Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My Letter to Gloria

Written by Lisa VanSkike
 
At 19 weeks pregnant my husband and I learned that our first child, a daughter we named Gloria, would most likely not be coming home with us. She had polycystic kidneys and low fluid which meant her lungs would not develop strong enough to support life. She died thirteen hours after birth. It took me seven weeks after her death to finish this letter but I found a lot of peace and healing writing it for her.
 
 
This morning you were the first thing I thought of. You always are. I can't believe I gave life to such a beautiful little girl. I can't believe it was you who I carried for so long. I loved being pregnant with you, I often wished I could keep you there forever and never have to worry about saying goodbye. A daughter. My daughter. I can't believe I was blessed with a daughter and then had to say goodbye.
Because you were so very sick inside me, I was prepared for you to come into this world looking different. You came and I looked at you, and you were more beautiful than I'd ever imagined. Everything about you was adorable, your little hands and nails, your little toes, your button nose.
 You were a true angel. Your name is an angel's name.
Gloria, I never dreamed you would have such long blond hair! I imagined you with dark hair like mine and your daddy's had been. I believe you might have turned into a red head, my dear. I believe your dark baby blue eyes would have turned green eventually, like mine and your Nana's. We hovered over you while you were in the NICU and talked about who we thought you looked like. We could never say for certain, but now when I look at our pictures of you, I see so much of your daddy. You had his ears, I think, his forehead, and cheeks. I look at your dad now and I see you, especially when he is sleeping. It makes my heart ache for you even more but I'm glad for any reminder of you.

I hope you got a good look at me too. Our eyes met when they brought you to me in your little isolette, but it still felt too far away. I hope you got to see me because I want you to know that it was me that had been dreaming of you for a very long time, it was me that played ballerina music for you, and it was me that constantly woke you up inside of me, just to feel you move. I'm your mother.
I wish I got to stare into your eyes more my little girl, but I was lucky to get that one moment with you, and I know it. They told me at every appointment that I wouldn't get to meet you in this world, but they were wrong. You were so strong and a fighter and I knew it. In my heart I always knew you would be born and we would be in the same room on earth, even if just for a moment.

I woke up thinking about my wedding hankerchief that I sent with you. It was my "something blue." It has my initial in blue and a little purple flower. Your grandma made it for me and I carried it with me on my wedding day. I wanted to give it to you on your own wedding day but now you have it with you forever. I wanted you to have something very special of mine and I wanted you to have a symbol of my love for your dad. I want you to know you are the product of our love for one another and you were our biggest dream, our greatest adventure.
You are ours, you will always be our first born.

I felt your spirit while I sat with you in the NICU, I felt such strength and determination coming from you, I'd never felt so much love. You did so good, Gloria. I am so proud of how hard you fought and how much you wanted to stay with us. I think you would have been an ornery little girl, stubborn but the biggest sweetheart, also like your dad.

When they told your daddy and I you were on your way to heaven, they handed you to me. Your heart rate and vital signs went up for a moment when they placed you on my chest. I hope that means you did know who was holding you and you knew that we were finally together again. You were so warm from the isolette and you felt so right to me. Everything about you felt right as you laid on my chest, we were truly meant for one another. I wanted your daddy to hold you as you left, I watched him take you and say your name to you and kiss your cheeks. You have the best daddy, he loves us both so much.

You went to heaven in peace and we held you tight for hours after. Your aunts and uncles, your grandparents, they got to hold you too. You have the best family, Gloria. You were the most wanted and cherished little girl. You've brought out the best in all of us and we are all closer because of you.

We placed your little body in the most beautiful satin white dress with little pink flowers, matching bonnet, and matching shoes. I sent with you the softest blanket I could find. You have a little pearl bracelet and I have a matching one. We chose the most beautiful, restful, peaceful place for your earthly spot. It is surrounded by fields and pastures and has the most amazing sunsets. Its near the church where your father and I said our wedding vows, where our friends and family celebrated with us, and where your story truly began. When I go visit you on my own, I find incredible peace. I sit down and pray and think of you. I find God and talk to Him about you.
 
Now what I have is signs from you and from God. I look for those signs everyday and pray for more. I pray for dreams of you. I pray for the kind of dream where I can see you so vividly and gaze into your eyes for as long as I want.
 I had so many earthly dreams for you, Gloria. We were going to spend each day together learning and cuddling. All the books we were going to read, the walks with the dogs, the playing, and memories we were going to make. I don't get those things with you, but I hope you are in heaven growing and rejoicing. I hope your great and great great grandparents are telling you all about your daddy and I when were were little.

 I hope that you will be the first angel I see when I get to heaven,
 I want you to be waiting for me, please be waiting for me.
 Until then, I'll always be thinking of you and I'll always be missing a piece of my heart.
I am yours forever and you are mine forever.
love,
your mommy

*Read more of Gloria's Story on Lisa's blog: Life, Love, Lemon...

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