Thursday, December 29, 2011

One Year

Happy Birthday, my precious Ella.

Last night I woke up just after midnight. I wonder if my body knew it had been exactly a year since we held you  during the short moments of your life. I stayed up as though to keep vigil, remembering, glancing at the clock, knowing I had little time. I kept wondering what you'd want me to be doing, then decided you'd want me to be sleeping. Like Daddy. So I turned off the light at a quarter past two. I don't know how long it took me to drift off.

This year is one I'm ready to leave behind, but I never, ever want to forget. On your birthday, I should be giving you gifts. Instead you've given gifts to me:
  Deeper faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and in His gospel.
  Greater love for your daddy and the rest of our family.
  Peace. I no longer look on the concept of death with fear or dread. And I anticipate the second coming of our Savior with eagerness.
  A more profound appreciation for the blessing of temple ordinances.
  Greater faith in myself and my own personal worthiness.
  The knowledge that I have a daughter who is pure and perfect; an angel to guide me along, to watch over me, and to encourage me when times get rough.
  And though I don't always understand God's will, and sometimes I still have to work on trusting Him, I have grown in my knowledge of His infinite mercy and love for me.

I learn so much from you and I know I always will, for I still have so much more life to live and an unbelievable amount of things yet to learn. I hate that you're gone. I despise the memory of leaving you behind at that hospital. Sometimes I do not endure well. I have irrational fears when it comes to my future children. I become embittered easily, angry, and sometimes live with a false notion that everyone else lives perfect lives with their own healthy children.

And yet, here we are. On what would have been your first birthday. Though I wish beyond everything in this world that you were here, I wouldn't trade the gifts you've given me for anything. I love you so much and miss you every single day.

I wish I was buying you presents for your birthday. Something like a new outfit, a fun toy, and a ladybug birthday cake. Instead, I'll have to do other things that would make you happy where you are right now: I'll be a little nicer, a little more loving, a little more pure in heart, and a little more devoted to our beloved Savior.

Still... I do have a little gift for you. One that is tangible, though it won't show up until next July.

Around the 24th, I think.

Though you've known for a while, I'm sure.
And I'm terrified and ecstatic at the same time to actually say it out loud.

How would you like a baby brother or sister?

Happy Birthday, my Angel.



The Clawson's said...

Love this post for more than one reason! Missing Ella & thinking of you today. And also super excited for a new cousin! Love you guys!

La la said...

My heart is so full for you Amy. You will never understand how much you have influence my life. You are a Hero by simply being you. I know you don't always want to hear it, but I want to be a bit selfish and tell you anyways. I hope some day to be just like you, in being a great example of testimony to someone else like you have been to me.

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather said...

Happy Birthday to sweet Ella. Such a bittersweet anniversary as you have been through so much this past year. I am always grateful for what I learned through Camden; though I certainly wouldn't want to do it again or volunteer, I can say that I am happy to have the knowledge that I do. Would I want my baby? Of course, as do you.

And Amy!!!! I am so, so SO happy for you and Bret! I need to give you a big squeeze in person and catch up. We should schedule a blizzard date. :)

Marilyn said...

I woke up too about 2 am last night and started remembering. I posted about her today too. I'm so glad we can gather today and honor her. I don't want the little ones to ever forget her. I always count her as one of my grandchildren in my "grandbaby count." :-) I love you!

Unknown said...

My heart is hurting for you. I got to the end of your post and literally started to cry.

Sending so much love and well wishes!


Rie Teemant said...

I've been thinking of you and your sweet Ella constantly the last few days darling! I'm so happy for you and the joy that will come! I remember my own discovery last year, when I was looking forward to coming to see you and your new baby girl only to find out what had happened. You still let me see you, something I can't tell you how grateful I was for! I love you, dear Amy, and I'm sure Ella is so happy for all that you had to say on your blog today!

heather said...

Love you Amy. Thinking of you today. You and Ella and the little one on the way.

Carrie said...

Oh I am thinking about you today! You are a strong woman--and sweet Ella is so blessed to have you as a mother.

Carrie said...

and oh my goodness-- CONGRATS!!

Mari said...

Woman! Making me cry. This was a beautiful post and I love having a moment to remember Ella. Happy birthday to her.

And congrats to your family! I am so excited for you and just praying for the best for you guys. Love you!

Ashlee said...

