A nursery decorated for a baby who didn't come home.
When Thing #4 was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, I immediately started googling. Looking for any sort of support group that could help me. My daughter had a host of people just waiting to help her. Seven of them were in the OR when she was born. I needed to find other moms and dads who understood how I felt. Who could tell me what to expect - good and bad.
I found them. And they are the most amazing group of people I could ever know. I've only met four of them in real life. But, funny thing, in so many ways I know them better than people I see every day.
When something tragic happens, like the murders in Newtown, I hug my kids a little tighter and pray for the families of those lost. While I might have some fear for "what if," I don't send my kids to school with any expectation that the same thing will happen there.
But when a heart baby dies? I cry. Because my heart is breaking for the pain her family must feel. Because they have realized my worst fear. And because there is no guarantee it won't be my child next. If I could give my heart to my daughter, I would. How I wish I could do that.
So screech away, little girl. Spit up on my sweaters. Blow through a diaper. Or a hundred. I'll take it all. I am so blessed to have you. To take any of it for granted is a disservice to those who would give the world for that two a.m. wake up which came an hour after the last one.
Fly high Ollie and Ali, and all the ones who didn't make it. You will never be forgotten.