Dear Brianna Lynne,
Eleven years ago today, a day that will be forever etched into my memory. Some of the details and the timing of things have started to slip, but the feelings I felt that day will stay with me forever.
I’ll be honest, you were a bit of a surprise to your Mother and I. We hadn’t planned on having kids right away. Although we loved each other, in those early stages of our relationship I’m not sure either of us really knew where things would end up. Both of us had just left less than ideal situations so the possibility of things not lasting were very real. So when she told me that we were going to have a baby there were mixed feelings. I wanted to be sure that my next child was brought into a strong healthy relationship that would build the foundation for a loving and stable home.
While your Mom was pregnant with you my fears and insecurities started to subside. I was feeling much better about the possibilities of being able to provide you with the environment I knew you deserved. When your Mother said yes, that she would marry me, I knew things were going to be OK.
On August 29th I got the call at work telling me that it was time to go to the hospital, I was filled with the nervous excitement that can be expected. We spent the night in the hospital with your Mom hooked up to monitors. They wanted to watch your heartbeat as there seemed to be some irregularities, but no one seemed like it was anything too far out of the ordinary.
You entered this world at about 11:00 am on the 30th and it really wasn’t until then that we realized things might not be as routine as we expected. Another team of nurses and doctors rushed in and hooked you up to life support systems. It became obvious that you were not well. They figured you must have become infected with some sort of virus.
The team of doctors were more than amazing. Even though they were delivering horrible news to new parents, the care they gave to you, your Mother, and even me was outstanding. Very early on they told us that due to the lack of oxygen they weren’t sure if you would suffer brain damage as a result. They had to resuscitate you numerous times, but you fought.
At a relatively quiet point your Mother convinced me to run home, shower and grab a few extra things. Before I made it I had to pull over. I was alone now and had no one near who I felt like I needed to fake strength for. I’m unsure how long I stayed there on the side of the road. The emotions flowed and tears with them. I prayed even though I wasn’t convinced there was anyone listening. Finally, I regained enough composure to continue on my way but didn’t even make it home before I received the call telling me to get back to the hospital.
The doctors filled us in on the situation. Things were not good. Regardless of how hard you fought, even in miraculous scenarios, life for you was going to be a painful struggle. Somewhere around 8:00 pm your short and trying life came to an end. Our little girl with hints of blonde hair and blue eyes had left us.
It’s been eleven years since you came, and that was still the hardest day I can recall. Your short time made a huge impact on your Mothers and my life and subsequently your sisters and brother as well. Even though I wasn’t sure in the beginning that I was ready to add children to our lives, you showed me that I was ready, and in fact I wanted to grow our family. Going through the pain and emotions we felt during that day and the days to follow brought your Mother and I even closer together. We are stronger because of you.
We were ensured months later, after they investigated what happened, that the tumor which grew and took over your liver was likely not something we had to worry about with future children. They don’t know what caused this to happen and of course no one can answer why it had to happen to you.
Time does dull the pain but I still think of you and a part of me hurts. This anniversary each year brings your memory back to the forefront. This one in particular I’m trying to focus on the good, which is how you helped start the foundation of our family. No one knows how life would have turned out if that day didn’t occur the way it did, but I do know that your life was part of the path which has led me to where I am today, and for that I thank you.