Ariana Mae Lusis
March 6, 2009 - November 30, 2010
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March 6, 2015

I'm sitting here, crying, trying to think of the prefect thing to say to you on your Birthday and I'm at a loss.  "Shit!" I hear Harper yell from across the room.  Yup, that's it!  This is shit. (Don't judge me for your brother saying "shit").  And then I smile.  This is how life is now.  Laughing through the tears.

So, as we celebrate your 6th Birthday today, I will laugh and cry with you in my heart.  I will cherish the time we had and I will long for more.  I will love you and miss you always and forever.  Happy Birthday sweet sunshine.  I love that you are my daughter.  

November 30, 2014

Today marks 4 years without you and while we've somehow managed to find our way back to happy, I can't help but note the incurable sadness that lies constant beneath the surface.  There is a gaping, Ariana-sized hole in our family and in our hearts.  Happiness is different now.  It's a strange juxtaposition of emotions.  You have given us a greater appreciation for happy and the wisdom of present living.  Still, we will forever long to have you to share special moments with.  It's not easy living without you.  We miss you terribly and love you deeply.  You are always in our hearts and on our minds.  Shine on sweet sunshine.  

March 6, 2014

Five years old.  That transition from toddler to big girl.  I've been afraid of this day and how I would feel for months now.  I've missed so much.  Pretty braids and painted toes.  Sassy attitudes and morning snuggles.  I could write books on the dreams I've had that can never be.   

I know birthdays are intended for celebration - and I promise to always celebrate you, but I just don't have the party spirit in me today.  All I want to do is cry.  I want to cry because I miss you so badly.  Cry because I want to see you in your party dress.  Cry because I want to hold you and never let go.  I want to cry because the words aren't enough to say I love you. 

Still, all the tears in the world wouldn't stop me from doing it again. I would go through this pain a million times over to see your smile once more.  Even knowing what I know, I would still choose you to be mine.   
I love you sweet girl. 

Happy Birthday to my beautiful daughter.  My sunshine girl. My baby Ariana.  

November 30, 2013

As I sit here this morning of the third anniversary,  I am struck by all that your death has taught me about living.  Very soon after you died, I stumbled upon a quote by Danielle Steel that I reflect on often.   “….Losing a child is nine parts unthinkably horrible, and one part gift. The secret to surviving it is finding the gift. One is never the same, but one has the choice of becoming bigger, deeper, more."   The nine parts need no explanation.  

Losing you has left a gaping hole in my heart and in our family. The sadness for what should be will always be there.  The gift may not be as widely known, but is ever-present in me.    You have taught me more about love and life than anyone else ever could. Because of you I am kinder, gentler, more patient and forgiving - both with myself and with others.  You have taught me to give more and to love beyond words. To be present and aware.  To drink in each beautiful moment with gratitude and appreciation.   You have given me courage I didn't think I had. I would exchange these gifts in an instant to have you in my arms again... to go back to the days when bad things only happened to other people.  Since I don't have that option, I will embrace them and nurture them.    

The hurt will always be there, but so will the gifts. I will forever miss your sweet serenades, your ocean blue eyes and your precocious smile.  I love you sweet daughter.  Shine on my little star!  Your light will continue to guide me through this life. 



March 6, 2013 

Happy Birthday to my sweet little sunshine!   

Dearest Ariana - They say that time heals, but I don't think that rule applies when one loses a child.  Time changes, but it never takes away the hurt.  I want you here with me, with daddy and with your brothers.  I want to see you with long blonde hair and chipped nail polish.  I want to see you in a mismatched outfit that you chose yourself.  I want to watch you open too many gifts and I want to worry about finding space to store them all.  I want to see the excitement in your eyes when we present you with a  new bicycle for your 4th Birthday.  I want to sing "Happy Birthday" and watch you blow out your candles.  I want to let you skip dinner and just eat cake.  I just want to hold you and kiss you and hug you so badly! 

My darling girl, with all of this heartache, I still feel an abundance of joy - joy that you are my daughter, joy for the 21 (plus 9) months I had with you, joy for the humanity you continuously inspire and most of all, joy for the eternal life I will one day share with you. In the end, love is stronger than death. Because of this, we choose to celebrate today.   

Happy Birthday Ariana Mae!  Mommy, Daddy, Jonas, Harper and countless others love you and miss you so very much.  Shine on baby girl! 

November 30, 2012

My darling Ariana Mae - It's so hard to believe it's been two years since I've held you in my arms.  I remember the day so vividly - no idea that it would be our last.  I wish I could stay in that final memory forever - nursing you to sleep and watching you snuggle up next to your brother.  I remember singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider in the doctors office and noticing your sweet little fingers crawl up the water spout.  I've replayed the horror of finding you unresponsive a million times in my head and I will never understand how a such a beautiful, vibrant and healthy baby girl can be here one minute and gone the next.  

So much has changed in the last two years.  We've held two fundraisers to raise money for SUDC and we built a playground in your honor.  It helps fill some of the void in my heart to see the generosity and beauty you have inspired.  You are deeply loved by so many. 

Your baby brother, Harper, arrived on November 5th.  You are a big sister!   He's such a happy boy and he laughs in his sleep!  I like to think he's laughing at you.  Jonas is very excited about being a big brother again and he loves to share memories about you with Harper.  I wish I could see you with him.  I imagine life with my three babies together and it makes me sad that it can't be so.  

I love you and miss you so much sweet baby girl.  You will live in my heart forever. 

March 6, 2012  

Happy 3rd Birthday to my precious little sunshine!  I remember so vividly the day you were born and the joy daddy and I felt upon your arrival!  I reflect often on the beauty of that day and cannot imagine a more peaceful journey into this world.  You were such a happy baby girl!  

I cannot believe today is your 3rd Birthday! I wonder who you would be today and I often imagine what you would look like, what you would sound like, feel like and what activities you would enjoy. It's so hard to live without you, but I want you to know that we are trying our best to find the light in this darkness and make something good come of this tragedy.  

I hope you are enjoying the Happiest Birthday that Heaven has to offer and that you can feel the love being sent your way today and every day!  We love you so much baby girl and miss you terribly. 

Sending hugs, kisses, snuggles, candy, presents, cake, ice cream and all things sweet to my baby girl, Ariana!  


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