Happy Birthday to my dearest Pea. I’ve thought about this letter a lot. Words have been swirling in my head for over a month as I contemplate what to say to you. I guess the first thing I’ve thought about is what to call this day? I keep calling it your birthday when its really a due date. I was talking to Toby’s mom (you know Toby from heaven) and she said it doesn’t matter because today is your special day. She’s right.

I had your first birthday all planned out. The theme (Very Hungry Caterpillar), the decorations, the food, everything. Now that you’re two I’m grieving less plans and instead I’m grieving questions. What would the theme be? Would it be based on your favorite cartoon? Would I try and hijack the theme to make it more fun for me? (probably). I had plans to take a cake decorating class while I was pregnant with you so I could decorate your cakes every year. I still haven’t taken a class, but I have started learning how to bake. On your original due date and first birthday I bought cakes. This year I had your little brother help me make cupcakes for you. As most little brothers do, he tried to make it about himself, but I assured him that this day is about you.

As I watch your little brother grow, the questions continue. Would your hair be the same color as when you were born? Would you throw frequent tantrums? Would you be a good napper? Would we be thinking about potty training?

I guess the questions will never stop. Would we still have moved to Europe if you hadn’t died? Would you still be going to Edenton Street UMC daycare like we planned or would we have transitioned you to HB UMC preschool? Would mommy be fully ordained yet? Would you be speaking in full sentences? Would you be starting gymnastics? Would? Would? Would? I don’t know if I’ll ever stop asking.

More seriously, I wonder if we’d even have your little brother if you were in our arms. Realistically I’d like to be holding both of you, but I’m not sure. Your dad said that if you were here then we would have waited a lot longer to have Emmett. I know he’s right as my body and mind wouldn’t have been ready to be pregnant again, but I don’t want it to be true. I want both of my kids even if you two are close in age. We’re raising Emmett to be aware of your existence. He’s wearing his “brother to an angel” shirt and he’ll share in one of your cupcakes tonight.

I guess in addition to all of my questions, I want to say on this day how special you are to me. You and I have been able to do so many cool things that I can’t do with your brother. This podcast you helped me launch? It’s awesome. Honey, we’ve met parents and babies all over the world. Losing you showed me a grief I never knew and exposed me to a world I had no choice but to join. I will tell you that with every zoom call, every recording, every edit, and every social media post, I think of you.

You might see mommy crying today and thats ok. I love you so much and hate that you aren’t here to have a cupcake. Your dad and I love you to the moon and are grateful you are part of our family.



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