Dear Mamma, Daddy, and all who loved me so well,
Thank you for my time with you. It was a truly extraordinary journey. Usually it is said of those who die at a ripe old age, “Their life was full.” But even though I didn’t quite hit the one year mark, my little life was incredibly full and rich too, and it was because of all of you.
How sweet it was to fall asleep in my mamma’s arms, to lie against her chest, to listen to her heart beat and her steady breaths in and out. I always knew my mamma loved me more than life. There was no better place to be than with mamma. I didn’t mind other people holding me, playing with me, and making me laugh, but my biggest smiles were saved for mamma. Thank you, mamma. I will always carry a part of you with me, even here. And I can’t wait to show you all I’m discovering. We’ll have lots more time, I know. Did you know eternity means forever and ever?
At first, I didn’t get to meet my daddy, but I think it’s pretty cool he listened to my birth from Angola, Africa. I like it that he cried the day I entered the world just like mommy and everyone else in the room (including the doctor). So what if he’s a big, tough Marine, he’s a softie when it comes to me. I like how my mamma told me about him every day, so when I finally looked into his face, and snuggled into his strong arms, I felt at home. I knew he loved me so very much, and I know he always will. Thanks, daddy.
And then there were the others who shared my world and showered me with love. With daddy so far away, I’m glad mom and me got to live with Marmie. Marmie is my grandma and she loved to snuggle me, talk to me, sing silly songs to me, and get me to laugh. My first big giggles were for her and I’m glad I got to make her happy. When she would come home from work, mamma and I would open the garage door and stand in the stairway watching her drive in. I made her feel so special because I got so excited to see her. I’d almost jump into her arms. I started to say “Marmie” as clear as a bell the last week of life on earth. That was a hard word for someone not even one, but it was mine and Jesus’ gift to her. I know she’s really thankful for that. Hang on to that, Marmie.
And then there is my cousin, Josiah. I kind of “worship” him (next to God and mamma). He was very funny and he always made me laugh. I’d put up with most anything he did to me and always come back for more. Playing with him was my delight. Sometimes we’d sing together in the car. He was better with the words and tune, but I was great at making a joyful noise. When we were with other kids, he was my protector. “Don’t look at my baby,” he’d say. Once I learned to crawl, I followed him everywhere. You’re a great, “big” cousin, Siah.
Auntie Kissa is Siah’s mom. She loved my smile and it worked pretty well to melt her heart when she was trying to tell me no. Sometimes I’d get into things I wasn’t supposed to and Auntie Kissa would say, “Aislynn, don’t you do that.” I’d stop, look at her with my big, beautiful eyes, and smile at her as if to say, “What? I didn’t do anything.” Then I’d inch a little closer hoping she wouldn’t notice. After awhile it got to be our favorite game. I’d head for the TV and she’d say no. Then she’d pull be back and I’d giggle wildly. I’m so glad Auntie Carissa and Uncle Cameron lived near me and spent so much time with me. I’ve got some great new games planned for you guys up here.
Of course, it isn’t just the people who lived close to me that love me. My Texas family rocks! I got to make two different trips to be with them. They delighted in me and I felt exactly the same. I loved falling to sleep as they serenaded me with guitars. Their big, extended family loved and accepted mamma and me and that felt so good. And our weekly Skype dates with Pappa Sue, Grammie, and Caitlyn were highlights for us both. Too bad I can’t Skype from heaven, isn’t it? Thanks for your love
And thanks to the many others who loved on me, some far away, some here. I liked being a part of such a wonderful community of family and friends who prayed for and desired my best.
I think I’ve left you all a lot of great memories to remind you of the full life I enjoyed. Remember how my face lit up when you walked into a room where I was. Remember how I loved to be outside, how I loved to walk by the river and took everything in almost as if I knew the time was short so I should take nothing for granted.
Remember how I could play contentedly by myself for such long periods of time, all the while carrying on long conversations with invisible playmates. I loved hearing my voice. I was practicing my “angel talk.” Did you like how I chatted regularly on the phone with Grandma Great and anyone else who would listen? I’m not sure you understood what I said, but I hope you knew it had something to do with my full life and wanting to share it the people I loved. Why, I even shared it with people I’d never met. Walking through the store, I’d randomly single out shoppers and greet them with loud “hi”s and huge smiles. Most everyone would smile back. They couldn’t help it. Let other babies remind you of that, okay?
You loved my gibber gabber, but these last few months I was going to town on the “words,” wasn’t I? I wanted you to have a lot to remember.
And speaking of going to town, I really did like to eat! I’m sorry I got a little impatient when you weren’t shoveling it in fast enough. Thanks for feeding me so well! Wait until you taste the feasts up here! It really is a big, big table with lots and lots of food. I couldn’t be happier!
I know these next days, weeks, and months, you will miss me terribly. When it feels too heavy, close your eyes and remember how when you came to get me in the morning or after a nap, I’d reach for you and when you picked me up, I’d cuddle my face into your shoulder and sigh. Then I’d softly pat your back. Do you know what those pats meant? They were my way of comforting you and of telling you my life was full. I was very content and happy to be with you. I knew I was well loved
And I still do. I know no pain, or sickness, or sorrow. Only love and joy. What you began, God is completing. And one day, we will all be together again. Until then, Jesus said he’ll be patting you softly and whispering, “Giggle, giggle, giggle.”
Aislynn Christine Summers