My sweet Gabriella Marie,
Today is your first birthday! If you were here we would be planning a party and we'd have a little cake made just for you that you could eat and make a mess with. We'd be having family come and there would most definitely be presents and lots of love all around. I like to imagine that your little curls stayed and that you'd have a little bow or barrette in your hair holding those curls back.
I don't picture calling you "Gabriella" very much. You have always been "Ella" to us. When we were trying to decide your name I made a list of four or five names while I was away from home. I sent them to your daddy and he said he knew immediately that Gabriella was it for us. We always knew you'd be called Ella. It just seemed to fit. Gracie most always calls you "baby Ella". I'm not even sure she knows your full name!
Oh, I miss you Ella. You were so so wanted in our family. From the moment we knew you were coming, you were loved. My heart often aches for what we didn't get to have with you. From your first snuggles to your first smile, to rolling, then walking. And the baby laugh. I love that baby belly laugh that comes so easy for little ones. Your daddy would have been able to get the best belly laughs from you. He's so good at it because he's so silly and funny. You would have had many belly aches from laughing with him and Gracie and Graham.
When I get so sad and I miss you so much Ella, I am reminded by something your daddy tells me often. You were lovingly created by our God just how He wanted you to be. There was no mistake on His part. Your body wasn't healthy enough to stay here, but the good thing is that you got to go straight to heaven!! You were able to skip the sadness, pain, and sin of this world and go straight to be with God. That is amazing. I like to picture you in heaven with your curly hair, sitting on the lap of Jesus and your body is healed and whole. I don't know if heaven will be like that, in fact I'm sure it won't be just as I'm picturing it, but if it's going to be anything, it will be better than I'm thinking, so that's ok.
So while I miss you here Ella and while I would have picked things to be different, I am rejoicing that you are in heaven. I am praising God that He has a plan for each of us. I am thankful that I have great memories of you and beautiful pictures. And more than anything I LOVE knowing that this is not the end. I WILL hold you again sweet girl. Anyone else will have to get in line to get their turn at you. Your mama's got first dibs.