Thank you for this post. I delivered a stillborn baby boy last March and was just thinking today that his birthday is getting closer and closer and how sad that makes me that we won't be able to celebrate it with him. I loved the gifts you are giving to Ella...what great ideas. Congrats on your pregnancy! Just think...Ella will probably be the one to send her brother or sister to you...I'm sure she'll send him/her down to give you a big giant hug!

Saimi said...

Amy you have such a beautiful way of writing, your words are so poetic.

I love this post and I love your positive outlook. What an example you are to me.

Sooooo, CONGRATULATIONS!! I'm super excited for you and your husband!!!

A. B. said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this and your experience with us all through this blog. You are an inspiration to so many and so is your sweet daughter. Happy Birthday to her and congratulations to you and your family! How wonderful!

Momza said...

So so happy for you and your sweetheart. What a blessing!

Darci Cole said...


I'm so proud of you, Amy. You are such a strong, faithful mother in Zion, and I wish with all my heart that I can be like you someday. You are honest enough to admit the pain and the longing you hold in your heart, and yet wise enough to accept that you have grown and learned from such a difficult experience.

I am so excited for your new little one. I can't wait to meet him or her and hear what kind of little bug is coming to join your family next. May the Lord continue to bless you every day - you deserve it.

Suzie said...

Happy Birthday Ella! You are loved and missed.

and to you-congrats! I was hoping for that kind of news.
Take care!

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

I hope you know just how amazing your are.

I know words can be cheap and easily thrown about. And I don't say you are amazing to make you feel good or bad, I don't say it with false meaning or feeling behind my words. The more I meet and get to know people, the more I find people like you to be rare indeed.

I mean this with the deepest sincerity I can muster. Yur daughter is proud to call you her mother.

And I can't tell you how very happy I am for your new little one. Please know you will be in my thoughts and prayers often.


kemra said...

Tears are streaming down my face...Such a beautiful post to your angel You are such an inspiration to me. Congrats on your new little one - I couldn't be happier for you! Thinking of you today!

Jennie said...

Amy, that is beautiful! I love your writing and you give me so much hope for my own life. Thank you for sharing that. I think of you often!
And Congrats! I am sincerely happy and excited for you!

Kassi Jane said...

im so happy for you guys! You sure do derserve everything that you want! Love you.

jen said...

Tears...what a beautiful post to a precious, beloved little girl. She will always be in our hearts.

AND...just so.dang.excited to meet the next little Standage. Seriously giddy.

brigette said...

Happy birthday to your sweet angel!!! Praying for you during a harr time! How exciting to be expecting a litttle one. We lost our son kael when he was 5 months old. Im sorry for your.pain and heart ache hugs mama

Unknown said...

That was beautiful, dear Amy and congratulations! What a wonderful bundle of joy to look forward to in 2012 :). Happy new year, beautiful! xo

Chess said...

Eeep! EEEEEP!!!! Oh my goodness! Congratulations! Somebody special is going to be so lucky to have you for a mother! :)

Leenie said...

This post fills my heart so much. You are remarkable. And also congrats! What a wonderful gift to look forward to this coming year.

Kaci Uipi said...

Amen. You made me cry. Congrats!

Kami Milliron said...

I came across your blog from Adel's Blog. I just wanted to say that I am so sorry for your loss. Judging by the pictures on Adele's Blog, I think our little girls are fairly close at the Cemetery. Our daughter Elizabeth ( I call her Ellie ) died on January 9, 2009 when I was 8 months pregnant with her. She would be 3 years old this coming Monday. Wow, it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do but here I am, three years later and I am alive. I am healthy and crazy enough - I am happy ! Losing my little girl sucked the big one but as I look back now, I am stronger. I know I will see my sweet Ellie again and that gives me hope and the strength to carry on.

Also, 6 weeks after Elizabeth died, I found out I was pregnant again : ) Our amazing little boy ( Josh ) was born just a week shy of Ellie's first birthday. That pregnancy was filled with faith building experiences and Josh has been an incredible blessing to us just like I know this next baby will be a blessing to your family. This baby will help you heal. It won't take away the pain or the sadness but it sure does help !

Good luck and just know that a total stranger is VERY happy for you : )

Alesha said...

I can't believe her birthday is so close to Christmas! I hope those days where ok on you. Congrats on the new bun in the oven. :)