I shared this letter at Ava’s memorial. Now I’m sharing it here with you.
My Ava Hope. My first little girl.
You were only with me for 20 weeks, or in other words, 4 and a half months. But you impacted our lives on such a deep level. Honestly it’s still hard to understand the depth. But we all feel the absence of your presence and we miss you.
My list of experiences with you are much too short. But I will still treasure them. I treasure the times I saw you flipping and wiggling all around in the ultrasounds. I’ll treasure feeling you move. I craved pop tarts and halal guys, very weird… but those things will always remind me of you. I’ll treasure all the trips I took with you, trips to the zoo, New York city, Niagara falls, and just being pregnant with you through the regular routine’s of our life. We even flew out to Washington with your brother Elijah. You were right there with me for my first big speaking engagement. It’s fitting that I was speaking on encouraging women in the Lord. My prayer is that your story will bring encouragement and hope to many women throughout my life.
There are so many things that I hoped to experience with you. I wish we had been able to gaze into each others eyes and meet face to face for the first time.
I wish that you would have flooded our very blue world with pink and purple. Even before we found out you were a girl we were teasing your brothers about the possibility of all the girl toys that would invade their playroom and the girl shows that would be on the tv. They would act so upset! But the truth is they were all wishing it would be true. You see they had prayed for you dear Ava, they had prayed for a baby sister. They were excited about you the second they found out mommy was expecting another baby.
I wish that you would have given me sleepless nights, times for priceless moments with just me and you, quiet moments with me nursing you and rocking you while you fall back to sleep.
I wish that I could have bathed and dressed you. I wish that I could have hugged you and wiped away your tears.
I wish that I could have fought with you over all of the things…
I wish that I could have watched the wonder in your eyes as you discovered your world.
I wish that I could have known your personality and the way you laugh.
I wish that I could have known the fear and pride that parents talk about when they watch their little girl turn into a woman.
I wish that I could have watched your daddy with His little girl. I know you would have brought out a new tender side of him.
I wish that I could have watched him walk you down the aisle someday…
I wish that I could have told you about Jesus and how much He loves you. But that is something you now understand better than your mommy. And that makes me smile and again brings me hope.
There are a thousand things that I long to have experienced with you, and hoped for you.
It’s funny because I will always picture what things would have been like with you in a perfect world. Because from the very beginning things were imperfect.
I will always picture you whole and perfect here. And I will always romanticize what our relationship would have looked like and how you would have fit into our family and who you would have grown up to be.
I know things would never have been as perfect as I picture them.
But in so many ways imagining the perfect relationship is so fitting for us. Because someday when I meet you there on the other side of death, our relationship will be perfect. It will be more perfect than any romanticized version of us I could have imagined. With Jesus, with the Lord where there is no more sin. No more darkness. We will be both be perfect and I will enjoy getting to know you and being with you forever.
Ava Hope- I love your name little girl. Ava means bird, and it also means life.
Living Hope- Your name is a reminder of the living hope we have because of Jesus. Just thinking about your name brings me comfort.
There is sorrow in this life, but with the Lord there is a greater hope little one. And I am clinging to that.
I am clinging to the foundational truth of God’s word and the hope that it gives me.
I love you Ava Hope. And I will miss you until we meet again someday.