2 Years Old
My darling Stella Li~

Today is a special day. Today is your birthday. 
You are officially 2 years old today. Your life on Earth ended 1 day shy of 19 months old, but you are officially 2 years old to me.
What a roller coaster these months have been. My soul has traveled to the deepest darkest parts of misery while still being joyous knowing that I was given the honor and privilege of being your momma. I miss you.
When you were born 2 years ago today, you opened my eyes to a new world and you opened the doors to my heart so I was able to know the feeling of undying, unwavering love. I promised as I kissed your wrinkled hands, still clenched out of habit from being cramped inside my belly, that I would always be by your side. I promised to always take care of you, to love you, to cherish you and to be your friend. Then you got sick.
You were transported via ambulance at just over a day old to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. It was so very scary, but even then I knew in my soul you were a fighter. As I walked down the halls of the NICU, through security and into the washroom to wash our hands I knew in my heart you were strong. 
I hated that washroom. We stood by a row of sinks, washing our hands has cleanly as possible to prevent any viruses or illnesses from coming into the NICU. As we walk through the door, a beautiful mural is painted on the wall. Across the mural was a quote: “There Is No Footprint Too Small That It Cannot Leave An Imprint On This World.”
I hated seeing that quote over and over again. I hated seeing it written across the wall hundreds of times as I scrubbed my hands raw and clean in anticipation of touching you, holding you. I wanted your footprints to be huge. I wanted your footprints to span the globe, to dance a journey, to reach everyone possible. I didn’t want it to stay small. I wanted you to grow and be strong, I wanted to watch your feet as they became too big for  your shoes. I wanted to be that mom who was proudly annoyed to have to go buy new shoes again. I wanted to watch you grow to be a tween, wanted to watch you go through your awkward phase and I wanted to see you find yourself and to be comfortable in your skin. I wanted to watch you grow into womanhood, to see you fall in love, to hold your hand through your struggles. I wanted nothing more to see you live a long and healthy life. I didn’t want your feet to be little.
I know that quote was written to provide some comfort to parents during their scary stay in the NICU, but at the time it gave me more fear than comfort. 
But my little Sassy Stella Li, your footprints are enormous and many. You made a change in this world. You touched people. You changed me. The quote from the NICU was right. Your feet left an imprint in many hearts. That imprint will never go away.
I love you Stella Li. I am so proud of you. You fought till the end. You loved till the end. My daughter you are and forever will be special not only to me but to so many. 
All the dreams I had for you may not come to fruition in my earthly life, but I know in heaven you are leaving your footprints everywhere. When the day comes that I see you again, I know you will take me to those footprints in heaven and show me what I missed and I will kiss your precious little feet, the feet I loved so much.
Happy Birthday Stella! I will celebrate this joyous day! See you soon my daughter. I love you so so much. I miss you. Always and forever. You have made me the proudest mommy that there could ever be.

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