Thirteen years ago today:

elli's birth day

Scott and newborn Elli

Five years ago:

 

Happy thirteenth birthday, Elli. 

It’s weird to think I could be the mother of a teen today. On the one hand, I’m grateful that Elli didn’t have to endure puberty in a body that didn’t cooperate with her. I’m relieved that we didn’t have to put her on contraceptives to keep her from bleeding each month. I am glad that she didn’t have to go through the surgeries to keep her hips and legs flexible. It’s a good thing she didn’t have that fifth open-heart surgery, the one the doctors weren’t sure she would survive.  I’m also thankful that I don’t have to worry about someone taking advantage of her when I’m not around to protect her.

But I wish she was here anyway. I would have done all that for her and with her. And it would have been scary and difficult, frustrating and irritating. It’s such a strange thing to bury a child.  I wouldn’t be the same person today that I am now if she were still with us. None of us would be. But wishing won’t change it.

These things are: We are who we are today because Elli is gone, and we miss her.  

(Scott wrote a little bit today, too.)