• Juli Shapiro

Dear Child: Happy 1st Birthday, Aubrey Rae

Dear Aubrey Rae,


365 days ago was the best and worst day of my life. Meeting the tiny soul who I had been carrying for the previous 38 weeks, finally getting to see who she was and what she looked like. In the 35 minutes that we got to have together, my emotional state can be explained as nothing short of bliss. My mind was not able to comprehend that even though you were not breathing, I wouldn’t get to keep you forever, like I had planned. You were perfect.


I remember your eyelids, your eyebrows, your eye lashes… your fingernails, your toes, and every inch of skin that I got to love on. When I asked your daddy to unwrap you from the swaddle, your legs spilled out… so long, we couldn’t help but laugh.


That was the last day that the old me existed..



The journey that we have been on since has been filled with both the darkest of hours and some of the proudest moments of my life. I call it our journey because that’s exactly what it is: we are on this journey together, with you in the sky and me down here on earth, each juxtapose until we get to reunite again. Every step I make, every thought I have… I know that you are guiding me towards some form of healing.


No matter what life throws at me going forward, you will always be my reason. My reason for getting up in the morning, my reason for smiling at a stranger, my reason for giving people a second or third chance. Through your existence, I became a mother and the strongest version of a woman possible. I realized that the only way to keep going is to convince myself that I must, and you taught me lessons at the age of 32 that some people never learn in their entire lives.

Knowing me is the closest that people will come to knowing you, so I promise to keep you so proud. I will continue to carry myself with confidence and strength, and that the limits of things I can achieve does not exist. When we get to be together again, I know that you will be so proud of the mother that you have. You will have been the president of the baby club, while I am president of the mothers club, for the special, heartbreaking niche, that we are unfortunately a part of.


My heart will never stop hurting, and my mind will never stop celebrating you. The number of people that we have missing you and sharing your story is immeasurable. You were born into such loving arms and the best extended family. We laugh together, we cry together, we miss you together. You have quite the fan club, and your name will never be forgotten.


I love you, forever and a day.


Love always,

Mom



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