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  • Writer's pictureJodi Laughlin

Happy Fourth Birthday, Noelle!

Our son Alexander wakes up most morning and quietly plays in his bed until we check the monitor and see that he is awake. But this morning, I awoke to the sound of my son crying. He needed us. And my first thought was “thanks for that sign, Noelle.”

One thing that will be with me forever is the absence of her cry when she was born. A big cry means healthy lungs… but Noelle’s lungs were weak. When we were awaiting the arrival of our rainbow baby, all I wanted was to hear her cry when she was born. And she did not disappoint! So now, when I hear my kids crying (of course there are many times when I get frustrated!) I try to reflect on how blessed I am to hear those cries.

Today is Noelle’s fourth heavenly birthday. We are celebrating by doing small acts of kindness, wearing festive sweaters, decorating her tree, sending off a lantern and caroling through our neighborhood. Lily is at an age where she asks a lot of questions and wants to be in the loop about everything we do. So, I am explaining to her the best way I can what today is all about. This morning she asked her Daddy, “When is Noelle coming?” and my heart hurt. She later asked me “Mommy, is Noelle real?”

I tell her she is her sister and she is in Heaven with Jesus. That she watches over her and protects her. She asks me if she’s a baby and if she’s getting older. I told her that in heaven, you are young forever.

Today, I reflect on the blessings that have come over the last four years. There were dark days but we didn’t let them blind us. We have been able to keep Noelle part of our lives, in our home and in our hearts. She is our reminder that this life is temporary, time is precious and hope is never gone.

Of course, I wonder who she would be today had she survived. But then I erase her siblings and, potentially, our foundation. Maybe everything does happen for a reason and we can’t dwell on “why” and “what if” but reflect on how to take our pain and suffering and use that powerful energy to create something beautiful. So instead of wondering who she would be today, I want to think about who she IS today. She is hope, peace and love. She is light.

She is my baby. And she is forever young.

Today I want to celebrate her life and share her spirit. If I can make one person smile or feel less alone, I know Noelle will be proud.

To my baby girl- I love you, I miss you and I thank you for choosing me to be your Mommy. I will try my best to share your spirit every day and to be filled with the light.

Happy fourth birthday, Noelle. I hope heaven has cake .

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