Wow! Our sweet sunshine is 8 years old! What a wonderful life to celebrate! For so long I struggled to see Ella's future. I was so focused on the present and so afraid of the future. But what I've been learning these last several months is that I can fully appreciate and cherish the present and still hope for the future. I guess I thought somehow that if I didn't plan on getting to keep her forever than it would somehow hurt less when we lost her. This is false. Planning or expecting something bad to happen doesn't lessen the blow, it only puts a bigger shadow over the present. So yes, Ella's terminally ill, yes, that is terrifying and I think about it all the time, but I'm not so focused on it that I'm preparing for it anymore. I'm done preparing my heart for the pains of the future. Instead I'm going to live this life along side of her as fully as I possibly can. I'm not going to feel guilty for having fun and living as if we will have a long, full life together. I want to always carry the amazing lessons this journey has taught us, things like, not taking the little things for granted, things like, knowing what's really important in life, things like living now and not waiting to live until later, things like, empathy for the hurting, things like, deep trust and faith in God that only deep difficulty can bring. But I also want to dump the baggage that this journey brings, things like, living in fear, things like, feeling sorry for myself and for my daughter that our lives are different, things like, thinking that my life should be put on hold, things like, trying to be perfect to save her... There is so much beauty and so much pain that walk parallel in the journey of parenting a child with severe health complications. Jon and I are just SO honored we have had the privilege of already having 8 years with our beautiful sweet sunshine girl! My goal this year is to love her and love God so fully that no mater what the future holds I can look back on this time filled with happy moments of LIFE with our sweet miracle girl!
Happy 8th Birthday to our Ella Dawn, your creativity and deep thinking are such special touches from the Father. You spread joy and laughter to everyone you meet, you are strong and brave and full of imagination! You are empathetic and understanding when others are in pain, you are outgoing and talkative! You dream big and want to be so many wonderful things! You love toys and mysteries! You like science experiments and you are becoming a book writing expert! Your drawing skills are amazing to me, and your eye for detail is impressive! You love your special heart, and you seek to know, love, and understand Jesus better everyday! Your communications skills will serve you well in your life! You ask lots of questions and you love silly stories! You love lemonade and individual, undivided, attention, you have conquered many fears these last several months and mommy and daddy are so proud of you! We love you with all of our hearts and hope this year is your best year yet!