On November 11, 2007, you arrived, making me a mother more than eleven weeks ahead of schedule. I wasn’t ready to meet you, but it was still one of the best days of my life. Even with the fear and the uncertainty, it was still an amazing day, because you were finally here.

Becoming a mom is something I always wanted to do, but to be honest, it wasn’t high on my priority list. I figured it was something I’d get to eventually. I was so stupid and lucky…stupid I assumed it would be easy, lucky the baby I got was you. Before I became pregnant I just assumed it was something that came easily for everyone… I quickly realized that couldn’t be father from the truth. It only made me appreciate you more.

With the rough start you had, it gave me a lot of perspective…perspective I certainly didn’t want, but I had it nonetheless. And I’m glad, in a way, because I looked at each day with you as a gift. I was SO LUCKY to have you! And you were such an amazing little girl. You smiled all the time. You made a game out of the hardships. Every day was another chance to be happy. You were the happiest person I have ever met. Every day since April 7 I’ve thought about how happy you were, and I smile and try to inject some of that happiness back into the world.

Four is such a big birthday. You’d be a little person with opinions and hobbies and likes and dislikes. When I look at your friends I close my eyes and I see you there running around with them on the grass. I wonder what you’d be into…what your favorite things would be…what presents I’d have wrapped for you. I hate that I’ll never know.

I have been telling myself and anyone else who will listen that November 11th shouldn’t be a day of sadness. I want to hit each November 11th and celebrate that you came into my life. But that’s going to be easier said than done. I don’t know how I can celebrate such a great day without you here. It’s been so hard…it’s still so hard.

It’s  been two years, seven months, and four days since you left. I can’t believe it’s been that long…and yet, it’s just a small bit of the years you won’t get to have. It’s so unfair. I’m so sorry, baby.

I miss you so much I can’t even express it. It’s consuming and overwhelming, just like my love for you.

Today, on your birthday, I am going to do my best to smile and celebrate you. I became a mommy thanks to you. I will never stop being YOUR mommy, and on your special day I’m going to shout your name from the rooftops. I’m going to sing happy birthday and eat a creme puff and close my eyes and imagine your face.

I love you SO MUCH. Thank you for loving me too.

Happy birthday, baby. You’ll always be my special, happy little girl.

Love, Mommy

To celebrate Maddie on her birthday and support Friends of Maddie, please consider buying “You Are The One.”