How is it possible that you are two months old today?!
It feels like we met you just yesterday. The sweet, tender memories of your birthday are so vividly seared into my soul. By simply closing my eyes I am taken back to the time heaven opened up and so graciously lent you to us. That time was so precious — days spent pouring all of our love, our whole hearts, everything we had into you during your brief visit before you headed home.
Some may think that a person's story ends with death, but I disagree.
Norah, we get to know you more and more each day. You continue to reveal your story to us in ways we never could have imagined. Thank you for that; thank you for making your daily presence absolutely irrefutable.
You have done so much in these two months, baby girl. We are so, SO proud of the impact you continue to have on this world.
You created a nurse. You've inspired a friend to become a NICU nurse — a decision which requires changing majors and changing schools. All to take care of other little angels like you!
The nurses we met were absolutely incredible and we are forever grateful for the compassion and love we were shown during our stay. Your NICU nurses not only made signs for your room and put bows in your hair (which coordinated with your blankets, because FASHION), but walked with us, hand-in-hand, through the most difficult moments of our lives.
Thanks to you, that love will be carried forward to touch the hearts of many families just like ours.
You gave the gift of time. With your decision to be born via c-section, my maternity leave lasted 8 weeks instead of the standard 6. Because of that, we were able to spend extra time with your grandma after her diagnosis. That time is absolutely invaluable. There are no words, but you know my heart. Thank you, Norah.
You gave me a Mother's Day gift – a weekend gateway to Faith's Lodge in Wisconsin.
Your daddy and I had hoped to take a short vacation while I was still on maternity leave, just something to catch our breath for a minute, but the plans just didn't work out.
Little did we know, you and God had already planned a trip for us.
You kept putting the brochures for this lodge in our path, so I finally decided to read them. After reading the description, I was hooked:
"Faith’s Lodge supports parents and families coping with the death or medically complex condition of a child in a peaceful environment to reflect on the past, renew strength for the present, and build hope for the future."
Faith's Lodge offers weekends tailored to specific situations, and the only 'Bereaved Parents of Infant Loss' weekend available for months happened to fall over Mother's Day weekend.
With both losing you and having my own mother diagnosed terminal lung cancer, Mother's Day this year is a WHOLE THING. But clearly you and God knew this and had a plan.
So, I registered.
Shortly after registering, I was contacted by the lodge and learned that the hospital covers the cost of the entire weekend for those they refer.
Not only did you plan it, you paid for it too.
I like to think you get your affinity for gift giving from me, but your daddy can be pretty good too :)
You showed us your artistic ability. When your Daddy and I visited your grandparents this weekend, you presented us with a piece of artwork! Some artists use canvas, some children use walls, but you, my darling, painted the sky. As we drove past your cemetery, the sky exploded with color. Electrifying pinks and oranges danced across the clouds, in breathtaking contrast to the deep blue evening sky.
If we can see beauty like that here on earth, just imagine how incredible heaven is.
Thank you for reminding us that while we are so broken, while our arms ache to hold you one more time, the life you have now is beyond comprehension.
We will hold you again some day – joining you in laughter, dancing with the angels.
Until then, we look to the sky and smile.
We see you, Norah.
And we love you, forever.