My mind swirls with memories as moments drift in and out. It’s almost as if I can see the thought bubbles form as they float away and join the clouds. Lately they seem to play in slow motion with soft piano music sweetly but almost painfully echoing in the background.
We’re having a lovely lunch at West, enjoying each other’s company while munching on delicious zuccha-chips on what will forever be Wings for Audrey Day. Out of nowhere, I’m hit with the memory of holding our daughter in my arms for the very first time. She was five days old and her scent was intoxicating. I fell so madly in love with her I thought my heart my burst. She was so tiny under that heap of blankets and her head fit snuggly just under my chin. My arms were full of her…and in that moment everything seemed perfect. Audrey’s heart beating in sync with my own, Chris bravely towering over us, beaming with joy while overcome with love, and adoring Cooper peering in on the other side, curious as George asking nurse Kim a plethora of darling questions. Her little body was broken and imperfect, and it didn’t matter in the slightest. I remember thinking that for the first time, I understood just a smidge of God’s love for people. I am a broken and imperfect person, and despite that, He shows me love and grace. I can understand that more fully now. I’m humbled by it and oh-so-grateful.
This happened a lot last Wednesday. We spent the day keeping busy, supporting a few of the many businesses participating in Wings for Audrey Day. As full as the day was, memories and moments crept in and all but stopped me in my tracks, still I kept it together…I kept my cool.
At one point, however, tears formed as my feelers came all the way to the surface during a car ride with Deb. My mind went to the one place I didn’t want it to on this day. The day was meant to rejoice in the celebration of her miraculous birth and praise how her story is and will continue to inspire and help future babies. It went to that place called “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda”. For a second, I let my heart drift to what I had hoped would be.
I thought about Audrey in an ivory colored tutu with little gold dots wearing a sweet gold bow on her head.
I imagined pulling up tiny pigtails with pink ribbons delicately tied in bows around each one.
I envisioned her smile as she tasted sugary-sweet icing from the cake she smashed with excitement.
I pictured the faces of those watching her turn one. Those who, instead, helped send her to Heaven…the greatest gift of all.
She just didn’t make it to this milestone. That’s the uncomplicated truth.
I jolted back to reality, kept driving and when we got home…snapped a photo of my precious niece, Sophie. She wears a headband given to Audrey, bunnies on her shirt and, most special of all…wrapped around her tiny and perfect wrist, she happily wore what became Audrey’s signature itty-bitty flower headband. Sophie is such a light in my life and I’m thankful her mama and daddy let me snuggle her whenever I need a baby kiss or the feeling of full arms.
She came into this world a miracle and the day of her birth is one I will replay over and over and over in my mind forever. It was an incredible day full of blessings. And then a full year later, even after she left this Earth, her birth and her story were celebrated and her memory was kept alive because of you.
So now for the good part…the part you really came here to know.
The results. Are you ready for this? I promise it will blow your mind just like it has ours.
Look at what you…YOU…have done. YOU made this happen.
“Thank you” will never be enough. But what will be is when the program is up and running and you will know that you played a role in making it a reality. How many people can say they helped start a program that could help babies live longer? Well, you will be able to. Soon…very soon.
Our love and appreciation runs deep. Our hearts are full.
Love + Hugs,