early morning september 3rd (really early morning, like still middle of the night kind of early morning), asher woke up screaming bloody murder. i jumped up and into his room to hand him a fresh paci, pat his back, and gently place his head back onto his pillow. when i went to the bathroom before heading back to my own bed, i saw a little blinking light on my phone. i had a new text message. it was from my cousin jennifer. sweet jennifer. sister of my heart.

her baby girl was due september 4th, on her own birthday.  just a a year a 4 days after asher had arrived.  i knew she was feeling exactly how i had felt a year before, and it made me wish i was there with her all the more.  and i knew when i saw her name, what the text would say.  and i was right.  her sweet baby girl had arrived.  the day before on september 2nd (our wonderful grandpa's birthday, we were so glad she will get to share his special day), so fast they almost didn't make it to the hospital.  that sweet baby girl, yet unnamed, was in her mamas arms feeling the love of the outside world and her mama and daddy and big brother and sister.  and i wept. 

i wept all morning.  i was so happy she was here.  i was so happy she was loved.  i wanted so badly to hold her.  i wanted to hold that sweet baby girl, and kiss her head, and tell her i would always love her.  i wanted to squeeze jen's hand and tell her i love her and how proud of her i am.  i wanted to be there... not here.  and i wept.  i had a birthday party planned the next day, i had company arriving in a few hours.  i had cleaning and cooking and sleeping still to do.  what i wanted to do was jump in my car with my asher boy and not turn around, i wanted to head west stopping only when i had to, so in 8 hours i could hold that sweet baby girl, and hug my sweet cousin.  instead i cried silent tears for hours while i scrubbed the floors and stirred the pots. 

when i couldn't take it anymore i texted jennifer something like this: "jennifer, i love you so much.  and i wish i was there.  it just seems so wrong for me not to be there when life changes like this.  give that baby a hug and a kiss.  i miss you and love you forever."  and then i wailed!  she wrote me back quickly, something like this: "i will, and i know how you feel, i felt the exact same a year ago when asher was born. i love you."

and that's just how it is.  she is my family, the one i spent my lonely valentines days with, the one who i went shopping with unshowered and dressed in pjs.  she was the one i watched zoolander with a hundred times, and with whom i ate myself sick on cherries garcia.  and she is a person, whom i wish everyday i was closer to, and sharing in everyday life.  and she is the person i want there when important things happen.  and i want to be there for her when important things happen.  and when that can't happen... i do what i do best.  i cry.  i cry big tears, and let the snot drip unashamed from nose.  i wish and hope and pray.  i send my love...

and then i pull myself back together... because this is life now.  and life must continue.  and it did.  and it continues to. 

i continue to miss her.  and her beautiful girls.  and all of her totally sweet and adorable family.

know jennifer, i pray for you everyday.  with every picture you post of your life, know that i wish i was there.  know that i love you guys so much and miss you more than you can know.


dear sweet stella marilyn,

i love you punkin'.  even if it is another year before i meet you, i love you.  and i will always love you.  because you are your mama's.  a product she made herself, with her own love and her own body, she made you, and she loves you, and because of that... i do to.  you are blessed beyond words little stella, with a mommy who loves you so much, and will do anything for you.  i know she will, because i am not her own, and i know she would do anything for me.  she will teach you, and be silly with you.  sometimes she will have to punish you, it will hurt her to do so, but she will do it because she always wants the best for you.  she loves your daddy.  and together they will remain, and together they will always love you.  your daddy works hard for you, and he always will, like all good daddy's do.  he will watch over you, and play with you, he will do anything for you.  stella bean, you are so blessed with something your mom and i never had; a sister.  and layla will be the best big sister she knows how to be.  love your sister.  help her when she needs it, and listen to her advice, she has been there before.  learn to be silly from her, learn to laugh with her, learn to love each other and never let the other go.  a sister is a blessing that some people never get.  you have an older brother who will always love you, want to protect you, he will look after you.  he will teach you a lot about life if you let him.  love him.  let him help you, allow him to protect you from harm.  now know sweet stella girl that you are here for a purpose, far more than we can know.  God put you in this world for a reason, right now, in His perfect time.  know, He died for you.  know that when everyone else leaves you, when you feel so alone, He will still be there.  He loves you the most of anyone.  trust in Him, lean on Him, search for Him.  talk to Him, tell others about Him, love other like He would.  and please know, sweet girl, that i love you.  no matter how far away i am.  know, that i wish i could be there for all of your important milestones, and for you everyday.  know that i will miss you always.  know that there is nothing you could do that will ever stop me from loving you.  be happy, find joy, feel free to be yourself.  love, and be loved.  live life. 

love always,
your melinda sue        


  1. Stella . Darling name for a beautiful baby!!

  2. Stella MARILYN! what a fabulous middle name ;)

  3. Anonymous16:59

    What a beautiful letter Melinda! She is lucky to be so loved even if it is from a distance!


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