A Letter to our Daughter

Dear Hallie,

Today, March 31st, you should’ve been making your grand entrance into this world. A world that you would’ve inevitably changed, for the better, with just your first breath. A world that would never be the same because of you and your smile, a smile we know would’ve been so infectious, Hallie Hope Hart. 

We had so many hopes, dreams and plans for you, Hallie. We envisioned you to be a perfect mix of us, all of our best qualities rolled into one amazing little kid. We imagined your red hair and freckles like mine and blue eyes like your Dad, despite our wishes against, given those sunburns you’d be up against in life. We imagined you to be sweet and stubborn, also like your Dad, right?! And funny like me! But we could only imagine what that combo would mean come those teenage years. I do know that you would have had your Dad wrapped around your finger from day one. I knew I’d be the bad cop, but I was ok with that! We imagined you to be such a big personality, a smile that would melt us and a demeanor that lit up any room you walked into. We knew you would come roaring into the world, in charge from day one, with a mission to make it a better place and everyone around you, a better person. We planned to teach you to love fiercely and to live a life of service, of purpose and of passion.

We dreamed of the days when you’d be in school and we’d build exploding paper mache volcanoes or make the best egg drop contraption, if those are even still a thing. I couldn’t wait for the day that our fridge was full of your projects and artwork. Since you came from us, the artwork would likely be awful but we’d learn how white lies while parenting really are ok sometimes. I couldn’t wait for the days of spring sings, school performances, activities and more. Your Dad couldn’t wait for the Girl Scout cookie sales, he loves those cookies! I couldn’t wait to volunteer in your classroom, read books together, teach you how to ride a bike. We bought a house and had a specific plan for your room, which was right across from ours. You’d be close to us in the beginning but we’d support and encourage your independence as your grew up.

We imagined the passions you might have, the hobbies you’d hold as you got older. We saw you likely following in our footsteps with sports. I am not sure your aunts & uncles would’ve had it any other way. I’m pretty sure they all would’ve had you on the line, doing defensive slides (since it doesn’t run in the family blood) and shooting hoops from the day you could walk. We saw ourselves sitting in the stands at your games, beaming with pride. That’s our girl. Yes, I’d probably be yelling at refs too, but I promised myself I wouldn’t be that parent. You would’ve had the best jump shot around and you would’ve for sure had the best fan base between your grandparents, aunts & uncles. Your Dad and I would’ve been your biggest cheerleaders through anything.

For me specifically, I remember knowing from the moment I knew I was pregnant that you were a girl and I was most excited what that meant – someday you’d be a bride. That time of my life was the best. The memories of wedding planning with my Mom are some of my most cherished moments and I couldn’t believe that I’d get to do that with you. There’s a picture of me and my Mom right after we said I do, before the reception and our smiles were so big. I was now going to get a moment like that with my own daughter. You would have been the most beautiful bride ever. I could just see your Dad & I, so proud of you and the woman you had become as we passed you on to your husband. Of course, knowing that big personality you were bound to be, I was already praying for that future husband of yours. πŸ™‚ 

Today, we are not sure what hurts more – knowing the story of your sweet life and the either/or situation it became that crushed every part of our spirit or knowing the life we will live every day moving forward that will be defined by missed moments and milestones with you. We admittedly have no idea how to navigate these days. I wish I could explain the depths of this ache. Esther 4:14 says, “Perhaps this is the moment for which you’ve been created.” We know God had a plan for you, we know he handpicked us to be your parents and for me especially, we know the reason He sent you to me. You saved my life, which I still haven’t been able to say out loud. Or accept. It’s just not fair. I sure don’t get to be the one to complain though. I am here because of you. I wear that verse on a necklace close to my heart everyday for you, sweet girl. Until the day that we can start to turn this ache into action to honor you, we find hope that you are in Heaven, looking down on us. We know you have a few great grandparents up there absolutely fawning over you. We also love that you have a few aunts & uncles up there protecting you, just as your aunts & uncles here on earth would’ve done. They were so excited for you Hallie. They were so ready for you! And your Grandparents. Pure joy is defined as the moments in which they found out you were on the way. I’m not sure we would’ve ever gotten a chance to hold you when they were around, and it shouldn’t be any other way. You also would’ve had so many honorary aunts and uncles Hallie, our best friends. Judging by the way they have taken care of us through this, they would’ve spoiled you. They say it takes a village, and what a village you had. Oh Hallie, you would’ve been the most loved kid ever. Ever! For all of us left here, it is so hard. As your Mama & your Dad, we wish there was something we could’ve done to protect you. And we wish just as much that we could just hold you.

We are spending the day today in one of our most favorite places, thinking of you, aching for you. It is beautiful. We would’ve spent a lot of time here together! We love you so much kiddo and we’d give anything to be in a hospital today, showing you off to our family and friends. You have so many people here on earth that love you so much. You would’ve been the baby with the most visitors ever! 

We could spend everyday for the rest of our lives spinning our wheels on how much this hurts and how unfair this is Hallie, but we will do our best to do the opposite in your honor. Your sweet little life has already moved mountains here on Earth. Your story, in 19 short weeks, had more meaning, more impact, more power than some lives that span 90 years do. You have given us perspective that we would’ve never had, perspective that only few can truly understand, perspective that we hate we know but we trust one day will become more clear. We would trade it all in a heartbeat to have you back, but we can’t. We will fight everyday to do what’s second best, our only option now – live to honor you. That is the what your Dad and I were created for Hallie! As our hearts begin to heal, we promise to act so that our world will always know your story. We don’t know exactly how yet, but we will! We also promise that if we are blessed with kids in the future, we will raise them to be brave and to live a life of purpose like you Hallie. You will always be their big sister. 

And you will alway be our first daughter Hallie. You will always be the sweet girl that made us parents. It’s a title we always wanted! Keep looking down on us and we will keep living for you. Your footprints are all we have here on earth but we promise to let them guide us through this life with a passion unmatched, even on days we hurt the most. For now, we cling to the hope we have in knowing one day we will be reunited with you, as a family. One day, we will hold you. We love you more than you could ever know Hallie! 

Love you forever & always, Your Mama & Dad

6 thoughts on “A Letter to our Daughter

  1. I cannot find any words to express the love and tenderness that is expressed in your letter to Hallie.
    Love to all of you.

    Like

  2. Praying, crying, praying. Words can not begin to express the sadness you are experiencing, my heart aches for you and your families. Your letter to your precious Hallie is beyond beautiful. HUGS to you both.

    Like

  3. Bethany and Kevin, My heart aches for you both today…and every day. I knew when I saw the post and the first line I was going to tear up, but your beautiful words and sentiment just hit me like a million emotional bricks. I can’t fathom what you are all going through, but something in the first paragraph struck me…”. A world that you would’ve inevitably changed, for the better, with just your first breath. A world that would never be the same because of you.” Without even a first breath, she changed everyone’s world… and the world will never be the same because of her.

    Like

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