Haddie Bo Bo,

Sometimes your face haunts me.  I stare at your face in pictures and see in your eyes how much I failed you.  You needed me for everything.  You trusted me.  I was supposed to keep you safe.  So much life in your eyes.  I look at this picture and it reminds me of an old vintage black and white picture.  You know the pictures that are plain and the people tend to have a blank stare. The picture itself doesn’t tell you much, but you know there is so much more behind that empty stare.  I see that in your eyes; the innocence, the trust, the happiness.

The other day at church there was a sign saying that the father/daughter dance was full and they weren’t selling anymore tickets.  I was disappointed that we missed the sign up.  Elo had so much fun last year.  But at the same time I don’t know if I am up for it, even though I am not the one going.  Elo deserves to go and have fun with her daddy.  I mentioned it to your daddy that we had missed the sign up.  He said, “I know, but all I could about was that I won’t be able to take Hads to a father/daughter dance.”  My heart broke.  It broke for you.  It broke for your daddy.  It broke for Eloise.  It broke for me.  This situation.  The things we will never get to do with you and the ache that goes with that.  We will be reminded the rest of our lives of what we are missing with you.  Every time Elo does something new or cute I wonder and try to imagine what you would be doing.  I wonder how you would be on your first day of preschool.  What your funny stories would sound like.  I wonder what “Mama” would sound like coming out of your little mouth.

I haven’t been able to get this picture out of my head lately…I wake up at night seeing this picture in my head.

I just can’t believe I had to do this moment.  I had to follow my daughter’s casket, that held her body.  I remember that I couldn’t look out into the crowd of people that had come to support us.  I couldn’t look into their eyes.   I just don’t understand how one day I dropped you off eyes beaming, big toothy grin, and full of life. 
 Then the next time I see you…you were lifeless.  Your body has been cut open.  Your head has been sewed back together.  Your skin was cold and your eyes were glued shut.  Your beautiful blue eyes…shut forever. 
  This pic was taken a year ago right before Elo had her date with Daddy at the Daddy daughter dance.  
We will just have to have our own dance party at home.  We will forever miss you!  
Disclaimer:  I realize that these letters to you are mostly sad.  I write them when I grieve you the most.  I used to write them everyday because I needed too.  Now they aren’t as frequent, that doesn’t mean I don’t think of you almost every moment of everyday.  It does not mean that we are not moving forward with our lives.  It does not mean that we don’t do fun family activities, we do.  With every happy moment there is sadness too.  This is our lives now and it doesn’t mean we are “stuck” in our grief or need to “move on”.  We are not the same people.  There will not be a time that I am “back to the old Sandy”.  But as a good friend told me we are just a different version of ourselves.