Monday, July 25, 2011

My Perfect 10

My sweet Claire-bug, on July 25th of 2001, you graced the world with your birth, and you changed my life forever.  And for that, I THANK YOU.  I remember so clearly saying the same words over & over again that day... "Things will NEVER, EVER be the same again..."  I remember being haunted by that feeling then.  These horrible prognoses were being tossed around, and I think fear was the overriding emotion for all of us.  How could we have waited SO long for you and then lose you within the year?  Now though, those words remind me of how lucky and blessed I am to be your Mommy, how your very life has changed me, and how I am so glad I am not the same person I was ten years ago.

It's mindblowing how back then every sniffle, seizure, reflux incident scared the shit out of me.  Was this the "beginning of the end?"  I so desperately wanted to find that one thing which would save you and give me MORE TIME with you.  I wish I knew then what I know now (thanks to you & your sister).  And that is, NONE OF US are promised tomorrow... we just are under a false assumption that we are stronger or less likely to die.  Life is fragile for ALL of us.  The amount of time I get with you, Buggy, well... it matters HUGELY to me (and I will continue bargaining every single night that I will trade years off my own life if you can just stay here with me for a loooooooong time.  I NEED YOU!!!!!).  What matters most is that we make the best of the time we do have, no matter how long that might be. 

"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."  ~Abraham Lincoln

You are my heart, Claire.  My sweet Mini-me (AKA Mimi!)!!!  I have loved watching you grow up, celebrate each new year, and leave your mark on all who have the joy of meeting you.  These pictures fill me with many smiles and much emotion... elation, intense love, fear, sadness, determination, bonding, strength, and most of all HOPE and belief in all that you were then and are now.  I love you more than you will ever know. 
July 25, 2001  ~  with our beloved Dr. Feuille  ~  You were so beautiful and perfect, Claire!

This picture was taken after we were told that there was something "wrong" with your brain... we were terrified, said we would "fix it," and then were told that we couldn't.  Remembering this moment in time makes me bawl, Claire.  I was so incredibly scared.  Yet we were determined to fight for you, optimize your life, and make every day count with you.  And we so have, sweet girl.  We SO HAVE.

In the Special Care Unit with puffy eyes from crying.  We held you 'round the clock, Angel.  And when we did, your O2 sats went to near 100, and you were HAPPY.  And so were we.  We are so connected, Buggy.  Soul level, baby.  xo
Cal was SO in love with you... he waited so long for you, too!  Even at 2 years, 7 months old, he was so worried about you. 
Oh, how he loved you!!!!!  Your crying made him giggle! 




7 months old  ~  You are our sweet angel!
Since I was told you might not live to be 1 year old, I wanted to remember you this way always... so we had these pictures taken.  I still love them SO MUCH.  Those eyes... they see straight to my soul.
Your 1st birthday...
We had a Princess party for you!  You were so radiant in your tiara... though it barely fit!


Our Birthday Princess with Aunt Jill

Your 2nd birthday...

We had the most amazing Hawaiian Luau for you, Mimi!  I may or may not have gone ape-shit on the decorations... ummmm, yeah, I did. 



Your 3rd birthday...
A Ladybug party for our Bugga-Boo!

You are so beautiful, Claire Elise. 

Your 4th birthday...
Thumbs tucked into fists = the PERFECT year for you to tell us you are 4!!!!!  Apparently you'd rather tell us to SUCK IT!  HA!
DIVA PARTY!!!! 
You partied hardy!!!
Your 5th birthday...
(Scott insisted I add a side note here that he doesn't always look like he's been "rode hard and put away wet," but every year (before pics!?!?)  he plays outside in the July heat on a water slide and/or Slip & Slide -- hence, the soaking wet hair and shirt as well as his ultra-fancy attire.  HAHAHAHAHA!)

Your 6th birthday...


Your 7th birthday...


Every year, we'd invite a ton of people to your party, rent a huge water slide, and spend all day celebrating YOU.  And yes, we always made you go down the slide, and everyone cheered! 

Your 8th birthday...



Last year's 9th birthday... a little quieter, family-only celebration at home!
Since Daddy's & my birthdays are just days on either side of your birthday, we celebrated all three together.  What an honor!

SO blessed.


Happy 10th Birthday!!!
July 25, 2011

We love you to the very depth of our being, Claire. 

xoxo

"With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future.  I live now."  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

11 comments:

The Every Day Extraordinary said...

Thank you for sharing pictures of all her birthdays!! Love seeing her through the ears--double digits darling!!! Happy birthday Hugs!!!!
Love,
The Frank Family

DoRe' said...

Lump in my throat, tears in my eyes--why?! I'm not sure...your posts are always so touching, and funny, and real. Thanks for the reminder to live and love well. Hau'oli la hanau to your birthday girl (loved the lu'au pics, obviously. ;-9)!

Kasia said...

I love to read your blog. From your words I take joy and strength in my own life. I'm happy being a mommy of tiny girl Agata.
God bless you!
Kasia Puton

Sandra Makila said...

Happy 10th birthday, Claire. HoPE you have a great day & lots of cakes & treats. Sandra & Meg, 17.

Carolyn said...

Happy 10th birthday, beautiful girl! The pictures are incredible, Gwen. So much love just beams through!!

Josh said...

Happy Birthday Claire! Beautiful post.

sharper said...

Thanks for sharing the birthdays through the years. Beautiful images of beautiful times. I think for our kids birthdays especially resonate for us. May there be many more candles on many more cakes.

Candice said...

Thanks for sharing all the pictures.Your post always move me.Happy Birthday Claire!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday sweet girl!!! Can hardly believe it is #10. We love you!! Wagner6

The Tellinghuisen Family said...

Awww I just love seeing pictures of the kids when they were younger!! I wish I had known you guys waaaay back then, though it feels as if we have always known each other anyway! Claire IS so beautiful! She makes me smile!! BEAUTIFUL letter to her -- makes me cry of course! Amazing how your words to Claire match my thoughts about my boys. You couldn't have said it any better!! I loved looking back on all her birthday pictures, what a great idea! Looking forward to spending and sharing many more birthdays with Claire =) xoxo Auntie Stephanie

Online Doctors said...

I always feel bad when i was seeing such picture. This is unfair to these children.. I pray for them that they can get all facilities as normal child get. Good luck for their future...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...