Happy Birthday, Elsie.

One year. It seems like yesterday and it seems like an eternity ago all at the same time. This year was certainly easier than last year, but that doesn't say much when you really know how devastating a year ago was. It's beyond difficult to wake up knowing you should be decorating for a birthday party, but instead you have memories of a funeral. I would give anything to kiss your sweet face again, my girl, but your big sister will have to do that for me until we meet again. These birthdays and holidays come and go, and they pierce the deepest part of my heart with longing. Nothing about missing the two of you is fair in the least. Shepherd has brought joy upon joy to us this year and for that I am more thankful than ever..especially on days like today, but I know life would be even sweeter with my little one year old and big two and a half year old running around here too. It's early and I am going to sleep because this day simply needs to be done, but I will fall asleep remembering the hope of life and gift of salvation--even when the rest of my thoughts are full of anger and sadness, and when my heart continues to feel as though it's missing two gigantic pieces....because it is.

I love you, Elsiebear.