Natalie at five months
Natalie's first birthday, August 2007
One year ago, my sweet, beautiful baby niece Natalie died after an accident. She was a fighter, and so brave, but ultimately her injury was too severe and the Lord took her home. The past week I have marked the days thinking of what happened each day between the accident and the morning she died. This has been a week of sad anniversaries for our whole family, but my sister, brother-in-law, and older niece have felt their hearts breaking all over again. She was just 14 months old.
I had seen her on just 6 different occasions in her brief life. We were lucky enough to see her (and the rest of the family, of course) just about a month before the accident. I treasure those times. How I wish we'd had more! A few days ago, my sister sent some photos of the girls, and many were of Natalie. Some I don't remember seeing before. I cried as I went through each picture, remembering and wishing I could hug her just one more time. Wishing I'd heard her call me "Aunt Kimmie", or giggle at Mark's funny faces again, or play the "Crab Game" with Emily. Wishing we'd had more birthdays, and Christmas together, and that she'd been able to meet her cousin Anna Kathryn on this side of heaven.
Tonight, I can't find the words to write about all that is on my mind and in my heart. Sometimes there are just no words. Hillary, my sister and Nat's mother, wrote a beautiful post tonight about her daughter. But I wanted and needed to write just a little in honor of this special girl, now our angel, safe in the arms of our Heavenly Father forever.