Dear, Elle


Six years.

Six months.

They feel the same.

Like it was only yesterday.

Like an eternity.

Six years ago, today, your grandpa left us. Six months ago, today, you were born.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that after nearly six years without my dad, would be You.

My Elle.

For so long after losing him, I didn’t want to have a child. After holding him while he took his last breaths, I didn’t think I could ever choose to potentially put my own child through that.

I was too young. He was too young. We weren’t done loving each other yet.

Maybe that’s selfish, maybe that’s selfless. All I know is that it’s the truth.

Grief manifests itself in strange ways.

But we often have to do things that scare us.

And when you were born I cried tears of joy for your miraculous arrival and I cried tears of anger for his heavy absence.

And here you are, six months new, and you are…Everything.

You would’ve been the best of friends. Airplane rides on the living room floor, and strolls around the block while he teaches you about nature and sports and life. Your nursery would already be filling up with Radio Flyers and Hot Wheels; crazy gadgets and toys that you wouldn’t grow into for years, but he wouldn’t be able to help himself. He was always just a kid, in all the best ways.

I can see you running toward the ocean to chase waves with him. Flying his trick kites and finding the hidden treasures in sand dollars, hands and feet covered in sand while the wind carries your giggles down the beach – just like he did with me.

I can see it.

But instead there is a picture of you cozied into his military dress coat. I show you pictures of him on my phone and play you the only voicemail I have left, hoping that someday you’ll recognize his voice and say his name as if he’s always been here.

You seem to already know so many things that I never will. It is true that children are far wiser than we.

Do you know him already? Did you meet somewhere in the space between him leaving me and me meeting you?

Did he put in a word to make sure you got his sparkling blue eyes, so that when I look into yours I’d see you both there?

Because you have his blue eyes.

Of course you do.