Dear Little Hiccup,
I never thought I’d be able to say again “You are my sunshine” after your sister Heidi passed away. I never thought I’d share her clothes, her toys, her quilts, her rocking chair with another baby. I just figured my heart wasn’t big enough and that God wasn’t going to give us another child.
I want you to know that even though your Daddy and I miss your big sister a ton, we don’t love you less than we love her and we don’t love you more than we love her. We love you because God gave us you. We love you because you’re you. We love you because you are precious, because you have an eternal soul.
You keep your Mama laughing, KiddoDiddo. You give me reason to live. You make me want to try harder. You make me want to keep living. You make me want to be the best I can be. You make me want to love deeper and sweeter. Wherever you go in life, keep doing that, Little Person. Keep making people laugh. Keep making people smile. Keep making the world a better place.
You know what? I have too many favorites of you. One of my first favorites was when you got the hiccups as a four pound featherweight; your scrawny little red body was lying on my chest and you had the hiccups. Another favorite was when you smiled at me and your Daddy while we were visiting you at the hospital; at the sound of our voices you perked up smiling so big, so wide and you still had your eyes closed, but you were delighted to have us by your side. A recent favorite has been listening to you jibber-jabber while playing with your BlaBla doll or while grabbing your toes; sometimes I wonder if you’re going to be a talker and a charmer like someone else I know.
You know what one of the greatest treasures is in life, friend? I’ll give you a hint…. there are many of them everywhere, they fit nicely in your hand, they smell old and open wide to a whole new world. You’re not old enough yet to know what it is, so I’ll tell you. One of the greatest treasures is books! And I don’t mean online books, CliffNotes, or the Kindle app. I mean real, tangible, meaningful books. They’ll be your friend, they’ll be flopping around in the back of your Jeep waiting for a traffic jam (if you’re like your Mama), they’ll comfort you in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep, they’ll keep you up till the wee hours of the morning before a milestone college exam, they’ll tell you about things you never imagined to be true, they’ll make you weep and heave and pray. Books are a valuable part of your existence and part of who you become. Don’t ever forget that, Squirt.
I want to tell you a little secret….. You sure are a pretty little person, and you should keep that to yourself. Let your inner beauty shine, and let your outer beauty adorn your intelligent mind, your thoughtful words, your wise heart, your agile skill. Be who you are on the inside, and don’t let anybody make you think what’s on the outside is better. What’s on the outside will fade, it will make your ego too big for friendship, it will unlock the door to a life you don’t want to live. Conversely, what’s on the inside will grow, it will make you stronger and kinder and wiser, it will protect you from naiveté and loss of identity. So that’s the secret….. Keep your beauty to yourself and shine bright from within.
You know what I say to you every day? I say, “Honey Bunches of Oats.” And then you get a little grin, a giggle, and a twinkle in your eye, because you know what’s coming next. I then say, “I’m gonna scoop you up with a spoon!” And you laugh and grab my face with your little hands and plant a wet spot on my chin. You’re just so full of honey, the good stuff of life, the sweetness of a God who loves you and parents who are privileged to know you.
Honey Bunches, wherever you go, whatever you do, God will always be with you. He’ll scoop you up, He’ll love you so, He’ll treasure you like an old book, He’ll make your heart sing and your laughter chime. You’re beautiful to Him and that’s all that matters.
Little Hiccup, you’re the feather in my cap, the sun burst under the clouds, the sugar in my cup o’ tea.