Dear Lila

Dear Lila,

I can’t believe you’ll be 5 this year. You’re such a big girl! Your mom and I miss you a lot. So, so much. Every single day, we think about you. I know you know because we tell you. We know you’re here. In the sunrise, the sunset, the rivers, and oceans. You’re the reflection of the light off the branches and leaves, dancing on our walls. You greet me every morning with a soft whisper. I tell you that I love you before I do, or think about, anything else. We see you in all the beautiful things we love, especially your little brother. He’s growing so fast. We make sure to tell him about how much his big sister, Lila, loves him. I love knowing that you’re watching us, I just wish that you were here with us. I always think about all the things we’d do through the seasons together in Maine. I’d buy you as many ice cream cones as you wanted in the summer.

I’ve gotten to know so many dads just like me. And I’ve even heard about all their babies, your friends, in the clouds. All the dads and I wish we could play together here. But I know you’re out there adding wonder to the world in front of us. I’m sorry you’ve seen me so upset. It’s just because I love you so much, and I know that’s hard to understand. Sometimes, when someone’s heart hurts they cry. It helps them feel better. Eventually, they’ll stop crying. They’ll cry again, but they won’t cry forever. Their tears will always stop. The good news is people grow stronger after they cry! So strong, in fact, they could lift a car! Ok, maybe they couldn’t lift a car, but they definitely get much stronger. A person’s whole body is stronger after they cry. The muscle that grows the strongest is the heart muscle. And that is the most important muscle in your whole body. Your heart is where all the love in your life is stored. Pretty amazing that it all fits in there, right? That’s another place where I keep you, Lila. You’re always with me there. I just wish you were with me here. 

You’re my sweetest girl. Always and forever. I’ll never stop being your father and you’ll never stop being my daughter. I love you, Lila, and I really miss you. I always think about hugging you. For the rest of my days until I hug you, I’ll live for you and make sure that I’m doing my best to be a fun, loving, and patient father. To you, and Dallas. I loved seeing you in my dream on the morning of my 35th birthday. In that dream, I watched you through a window on a snowy night in Maine. You were playing quietly by the fire and looked so beautiful and cozy in your home. I couldn’t come in, but I will one day. My 38th birthday is coming up, but please visit me anytime. I’m always waiting for you.

I love you, I love you, I love you,

Your adoring dad (forever)

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