Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dear Emma Grace

Dear Emma Grace,

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.

You lived.

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


Michelle said...

Very simply beautiful, Charla...

ChloƩ said...

Wow, girl... So touching. I've got shivers and tears in my eyes. Thanks for sharing.

Christine said...

So gorgeous, Charla. What an incredible gift you've given your family with these photographs. Your writing is beautiful and so touching, and the images convey such a peace and love. So proud to call you my friend.

jenna said...

you did a sensitive and lovely job... just like I knew you would! These photos will be a treasure.

carole said...

Hi Charlene. These are beautiful. Sorry for your loss.
I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

Melissa Leary-Ehrhardt said...

Charla this is so beautiful and bitter sweet </3 Your words......... They left me deep in thought. Thank you for sharing.

Lynda said...

Your photographs are beautiful and full of tenderness and grace and even celebration of the Emma's life.

I have journeyed with a number of couples who have lost their precious babies, just before or shortly after they left the safe embrace of their mother's womb. I wish you could have been with those families to leave them with similar reminders that we grieve but not as those who have no hope. Beauty is still very much present in the midst of pain.