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  • Writer's pictureJodi Laughlin

Happy Third Birthday, Noelle!

Today is Noelle's third birthday. Of course, I can't help but imagine what fun we would be having if she were here with me. What kind of party would I throw her? What would her favorite toys be? What kind of cake would she ask me to make?

I'll try to have fun today in honor of her. I am going to bake a cake with her sister, Lily. We are going to decorate her tree like we have for her first and second birthday and we are going to be together, as a family, celebrating her life. Tonight, we will send off three lanterns for her.

In the last three years, a lot has changed. I have had two more children- a girl and a boy. People now love to say to me "so you have your girl and boy... that makes it complete!". Forgetting that I will never be complete because part of my heart will always be missing until I can be with my Noelle again. And I truly feel that way... I look at my Lily and Alexander and I feel SO much love, but I think about Noelle. And I miss her...

She has sent me so many signs recently. We have a peace lily in our home that we got when Noelle died. It hasn't bloomed in nearly three years. The week I was due with Alexander, I saw it starting to bud, and the week he was born it bloomed. All three of my children represented here (a Lily flower for Noelle bloomed on Alexanders birthday). I know, I sound crazy! but to me... this was so beautiful, and such a sign. It is Noelle letting me know that she shines through her brother and sister. That she walks right beside them.

As Alexander's due date came and passed, I was having anxiety about him being born on a full moon (which Noelle was born on) or on the 13th (her day). I initially thought this would be awful- these were two things that were reserved for her. How can I share the 13th with anyone else??? how can I have another full moon baby??? I ended up going into labor on a the full moon and my baby boy was born on the 13th.... in room 13. To me, these are signs from my Noelle, telling me that she is watching over us. Telling me she is not far. Telling me that it is OKAY to feel happy on the 13th, to feel love and peace when I see the full moon... I don't have to be sad because she is here with us still.

He looks like her. And their feet... all of my children have the same feet!! I love that I can see her in them. And I can imagine how she might be. But I'll never know for sure, until, hopefully, I see her again.

In the shower last night I was looking at my stomach- I still have the "pregnancy line" from Alexander, but it is starting to fade. Once that mark is gone, I will have no other marks on my body from my pregnancy with him. But I don't need the marks, because he is here.

To the right and left of this line are two other marks, two scars. These are from my surgery with Noelle. And on my lower abdomen is my c-section scar... I love these marks. Proof that she was here. Proof of her fight.

Wherever she is, I know she is free of pain now. I know she is not suffering and that gives me solace.

For her, I will smile today and I will soak in every moment with her Dad, her brother and sister because I know how fleeting this is and how blessed I am to have them. Her light shines through them.

I can't believe it has been three years...

I thank her for making me a Mother. I thank her for changing my life, forever, for the better.

I love you, Noelle. Wherever you are, I just hope you know that.

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