Thursday, November 12, 2015

Happy Birthday, Lily

by Kellie Soper

The words are not coming very easy right now. I have so much to share, but I honestly don't even know where to begin. I've been sitting here staring at this computer for hours and I just don't have the words. So one year later, I'm sharing what was read at Lily's funeral. The first part a dear friend shared with me when I was pregnant with Lily. The second part I wrote about what loving Lily means to me.

Happy birthday beautiful girl. I love and miss you more than you will ever know. Shower us with love and kisses today. I love you Lily girl.

To Love a Person - Adapted from Kathleen Dean Moore

What does it mean to love a person? 

To love - a person - means at least this:

One. To want to be near her, physically.

Number two. To want to know everything about her - her story, her moods, what she looks like by moonlight.

Number three. To rejoice in the fact of her.

Number four. To fear her loss, and grieve for her inquiries.

Five. To protect her - fiercely, mindlessly, futilely, and maybe tragically, but to be helpless to do otherwise.

Six. To be transformed in her presence - lifted, lighter on your feet, transparent, open to everything beautiful and new.

Number seven. To want to be joined with her, taken in by her, lost in her.

Number eight. To want the best for her.

Number nine. Desperately.

Loving isn’t just a state of being, it’s a way of acting in the world. Love isn’t a sort of bliss, it’s a kind of work, sometimes hard, spirit-testing work. To love a person is to accept the responsibility to act lovingly toward her, to make her needs my own needs. Responsibility grows from love. It’s the natural shape of caring.

Number ten.
To love a person is to accept moral responsibility for her well-being.

What does it mean to love Lily?
It means everything on this list and so much more.

It means knowing that labor will hurt and you go through with it anyway even though you don't get to keep your reward.

It means knowing that your heart will be broken for the rest of your life, but holding her for even five minutes makes up for it.

It means watching her lift her big brother off your belly with her amazingly strong kicks.

It means you will be filled with awe, wonder and sorrow as you watch your belly dance before you go to sleep every night.

It means you might not get any sleep at night because Lily wants to dance all night long and that's totally okay with you.

It means you never knew you could love someone so much before you even meet them.

It means your heart will be so full when you see her with her brother's chipmunk cheeks.

It means if you had would do it all over again because those brief minutes held more love than a whole lifetime does for some.

It means you didn't know it was possible for your heart to grow in so much love for your husband through honoring your daughter.

It means memorizing every single sweet and perfect detail so you can meet her in your dreams.

It means you will fight and defend her right to life until your very last breath.

It means that you mourn for your son who doesn't have his best friend to grow up with, but also rejoice in knowing the special connection he will have with her in Heaven.

And most importantly, it means you will never be the same person again, for we are the mother and father of a saint, and we walk with one foot on earth and one foot in Heaven, until we meet our beautiful girl again.
~ ~ ~

Kellie Soper lives in Arizona and is wife to her amazing husband, Jason. Together they have two beautiful children, one on earth and one sweet, perfect soul in Heaven. Ted is a wild, silly, and rambunctious toddler. Their sweet Lily Frances was born sleeping on November 12, 2014. They learned at their 18 week ultrasound that Lily had a fatal neural tubal defect the doctors said was "incompatible with life." Kellie and Jason both knew Lily was not a "decision", but their precious daughter and they believe her life was of value, no matter what. She carried Lily with love for 42 weeks and 2 days. They miss her every single day, but are grateful for the honor and privilege of being her parents. You can read more about their family on Kellie's blog, Life and Love.


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