As a mother, what happened yesterday splintered my soul. It truly truly is a parent’s worst nightmare.
I wanted to acknowledge what I imagine Mrs. Bryant’s devastation to be. I hope to honor her:
My Darling Daughter:
This is a letter I never thought I would ever be called to write. A mother is never supposed to have to say goodbye to her child. Especially one so young. Yet, here I am, writing to you to say goodbye.
How do I begin? Where? Do I start at the end of thirteen or at the beginning of one? If I start at thirteen… words fail me. If I start at one knowing now that it ends at thirteen… words fail me. So, let me start in the middle. Yes, maybe I could piece together my soul if I started in the middle.
You topped me up and overflowed me. You did. Who you became exceeded everything I thought you would be. You surprised me. Not because I didn’t think you were capable. But because you knew you were capable. So did your daddy. He didn’t have to use words to express the magic he knew you were, when he looked at you we knew. I pray you knew.
Arrogantly, I imagined having a lifetime with you. In secret parts of me I planned a very sweet sixteen, graduations, a career and a wedding. I got my arms ready to hold you after your first heartache. Never, ever did I plan on readying my soul for my own. Never could I have imagined that all my dreams for you could turn into my worst nightmare of you.
My darling, as my soul continues to shatter, what brings me some comfort is knowing that in those final moments of this beautiful but too short life you have lived, your daddy held you. That he held you as tightly as he did the moment you came into his world. Being sure of that is all I have left. I know you were scared. I know. As I know your dad, friends and everyone with you yesterday was. I know. I know because darling, your mommy is scared too. I am scared of life without you and daddy. Scared for your sisters. Scared because our light as a family has been so dimmed.
Do me a favor, okay baby? Tell daddy we will be okay. Eventually. Not now. Not tomorrow. Not for many tomorrows. But, eventually. Tell him he showed me well how to love and take care of all his girls and I will never let him down. Just ask him to be patient with me until I find my way back from this pain. But tell him I will. I promise. I will. Right now though, mommy is shattered. Do me another favor, Gigi. Ask daddy to give you a million hugs for me… all the ones I thought I had time to give you myself. I am sorry you didn’t get them all. But, they’re yours.
Baby, you and daddy travel well to your final resting place. Pick a spot that you both like and rest. I have now commuted all my other wishes for you to this one… rest. Hold daddy’s hand, okay? I know he feels guilty for all of it. Whenever he needs it most, let him know it was not his fault. Let him know the only thing he is guilty of is loving us well. Tell him.
My darling daughter, thank you for the time you spent with us. Your sisters love you. We will see you again. Until then…
I love you. You filled my soul.