I feel like this may be the last time I write on this site… I don’t know… it just feels like this is my last time. It feels like all the things that need to be written have been written. It feels like the story has been told and I have found it hard to want to write, since she has died. But I want to do it one more time. I want to write about her one more time. I want to write about her as if she was resting in my arms right now… breathing and living. So for a moment I am going to write like she is still here. For the most part this letter is written from the final moments I spent with her. These are some thoughts that I had in our final days together and these are some words that I wish I would of said out loud to her. Also some of these words are written from moments after her death. It may make you feel uncomfortable or it may be really weird – I don’t know, I am just trying to do what I need to do (laughing because I don’t really know what I am doing). So here we go…
I think about you everyday. There is not a moment that I don’t think about you. Whenever I leave to go to work I think about how happy I am going to be when I come back home to you. I love coming home and seeing you hanging out with your mommy. I love picking you up and wrapping you in my arms and kissing you on your lips over and over again.
I wish I could bring you to work. I have a picture of you sitting on my desk. When I am feeling down or when I am having a hard time in the office, I look at that picture and I see your beautiful face and I immediately feel better.
When I see that picture it makes me feel like I am okay. It reminds me that I am happy and that I have a beautiful little girl who loves me and who I love. Sometimes I look at that picture and I ask myself, “If you were here would you be proud?” I want to make you proud. I want to honor you. I want to live in a way where you would be honored to be my daughter. Blakely, do I make you proud?
Anyways, I loved holding you the other day. I loved feeling you rest your head against my chest. I know you were angry about all of the cords and wires wrapped around your body, but it still was the best time holding you. I loved rubbing your head full of hair and singing you songs. The best part is when you fell asleep and I knew you were resting. I love seeing you rest, because I know you don’t feel well. I know you have days where it is really hard to keep on going. I know that you are in pain and that you hurt. So when you sleep, my heart rejoices because I know you are getting a break. I could of held you forever and maybe I can hold you later.
I want you to know that I wish I was able to keep you safe from all this pain. I wish I could protect you from the seizures and from the shots and from the drugs and the tubes. I am sorry that I haven’t been able to figure out how to help you. I am sorry that I haven’t been able to protect you. I am sorry that I haven’t been able to rescue you. I am sorry that I am often scared. Blakely, will you forgive me?
Also I hate it that the hospital bed that you rest on is so small. I wish there was enough room for me to crawl into the bed and snuggle with you. If the bed was bigger then we could watch sports and snuggle – maybe you are glad the bed was smaller so you could have your own space (haha).
Blakely, the best part of being your dad is being called, “Blakely’s dad”. I love that I am your daddy and I belong to you and you belong to me. You are mine and I am yours. Every time I hear someone call me, “Blakely’s dad”, my heart swells and overflows with love. You make me happy. I rejoice over you. I delight in you. You are precious and beautiful and inspiring. I love who you are and I love the way you have lived. You have taught me how to suffer and to live at the same time. You have taught me what it looks like to be loved. I am learning from you and you make me proud.
By the way did you know that you have your own garden?! I want to show you this place when we get a chance. But there is a garden that has been made for you, so people can know about you. It is a garden for bees, butterflies and children. There is a cute yellow bench and a plaque that talks about who you are. It is a sweet place that reminds me that God is making all things new. It reminds me that God is in the business of making beautiful gardens.
I don’t know if I have told you this story yet, but in the beginning God made a beautiful garden. It was full of animals, trees and life. In this garden all things were in order and there was no chaos, death, pain, sin, evil and hurt. All things were set in their proper and perfect place but mankind brought disorder through disobedience. The garden was lost, but God is on a mission to redeem this garden and is doing so through Jesus and through his Spirit and through his church. Your garden is a sign to me that God has not forgotten his mission to make all things new – to grow a new garden like the one in the beginning.
Even though your world is falling apart and even though it is hard to see this now, I want you to know that God sees you. He has not forgotten you. You are his child and he loves you. He loves you more than I could ever love you. You belong to him and he belongs to you. He has a place for you in his Kingodm, in his garden.
Blakely, you are going to make it to his Kingdom before me. You are going to a place that I can’t go to yet. I wish I could go with you. I wish that I could go before you and make sure everything is okay. But God is calling you on this journey. He is calling you to go before me and he is calling you to lead me. How funny it is to think about a daddy following his little baby girl… but I don’t mind it… I am honored to follow you.
Sometimes I have a hard time understanding what is happening. I wish I had answers for you. I wish I wasn’t so confused and I wish I knew what to say to you. All the confusion and chaos makes me wish I could scoop you up out of the hospital bed and run away with you. I wonder where we would go? I think I would take you to the tree where me and your mom got married. I think I would want to lay with you under those big oak branches and look up into the sky and soak in the shimmers of sunlight through the leaves. I think I would want to dance with you under that tree and play tag with you under its branches. One day we will do this.
Thank you for reading and bearing with me. Thank you for reading a confusing and odd letter to a person who is gone. Thank you for reading this blog. Thank you for supporting me, Blakely and Emily. My family is forever indebted to each of you.
There is one last thing that I want to share. I keep thinking about this image that one day popped in my mind. I thought about this image for the first time when Emily and I were driving to our home and we were holding hands and we both started to cry. In that moment I saw a blank greeting card appear in my mind and the card began to slowly open. On the inside of the card was white blank space, but slowly a pink hand print started to appear. It was Blakely’s hand print. Once the hand print fully appeared then appeared the letter, “N”, then the letter, “O”, and then the letter, “R”, followed by, “E”, “G”, “R”, “E”, “T”, “S”. The card was fully opened with a pink hand print and the words, “No Regrets”, within the boundaries of the hand. This image I feel like is a subtle reminder that Blakely lived a life with “No Regrets”. I think if she could talk she would say to us, “I had no regrets”. I think she knows something that I do not yet know. I think she has seen something that I have not yet seen. I think she is in a garden that is like the garden in the beginning and I think she knows that we are all missing out. But soon enought we will be there… soon enough. But until that moment be human, be needy, be broken and be loved. God is love and he loves you.