Dear Madeline and Annabel,

Today, June 18th, you are both the same age, 514 days old. You remind me so much of each other. Maddie, you loved to climb onto things, Annie, you love to climb into things. You both put a string of words together correctly. You both have smiles a mile wide, with a hearty laugh. You both love cuddling and giving hugs and kisses.

on her chair

in a box

Tomorrow, Annabel will be older than you, Maddie, and that is going to be so hard. From now on when your sister does something I’ll no longer be able to say to your Dad, “remember when Maddie did that too?” Annie will now have new milestones and create memories that won’t be intertwined with yours. Annie, I am so, so grateful that you will be able to do that. But it almost feels like I am losing another connection to you, Maddie.

It hurts so much knowing the two of you will never tease, hug, or play with each other. You’ll never fight over clothes, comfort each other over cootie-filled boys, or stay up way past bedtime talking about dreams. You won’t be the maid of honor in each others’ weddings, or hold each others’ hands in the delivery room when you have babies. I hate that you were both robbed the experience of truly being sisters.

I hate that I was robbed of the experience of watching you both grow. But mostly, I hate that Maddie’s life had to stop suddenly at 514 days.

Five hundred fourteen days is not a lot of time. Yet somehow, five hundred fifteen days sounds infinitely longer.

It feels like the three of us have been on an adventure together, and now Annie and I are setting off down the road to new adventures without you, Maddie. That makes waking up for tomorrow, day 515, very hard. But as Annie’s mommy, I owe it to Annie to get up. As Annie’s big sister, I know that you would WANT me to get up. Please let us catch a glimpse of you in the wind, in the dew, and in the sun.

I love you both to the moon and back,


Annabel in the high schair