There is a calendar hanging on the refrigerator in our kitchen that you would love. Each month has an image of a different Maltese puppy. The pictures are so cute and funny, they often make me giggle. But, I have no idea what the puppy for the month of April looks like. The calendar still hangs on March. I felt like somehow, if I didn’t turn the page, April wouldn’t arrive, and it wouldn’t have been a year since the last time I kissed you. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

A year ago we were snuggled together in your hospital bed. It wasn’t ideal, but we were together and that’s all that I cared about. I demanded the nurses bring a bed big enough for me to get into with you, so that I could comfort you. But really, it was so you could comfort me. You always calmed me down when I was worried or scared. I only had to look into your big eyes and see your innocence and the way you trusted me, and I would feel centered.

Your little sister Annabel is here now. I think that you’d adore her, and that I’d constantly be watching to make sure you didn’t drag her away to play with you. She is a sweet and easy baby, just like you were. She looks so much like you, too. I am so sad that the two of you won’t ever meet, or have that special sister relationship. I always wanted you to have a sister.

Rigby is still the same crazy dog. She still loves to crawl under your bed and curl up with your toys. She’s had some crazy adventures lately. Sometimes when we are all sitting quietly in the living room, she gets up and starts sniffing around, as if she is looking for something. She always comes back looking dejected. I give her extra kisses and cuddles for you.

You have thousands and thousands…maybe even millions…of friends all over the world. People who think about you often, who are affected by your smile and your laugh. Who have told their families and friends and children about you. You have made other mommies and daddies hug their kids more often, play with them longer, and snuggle them with relish. It’s pretty neat.

I hope you didn’t feel any pain. I hope you weren’t scared. I hope you know that I was there, that daddy and gramma and bampa were there with you, too. That we were wishing and hoping that your scary moment in the hospital would be something we gave you a hard time about when you were grown up, and that we desperately, DESPERATELY miss you. That we would still do anything to have you back here with us.

I never wanted to be anything more than I wanted to be your mom, the best mom. And I am always going to be your mommy, just like you will always be my daughter, my oldest, my first, my special girl. No matter how many more April sevenths I must endure, I will continue to love you and work hard to be the best mom, the mom that you deserve.

I love you forever,

8 mile