He placed in our hearts for you a lifetime of love. It is true that God doesn’t measure in seconds, minutes, hours, or days. He uses words such as always, forever, and eternity. No matter how many days, months, years or minutes God gives your mom and I here on this earth, know this: We will think about you and keep your memory in our hearts always, we will love you forever, and we will cherish the moment God calls us Home as we know we will spend in Heaven with you, an eternity.

Love, your mom and dad.