My Dear Baby Zachary,
Today would have been your first birthday. We probably would have celebrated with a party this weekend, thankful to have you with us. But instead we remembered the loss of you at a Mass last night at the Cathedral where we had hoped to have you baptized. Today should be a happy day, but it will forever be bittersweet.
Today I have been thinking about what you would be doing as a one-year old little boy. I think about how you would be crawling around our house, how I'd have gates up on the stairs and there would be toys everywhere. Probably too many toys from grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends. By now you would probably also be starting to pull yourself up and making your first attempts at walking. We'd be watching you every second waiting for those fateful first steps. Those first steps that tell us that now you'll be harder to chase after. You would also be eating more and growing bigger every day. We'd be able to laugh with you, and make noises with you, and "converse" in your own special baby talk. I sometimes wonder what unique surprises you would have for us in your personality and all the little things you would do and discover every day.
One year ago today I sat in a hospital room and prayed that God would help you to live. I was more than happy to accept whatever difficulties might come with having a baby too soon. Whatever the consequences of coming at such an early age in your development, I was willing to be a part of those challenges. No matter what, our love for you would make it all worth it. Unfortunately none of that was to be. Instead you went to our heavenly home.
We miss you every day. Every day I think about how different life would be if you had lived instead of leaving us so soon. I'm grateful for the short time I got to hold you in my arms and see you in your daddy's arms.
But I am also happy to know that you are already home. I know that you are held in Our Mother Mary's arms, that you are with Jesus, and you and Casey are praying for us. As a mother I am so happy to know that both my children are in heaven and are already saints, able to hear our prayers and intercede with God for us. You are a special saint and I pray that one day I will be reunited with you.
But until that day, I will continue to think of you. And especially every year on this date, I will remember those precious few moments I had with you.
Today, when I leave work, I will stop at a store and pick up a few flowers and instead of driving past the cemetery I will turn in and come visit you. I'm sure your marker is covered with snow and it may take a moment to locate it. But once I do I will brush it off, say a prayer, and leave both the flowers and a small stone to let others know I was there.
Zachary, you are missed by so many people. We all keep your memory in our hearts and will never forget you. Even one year later it brings tears to my eyes when I think about you. Pray for us, little Zachary, and know that you are remembered here as well.
With love, little one,