It's been two years, Sophia, since you were born. Two years since you entered this world and slipped ever so gently into your father's arms. Two years since you snuggled against his hands and fell asleep, grasping your brother's hands and meeting God face to face. Two long years. Two short years. Two years...
For two weeks, you held on, in spite of the odds against you. Delayed Interval Delivery... It sounds so, I dont know, like some sort of strange new workout. "I'm taking the Delayed Interval class; how about you?"
I remember the doctors telling us that there was no way we'd walk out of the hospital with you... How, tearfully, I told your daddy that you were an "underdog", like the Giants who were playing in the Super Bowl. Up against odds that no one wanted to take. We told ourselves that, if the Giants won, we'd leave the hospital pregnant. They won. :) And we brought you home, still snug inside my belly. I've never been happier to watch a football game; I've never hung onto each play with bated breath. We call the Giants, "Sophie's Team". We watch their games, like we are somehow holding onto a piece of you in that.
At night, we'd read you stories and feel you swooshing back and forth. At the time, I thought it was you saying hello; as time has passed, I cant help but wonder if you were looking for Nicholas... If you were wondering why there was suddenly so much more room... If you missed him...
But you were my miracle. My miracle baby. You didnt let risks and statistics scare you. You stayed with us. You helped us survive Nicholas's death. You let us know that it was possible to go on. I dont know that we would have realized that had you not been with us. I dont know that we would have been able to understand that life would go on and that you would always be with us... That dying was another part of life... That you would live on in us, as we lived on.
It's snowing. It snowed the day you were born. It snowed on your first birthday. It's snowing now. Daddy and I went outside and felt your kisses from heaven dot our faces. I kissed the snow and remembered kissing your sweet little forehead. My beautiful girl. My precious Sophia. Daddy took a picture of your tree... I stared at this tree as I was being loaded into the ambulance to prepare for the helicopter ride to the hospital. I think of it as yours. It's beautiful in the glow of the night sky.
I love you, Sophia. I always will. I'll always be grateful that you mommied Bobby and Maya when I couldnt be in the NICU with them. I'll always be thankful that you stayed with us those two extra weeks. That you gave me the joy of a hard, natural labor. That you lived through your birth and lived long enough to give your father the joy of delivering a sweet daughter into his arms and feeling you love him and fall into your heavenly rest in his hands. We will never forget you, sweet girl, or the joy that you still bring into our days.
I've picked out outfits for Bobby and Maya to wear to your Mass in a few hours. We're going to go to Doyle's afterwards... They make an omelette with polish sausage and onions; I cant help but think of you whenever I see it on their menu. We'll have cream of wheat, just Daddy and I, but when we have breakfast after your Mass with your grandparents, I'm having that omelette. And I'll smile because I'll remember that polish sausage and pierogi were the first things I craved and ate when we came home with you.
Well, honeybaby, I'm going to bed now. Visit me, sweet girl. Let me fall asleep with you in my arms, smelling your little head, and remembering our time together. And, when I wake up, let me smile in knowing that you are with all the saints in heaven, resting in the arms of the Blessed Mother, playing with Nicholas and Alexander and all the baby saints.
I love you. So much. Forever.
Happy 2nd Birthday, Sophia. Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl.