in case you didn't know....

my dearest birdie -
a long time ago, when i was about 8 years old, i had a good friend named Leah. The earliest memory that i have of leah was in a talent show at our elementary school where we dressed in clothes that looked like something that your great grandmother would wear back in the 50's. the music we danced to was also from that time and it was actually really cute. in fact, it was such a hit, that we were the opening act. i was proud of that ridiculous skirt that we got to wear. i was proud of our act. and leah was a lot of fun.

she was also in girl scouts with me and she would have a bunch of us over to swim and for slumber parties. loads of fun.

i got the news last night that she and her husband and her two little boys, one just a little older than you (12 months) and one 3 years old were in a horrible accident last night. forgive me, for this is morbid, but when you are old enough to read this you will no doubt have learned that this world can be a very sad place sometimes, too, and not always as colorful and happy as i try to make it for you. leah, her husband, and her 1 year old were lost in the accident and the 3 year old survived.

it's so odd losing someone that you no longer really keep in touch with, but still have only fond memories of.
it's almost a numb feeling that comes over you. you know it isn't necessarily YOUR tragedy, but that little 3 yr old's and leah's family. and her husband's family. and their friends. and while i am so overwhelming sad that the accident happened, it can't COMPARE to how hurt i am for little Jace. his mommy and daddy gone.

and i look at you, my little ray of light, and think what would life be like if daddy and i were hurt.
would you live a better life?
would you remember us?
would you know how deeply we love you?

and i cry and cry. i want to squeeze you and kiss you, but i can't seem to hug you enough or kiss you enough to satisfy this love i have for you. i want to run into your room and pick you up out of your deep sleep and just hold you. and hold you. and hold you. and never let go.

people come and go in life, and the Lord gives and takes life away. He has his reasons. and while death is tragic for those of us still alive, it is also a beautiful thing being able to go and meet God and sing a song to Jesus and feel perfect peace. you need to know not to fear death, but instead, to fear dying having never truly LIVED.

so. in case anything horrible were to happen to me and daddy, i need you to know, sweet jovie. i love you more than i could ever begin to describe. i want you to live up to your name. i want you to be happy. and joyous. i want you to learn how to respect others and put them before yourself. i want you to live a life of grace and quiet strength and comfort. i want you to be proud of who you are, what you are, what you look like, what you enjoy, but i don't want you to be so proud that you think you are above others. i need you to know that we are all equal. no one is below you. no one is above you. i want you to strive to be better every day, and put forth effort to achieve your goals. help others. help yourself. laugh. love. dream. dance. but always. ALWAYS know how perfect you have made my life, my daughter.

to the moon and back.

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