I miss you. I hear a baby cry in the infant room, and her voice is enough like yours to put a vice grip on my heart, but not so much like yours that I can’t breathe. I see babies learning to walk and talk and I wonder where you would be developmentally, if you hadn’t gotten sick. Or if you had, but hadn’t died. And if I think about those things too long, my brain starts to get fuzzy from all of the “what-ifs.”

I miss the weight of you on my chest, the snuggles and the kisses. I miss changing your diaper and talking to you to calm you down. I miss middle-of-the-night feedings and the way nursing could calm me down quicker than anything else, even when I was frustrated that you wanted to eat every hour, no matter what time it was.

I miss the way your fingers would wrap around my finger when I would lay it in the palm of your hand. I miss the way you smelled after a bath and the way you would stretch your head to the side and squawk and grab at your mouth when you wanted to eat.

I miss how it felt to be your mommy, to know that somehow, out of this mystery that is marriage, Travis and I came together in you! You were our miracle baby, the child we never thought we could have.

When Jonah died, I lost a piece of myself. I buried the desire to have children, to be a mom, deep inside. I found contentment, even happiness, in not being a mom. You not only reminded me of my calling to be a mother, but you blew away all possibility that I would ever be content again without it.

You were so sick, and I would not wish you back for anything because of it. I can’t regret your death, because I know you are at peace. But oh, I regret your illness. I regret the fact that you went to heaven before I did. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. At least, that’s what we tell ourselves. Yet I know that heaven is filled with people of all ages, including a lot of others that I’ve known and loved and miss. But I’ve never loved any of them the way that I love you. That’s why I miss you so much. You came into my life, turned it upside down, and I will never be the same.

As I walk this path towards the anniversary of your death, I thank God for sending you into our lives, for as long as we got to have you. Even though we are separated for now, you will always be a part of me, reminding me that I am a mother, and that I have something precious waiting for me on the other side of eternity.