A Letter to My Daughter on Her Eighth Birthday (August 8)

Mt. Cecelia, near Great Falls, Montana.

Mt. Cecelia, near Great Falls, Montana.

August 8, 2015

Dear Little One,

On this day, we should be celebrating with eight candles burning fiercely on a cake, a cake made with all of the love in the world.  Would it have been chocolate or lemon or vanilla or strawberry or some weird thing we’d never thought of before you’d entered the world?

On this day, brightly colored boxes, and sacks, and ribbons, and balloons should be cluttering and littering the kitchen table.

On this day, all seven kids should be filled with a restless joy, anticipating the moment, but savoring the mystery.  Some quietly and some, naturally, mischievously.

On this day, there should be singing and more than a little bit of Birzer-patented wackiness and mayhem.  The cats should be confused, and the floor should be ready to receive the tipped-over drinks, the crumbs of cakes, and the meltage of iced cream.

On this day, you should be sitting proudly with the rest of your family.  Would your eyes still be so penetratingly blue, your hair so dark and full of curls, your skin as white as china?

We should be taking photos of you, a princess, a queen, a faerie, a ballerina, an American girl.

Would your friends come and join us?  Would they run wild on the deck?  Would they chase the cats?  Would they love our woods and our swing set?  Would the boys draw swords to slay dragons?

Probably.

But, of course, these are just dreams.  The dreams of the living.  The dreams of those left behind.  The dreams of those who miss you with a pain as fierce and as indescribable as any ever given.

Your life was so bright, it burned all too quickly.  At least from the view of this clouded, skeptical, doubtful, angry, and yet hopeful father.

Where Cecilia Rose's body rests--in the cemetery across the street from our house.  This photo taken by our great friend, Laura J. Smith.

Where Cecilia Rose’s body rests–in the cemetery across the street from our house. This photo taken by our great friend, Laura J. Smith.

From the beginning, the Lord of Life wanted you for Himself.  He is a jealous god.

You were not made for corruption, or hard choices, or easy choices, or sin.  You were made to take the straight path.  And, accompanied by the armed might of elves and warriors, you went straight from here to eternity.  From your mother’s womb into God’s hands.

Did Elbereth smile upon you as you passed Taniquetil?

You, oh little one, are chosen, sacramental, and blessed.

God gave you a mother, a woman who gladly bore you for nine months, a woman chosen to be a vessel of grace.  And, when that nine months had ended, God turned that mother’s grace into a strength—a strength unmatched in this world of chaos.

Oh, little one, I miss you so profoundly, and I love you equally so.  You are never out of my mind, and you always reside in my soul.

And, yet, however much I might disagree with God’s decision, I know that you are wrapped in the arms of love, forever safe and forever happy.

Someday, I pray, you will guide each of us to our eternal home.  Hand in hand, we will journey as father and daughter.  And, when we arrive, I will ask for the one thing I will never have with you here, a dance with my Cecilia Rose, daughter of song.

With all of my love, Dad.

My great aunt, Cecelia, who also died too young.  Our Cecilia is named after her.

My great aunt, Cecelia, who also died too young. Our Cecilia is named after her.

2 Comments on “A Letter to My Daughter on Her Eighth Birthday (August 8)

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