Wednesday, March 22

you are my sunshine

          Dear Eleanor,

     You turned seven years old this week! Your birthdays are always the hardest for me, since the older you get, the more I realize how fast my time as a mother of little ones is passing. At the same time, I love watching the wisdom sparkle in your eyes as you ask and learn and grow and change along with the world around you.
     You have such an old soul. I knew it from the moment I first held you. I saw a future full of light and strength, but I never imagined how much pain you would also have. Thank you for encouraging me and our family toward hope and happiness, and for giving me your confidence in our future as a whole family once again. Your daddy in heaven will always watch over you, and I'll make sure you never forget how much he loved you and wanted you to be happy.

     Ellie being both soft and strong is a combination very few in this life have mastered, but you have that down already. Your life does not have to go as you planned to be wonderful, and sometimes it's the biggest bumps in the road that shape and mold the best parts of us. The deepest feelings of heartache you experience will make those moments of pure joy even more rich, and will help you see that life itself is a gift, that every breath we take is not to be taken for granted, and that the simple things are most often the most important things to living the fullest life imaginable.

- Never stop dancing like you love to do.
- Go on lots of trips, and talk to strangers along the way.
- Laugh out loud, and cry out loud too.
- Be brave, and be kind to others that you see being persecuted and bullied, who don't have a voice in this world, even if you stand alone.
- Never let go of your curious nature.
- Try to give second chances as often as possible, because most often, everyone deserves them.
- Never be afraid to let sad feelings overtake you for a time. Emotions are so important and shutting them out limits our capacity to empathize with others.
- Keep a record of your life. All the beautiful and messy and spiritual and difficult things.
- Always, always forgive. Forgive yourself and forgive others, and if not for their sake, then for yours.
- Appreciate everyone's differences, and never judge others because they aren't like you or make choices that you wouldn't in their position. You are not them, and they are not you, and thank goodness for our individuality. Everyone is unique and on their own journey, and no two lives are meant to be the same.
- Don't lose your ability to find humor and laugh at the simplest things.
- Always keep your love of the sun on your face and the grass beneath your feet, and the wind blowing in your ginger hair as you run through the pastures.
- Never take a sunrise for granted, or friends who show you unconditional love, or a warm hearth when there's snow on the ground outside.

     Thank you for helping and teaching me every day, and for having extra patience when I am short on my own. You're so in tune with my feelings and have always been able to tell when I was on the verge of tears. Thank you for all the comforting hugs and snuggles you gave me over the last year as life got so so hard. I know that some days it's frustrating when I'm working through lots of emotions, but I love your love of taking charge to help dad with the other kids. You're already such a blessing to everyone who knows you and I know that'll never change as you grow older each year.

Keep shining beautiful girl. The world needs your light.



  1. What a beautiful post full of inspirational life messages. Old souls are so special <3 She'll forever look out for her sweet Momma. Happy Birthday, Eleanor!!

  2. Such a beautiful post! What a brave girl, going through so much so young! These photos are precious. Happy Birthday to Eleanor!

  3. I read this lines and realized that the feeling is as that was meant for me. So personal, so necessary words to hear from parents. Thank you Emily for these lines, you are doing a great job by sharing this wisdom of kindness!

  4. So sweet. And gosh, she looks like her Daddy, doesn't she? Happy Birthday, Ellie!

  5. Post lindo! maravilhoso, fiquei emocionada!

  6. Happy birthday to your gorgeous girl ♥