Monday, November 3, 2008



Today is so bittersweet. This morning I left my sister’s home to come back to Virginia. Anna Kathryn was sound asleep in one of the cutest nurseries I have ever seen. I blew kisses through the door and told Kimmie to give her hugs and kisses from us. Today, my sister’s daughter turned one! I am so happy to say it, much less celebrate it with them last weekend. Anna Kathryn ‘s birthday party brought tears to my eyes. It was a sweet reminder of what is to come as we all grow with her. And it was a bitter reminder of what we will not have with Natalie. Today is one year since we gathered with our friends and family to celebrate Natalie’s life in her funeral service. Honestly, no parent should ever have to witness that. It is unnatural. But we now know that Natalie was not only looking over us that day. She was looking out for Anna Kathryn as well. Each year, I will remember both AK and Nat together on this day. It is a special day for each girl. Their stories intertwine here, with an end and a beginning. In fact, AK was born just as Nat’s service was ending.

He gives and He takes away.

It has been one year…today is the last day I get to say that. I remember meeting someone who lost their son three years before I met her. I remember thinking, “Three years is a long time.” Now, I don’t agree. It is so short. One year has flown past, yet felt like an eternity. One year. We had just barely spent on year with her.

I want to say so much more…but my words are jumbled. I have been in front of this computer trying to make sense of them. But I cannot get my thoughts into clear sentences.

I am going to bed. I am going to remember. I am going to relive those amazing moments that Natalie gave me. I am going to try to not be upset that the first are over. I am going to do my best to honor my girls. I am going to start the second year without Natalie. And I am going to celebrate with my sister that her daughter is one. I will remember what He took from me while rejoicing over what He has given us as well. I think this day will always be bittersweet. But with its bittersweetness come the memories and stories of two sweet girls.

One He gave us as He took the other one away.

Good night all,
Hillary, Bryan, Emily, especially our angel baby Natalie and Allison

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