I met you one week ago.
And my life was forever changed.
I'm not exactly sure what our relationship is (first cousin once removed, plus a marriage in there). But I know you've found a place in my heart that will stay yours forever.
I've known for months that you wouldn't have long to live. I watched your mommy learn more about all the things that weren't going right in your body, and I prayed for you so many times.
And maybe it seems like my prayers weren't answered. But I know better.
You breathed. You heard your parents tell you they loved you. You cried.
Not as long as you should have, but you lived. And that was a miracle. A beautiful, God-given miracle.
And now you're dancing with Jesus. You are whole and complete (like your name, Emma). You get time with your wonderful great-grandparents.
I'm so honored that I got to see you for those few minutes, and that I could be the one to take your pictures. You taught me to be thankful for the time we have with those we love. You taught me to treasure each breath.
Your beautiful mother taught me so much about faith. She showed me (and everyone who knows her) that faith really is strengthened in times of testing. She's been through the fire and has come out purer, stronger and more beautiful.
I hope you don't mind that I'm going to keep crying about losing you for awhile. It doesn't take away from my understanding that you're with Jesus, and that you are whole and perfect. It just means I miss the opportunity to get to know you better.
Your "cousin" Charla