Your sister is beautiful.
She was born last November. She smiles all the time. She sleeps through the night. She gets quieter when she cries. People keep telling me that we have the perfect baby. She is so happy, so smiley, so pretty, so cute. They say we’re lucky to have such a reasonable and well-adjusted baby. We are. Then they say we probably won’t be so lucky with our second child. That is the part that gets me. Everyone always asks the same basic question.
“Is this your first?”
I say yes because I think that saying no, or even hesitating before saying yes, would make people uncomfortable. I don’t like to lie, but it’s probably for the best in that context. If you really can see me from heaven, you know I apologize under my breath every time I say yes. But just to you. No need to make people feel bad. The one thing most people said immediately after you left was “I can’t imagine how you’re feeling” and I could never figure out why they were trying to imagine something so awful. I wouldn’t wish that feeling on anyone.
You never took a breath, or opened your eyes, or heard my jokes, or felt me kiss your head as many times as I could. You waved at me during the last ultrasound we saw. You were alive. I never thought you were saying goodbye. But you are still our first.
I’m still too scared to open the box we took home from the hospital with all your things. It hasn’t moved since I told you about it last year. It sits in the corner of our bedroom on top of your mom’s dresser. I’ve wanted to open it, but I never got up the courage. I keep telling myself that I left you alone because I wanted to make you a better box before I see you again, but I’m just not ready. Honestly, I don’t know when I will be.
But your sister is beautiful.
Her name is Samantha Alice. We call her Sam or Sami. She is perfect, because of you. You are the reason she exists. Your sacrifice made this perfect little girl come alive and make me happier than I’ve ever been. I will tell her about you when she is older.
My sisters love her. They are better aunts to her than I could have ever hoped. I couldn’t draw up two more amazing role models for my little girl than my own two sisters and I am so grateful they love her as much as I do. You would’ve loved them.
Sami helps me at work sometimes, making sure I know where the phone cord is when I’m trying to talk to people and banging on the space bar when I’m typing. Bananas are her favorite food, though I’m still trying to get her to love avocados. She really likes our dog and cat and yells “AH!” at the cat every time she sees him. We play catch with a practice golf ball my dad gave her and she rolls the ball back to me. Her favorite trick is standing up in her crib, trying to show off when she is supposed to be going to sleep. She’s such a smart little girl.
Please help me and your mother take care of her. Keep her safe when I screw up. Give her advice when she needs it. Protect her from all the dangers in the world that I can’t see. Do your best. I know you will.
I love you as much as ever. I’ll never forget you.