Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Maria! - January 11, 2008

Happy Birthday sweet Maria,

On your special day I think of you with so much love and gratitude in my heart.

You came into this world so quietly. It struck me that you barely even cried when you were born. I thought something must be wrong, but then you looked at me wide-awake and so peacefully. You had that quiet peace about you right from the very beginning. Maybe because you knew I was not well and did not want to cause a fuss. You always thought of me first. They rushed me off to the O.R. and you stayed very quietly with your Daddy who developed a special place in his heart for you right from that very moment.

You always radiated love Maria. Before you became sick there was a timid and sweet, happy-go-lucky innocence about you. You were excited about everything and genuinely loved life. You were quite the practical joker, yet you were gentle, kind and thoughtful. After you became sick your wisdom grew and much of your happy innocence was taken away from you. I hated to see this. Yet with all you had to endure the love that you radiated to others seemed to grow stronger and stronger. In your most private, difficult and painful moments you reached out to me not to be comforted, but to comfort! Though I kept my face strong and smiling for you, you saw beyond it and you did not want me to worry. I ached deeply. I could not help you. I could not save your life. You put your hand on my cheek and told me that you loved me. In your pain you did not think of yourself. You never wanted me to suffer but you suffered so much. It occurred to me that until you, I never really grasped the meaning of true love. You showed me love in its rawest form. Pure love. Nothing attached to it. A love like that can never be conquered by death and will live forever. You loved me like Christ would. Because of that I am able to understand the beginning of the depths of the love Christ must have for us. Through you I received a glimpse of Christ’s pain and suffering but also His unconditional love. I want to thank you Maria! I see now what I can’t imagine ever having not seen! It is so clear to me that at the end of your life Christ took hold of you and you became one with Him. Just as Father Tim said, He consumed your soul, Maria, and I was blessed to be a witness.

Hold onto me Maria. Don’t let me slip and fall. I want to get to where you are and I know that my life must change. There is a lot of work to do and I am already almost 39. Only through your example have I been able to understand the urgency of how important it is to change my life and live it for Christ. Now I see that this life is not about me, but what I can do for others. It is entirely about LOVE. God has taught me that valuable lesson through you. I pray that I never lose site of the meaning. That I don’t ever fail to remember the lessons I have learned. One day I know God will ask me “What have you done with what you have been given?” I long to hear Him say the words that I know you have already heard: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

For your birthday I can not give you any greater gift than what you have already been given--the gift of eternal life. Your life on earth has ended, but your mission, I believe, has just begun. I am here for you Maria, to help you in any way I can. I pray others will too.

Your Daddy, Eddie, Aidan, Blake and I love you and miss you so much Maria. You will always be our glue. We think of you every day. We are so proud of you. We know you will enjoy your first birthday in Heaven with all of the other beautiful children who have walked in your shoes. No more pain. No more suffering. Only love.
Mom and Dad