Nanas Letter To Amanda
Although it has been almost three years since you went to heaven, I still miss you so much. I can close my eyes and still feel you in my arms with your head on my chest. Oh, how I loved to kiss the top of that little head and smell your hair and your sweet baby smell. Oh, what I wouldnt give to sing to you again and dance around the room with you and hear your soft little giggle. To hear you say Nana once more and Mama and Daddy , and to hear you say "quack, quack" like a duck.
I remember one day when you was about two months old; I was rocking you and singing a song called "Stars are the windows of Heaven, Where angels peep through". I looked down at you and you were looking me in the eye, and "I knew". Somehow you told me, and "I knew". Inside my head I was shouting "No, No" and pushed it way back in my mind, trying to make it go away. I took you to my bed and laid you down and I got real close to your ear and said "AMANDA, AMANDA" listen to what Nana is saying to you. Nana loves you sooo much. Nana will always love you, NOW and even throughout eternity" From that day forward, I told you this; every day for the rest of your life.
After you were diagnosed with SMA Type 1, we were all devastated. We all prayed continually that God would show us the way and give us the knowledge to care for you and the strength to endure. After asking this of God we then tried to put our trust in him and allow him to guide us through each day. He was always with us, we could almost physically feel his presence during this time.
On your last night with us your Mama and Daddy, Granddaddy and I sat by your bedside, each of us touching you. Many family members were present and I believe many angels were there with you that night. You could feel their presence in the room. You were not alone.
Losing you was the most hurt that I have ever experienced. My heart broke into so many pieces that I wondered how it could still be beating. It hurt me so much to see the pain your Mama and Daddy were suffering. You had such a wonderful Mama and Daddy.
Its so strange how God protected us during all the arrangements and during the funeral. It was like our mind was numb. I can hardly remember anything that happened during this time. I moved through it all like a robot.
A few days after the funeral, reality began to set in and Im sure I cried a roomful of tears. I would get up at night and sit at the kitchen table all night, crying. I was sure your Mama and Daddy were doing pretty much the same thing and that made me cry even more.
When a baby dies it is hard to accept the fact that you cant take care of this child anymore. You have been doing every little thing for this child and now, what do you do with yourself? Knowing this my heart broke for your Mama. Knowing that now her arms were empty. No little Amanda to hold anymore.
Amanda, it still is unbelievable to me how many people do not know what to say to people in grief. Some of the things that people say to you at a time like this can be so hurtful. I truly believe that they have good intentions, but they just dont know any better. Some of the most hurtful things said came from people from church. I wish they would teach a class in churches, teaching people what to say and how to treat people who have lost loved ones.
We were told things like, "maybe you need to get right with God", "do you think maybe God was trying to tell you something", "you need to get God in your life and let him help you get over this", "just give it one year and it will get better", "If you think what happened to you was bad, just think of those poor people who lost their family in the plane crash", "grief is a tool of the devil", and it went on and on and on.
First of all, we didnt think of you as some kind of curse that God had put on us. We thought of you as a wonderful blessing that God had given us. We did have God in our life and still do. He is what has seen us through this. A person should never compare your grief with that of another. Each persons loss is the worst thing that happens to them. They dont want to hear comparisons to others grief. This is not a comfort to them. You cant put a time table on grief. Each person deals with grief in his or her own way. When everyone told me that it would get better in a year, I believed them. When the year was up and I was still hurting just as bad as before I didnt know what to do. I no longer felt that I could talk to anyone about you because my year was up and I felt that they no longer wanted to be reminded. We felt more alone than ever and therefore the second year was in some ways harder than the first. In some ways it continues to be this way. If only people could learn not to do this and to just be there for you, allow you to cry, to talk and to not give advice unless they have been there. To think about what they are saying before they say it. Oh, what a blessing this would be.
Amanda, please help me to let people know to not shy away from us and avoid mentioning your name on special holidays. To not avoid remembering your birthday, or the anniversary of your death. We are still remembering and know that you are still with us in spirit
One day I had been agonizing over wanting to know for sure if you and granddaddy were together. Did you know each other, what do you do? That night I had a dream. In this dream, I saw this huge football field. I just popped (sort of like Samatha) on the top bleacher, and looked to my left and there sat granddaddy. He was holding you on his shoulder and letting you slide, head first down his back. You were just giggling and laughing out loud. I remember being surprised at how strong your voice was. It scared me when granddaddy kept letting you slide down his back. I told him to stop doing that; that you might fall. He said, "aw, shes not going to get hurt, she loves it, just watch her". He then threw you up in the air, caught you and let you slide way down his back. My heart went in my throat, but you just laughed and laughed. Then all at once you reached out your arms and came to me. You sat quietly on my knees, holding my hands and I sang to you. The song I sang, I had never heard, but it was so beautiful. I wish I could still remember it. My voice rang out so beautifully, totally unlike my voice really is, and you listened intently. When I finished the song, you took my face in both your hands and placed your little cheeks on mine. You would place your cheek first on one side of my face and then on the other side. As you did this a feeling of love consumed me. Pure Love filled my body from head to toe. There was no other emotion that I felt, only this wonderful love. I was energized with this love. Everything around me was love. Then suddenly you kissed me and turned and reached for your granddaddy. He took you in his arms and yall popped away! I awoke and I could still feel the warmth of your love. This dream has comforted me many, many times since that night.
Amanda, I know that you are fine. I know that you are with your Granddaddy and you are able to run and play. I know you are no longer in pain and I know that you are light and love.
Thank you Amanda for allowing me to share your short life on earth. Thank you for all the laughs and smiles, the hugs and kisses, the wonderful blessings that you taught me and most of all Amanda, thank you for all the love that you gave me. I know that some day we will all be together again, in Heaven. Until then my Precious Little Angel.
Thank you Rhonda for Megan's beautiful Award.
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