Two years, seven hundred and thirty days...it seems like a long time and in many ways it is. We have a new home started now, and another daughter, and expecting another son...but there's still a space in our lives. I wouldn't say it's an empty space, it's a space filled with memories of joy and laughter and color and sparkles. The space created by the amazing little lady, Anellah! The tender girl who knew she was born with a purpose and fought to live for the first year, then excelled at living and thrived, continuing to draw people in with her vibrant spirit, and who, in the end was ready to go see her Lord face to face. To meet The One she prayed to and believed in and whom we prayed to for healing that came in a way we would not have chosen.
In many ways it is not long at all. The process of grief, long and often unexpected...sometimes leaving me shocked at how something hits me hard, hard with the pain of loss. In bed, on dark nights...at times I can't sleep, rehearsing the last few days which feel like yesterday. Wishing I'd said something different or done something different or loved better. Not wishing I could have saved her, but wishing instead that I'd been more patient, more kind, more gentle...when I didn't realize the end was so very near. The world wants us to "move on" and "get over it" and in so many ways we have, but I also want to "hold on" and "remember" because the more days that go by, the fewer people we are friends with that knew her...they are missing out...because really she was incredible!
Tonight we hold on. We read the memories her friends wrote down for us. We look at pictures and laugh at memories. Tonight, as 2 year old Capper eloquently said, "I'm not sad she died, I'm happy because I knew her."