January 16th marked the day that Leila would have been one year old.
Would have been.
I think about the way things "would" have been and I feel the breath catch in my lungs.
It doesn't help to think about the way things would, should, or could have been. Instead: I spent January 16, 2012, giving thanks for the 12 days I had with my daughter, and for all the people that she brought in to our lives.
I remembered the wonderful things about her that I will always hold dear: her feistiness, her long skinny fingers and toes, the way she flailed and moved like she was dancing, the way I felt when I looked at her.
I tried not to be sad... But of course I failed.
But I tried not to be OVERLY sad. I tried to rejoice that she is happy now. No longer in pain.
A friend started a Facebook page called "Remembering Leila". Anyone who wanted to could join the page and post pictures of what they did that day to remember Leilani Marie Decker and the short life she lived.
Some people sent balloons up to her.
Others lit candles.
And words can not express how happy and blessed that makes me feel.
Leila may be gone from this world, but she will never truly be gone. As long as people continue to remember her and honor her, she will always live on in them.
And in us.
We love you, Leila. Always and forever...
To the moon and back again.
Love - Mommy, Daddy, Landon, Javi, Daisy, and last but certainly not least, your tiny baby sister, Lorelei (who I know you have been keeping close watch over as her birthday draws nearer and nearer).