Birth plan - check. Hospital bag – check. Car seat and diaper bag – check. Husband ready with 20 bags and instructions for 20 different things –check! Home birth basket ready to go – just in case. All the ‘checks’ were ready except for one that none of us could have anticipated even in our weakest moments. Grief plan – we could not have prepared for losing you Emersyn even when you were diagnosed 4 months after you were born. Nothing could have prepared us to go from celebrating the birth of our first child on September 16th 2008 to saying good-bye to your amazing little self 7 months later. I look back now and I know that I am not the same person but I am certain that I am and always will be your Mom filled with memories and love that will never die.
Today September 16th 2015 you turn 7 Emersyn even in heaven it is your day where the Angels come together and bake a cake and take you on a whirlwind of birthday fun through the clouds. And I as your Mom will always want to know that today your day is being honoured and celebrated in some way and somewhere there is a little gathering of hearts celebrating with you while we honour you here on earth and send you love, hugs and kisses. I still need to parent you from the beyond and today especially since I know that if you were still here with us I would have wanted to make today just perfect just like every parent wants to make their child's birthday magical and meaningful.
Today we allow ourselves to unravel in our grief journey and in that unraveling we are free to feel any and every emotion that comes over us. We have learned that our heart wound since losing you is more manageable when we give it the attention and space it so rightfully deserves. We are getting better at anticipating the big waves of grief and knowing when it is time to pull back, be quiet and give our hearts the healing space needed to think, release and reflect. So today we remember and we won’t hold back for the sake of coping we will “go there” because we love you and our grief connects us to you. Grief can be loving, painful, exhausting but most of all it is a reflection of our love for you so it is worth it.
I remember being pregnant and fussing over which name we would give you. I remember taking name polls with my grade 1 class creating our short list of favourites it was so fun and meaningful to include my students! I knew I wanted a name that was unique and special….for some reason I was adamant it had to have a profound meaning. So finally after much deliberation Emersyn made the cut because not only was it of Scottish decent (points with my parents!) but the meaning of your name struck me so much—Home Strength. Your name means Home Strength. Little did I know that Home Strength would be the words that we would choose to have written on your stone at your special spot where we now go to honour your memory. Little did we know that we would need copious amounts of pure Home Strength to cope with your diagnosis and passing. Little did we know that when we named you we were actually defining the very thing that would be vital to our survival as a family in grief – Home Strength.
We remember when you were born and our family came to meet you in the hospital and we could not hide our pride at our perfectly content, beautiful, snuggly and warm miraculous baby girl. I mean babies are born everyday but we like all new parents, especially first time parents felt like we were the first people on earth to experience this joy you were absolutely perfect! I remember our friends meeting you two weeks after you were born and I could hardly contain my gushing “new Mom obsessive crazy love happiness” when they arrived to meet you! The image that comes to mind is when little Simba in the movie The Lion King is presented to the world after he is born and held up with such distinction. I honestly felt like I needed to pause the world to let every single soul know you were finally here you were and still are a really BIG deal.
I have learned to hold my memories of you tightly in my heart and I pick and choose when and who I want to share these sacred times with. But today on your 7th birthday I am not keeping these memories tucked away no not today they are too special just like you. I am totally ok with the world knowing that today is bittersweet for us as we remember the most joyous day when you were born while missing you beyond measure. I am totally ok with the world knowing that although we live without your physical self we will never stop loving you and our connection to your heart has never changed. My mind thinks about you and wonders just as much as I do about Isla and Callum and my heart will never quite understand or accept that you are gone. The heart is stubborn and persistent that way and thank God for that!
I still hold your blanket and remember how cozy you were while I held you in the middle of the night when you nursed. I remember before knowing you had SMA your first and only Thanksgiving at Auntie Catherine’s house and how everyone took turns taking a million photos with the famous and fabulous Emersyn! I remember our morning walks together talking to you about the birds, trees, sights and sounds around us and your big brown eyes looking at me like you knew exactly what I was talking about and you could not have been more fascinated and believe me my sweet girl the feeling was mutual.
Today we let ourselves remember and go there because how can we forget the day you were born. How can we forget the first car ride home and your first Halloween and your first time waking up where both Daddy and I sat there in awe of how awesome our baby girl was at 3:00am in the morning. How can we forget your first bath your first stroller ride around the neighborhood and your first smile….oh how I miss that smile. Today is your 7th birthday and since we can’t shower you with physical gifts and fun times with your little friends we will shower you with memories because we need you to know that these precious memories you gave to us along with the lessons you continue to share with us now are our roots of love and source of strength. We need you to know that our motivation to try harder and be better no matter what stems from you and our memories of your strength and love.
Happy Birthday to our wise, funny, inspiring and incredible 7 year old little girl we love you more than words can capture and we treasure our memories as they unravel in all of their beauty today. Emersyn Paige you are 7 here, there and everywhere and the world is better because you were here.
We love you to the moon and back and our Home Strength continues to grow thanks to you. We dedicate "Do you Remember" by Jack Johnson to you because we will never forget you and the day you were born.
Happy Birthday Angel Love,
Mommy, Daddy, Isla and Callum xoxoxoxoxoxo