Guest post by Brittany
My daughter, Giselle passed away on March 5, 2013 from complications of a viral infection. She was 12 days old. She was my first-born and only child. She will always be my saving grace and the light of my life. I did not even know she was sick because of her peaceful nature. For the first ten days of her life, as long as she was swaddled and held against your chest, she would be content for hours. Since she passed, it has felt as though my heart has been ripped from my chest. My soul feels like a deflated balloon. Not a day has passed that I have not wept for Giselle. However, in the interest of the season, I am forcing myself to focus on what I am thankful for.
I am first thankful that I met my daughter and that we were able to bond in a way that only a mother and baby can. I am thankful that I took over 100 pictures of her, so I can look at her everyday. I am thankful that she never knew hatred, intolerance, or evil. I am thankful for the changes she made in me. I had never knew what pure, unconditional love could feel like. She brought me, and continues to bring me so much pride. I only want to do good in her name. I am thankful for the people in my life that have stuck by me and that have suffered with me. They have not preached to me or felt sorry for me; they have just been there. It takes strong people to step outside their comfort zone for another.
I am thankful for some of the nurses and doctors who anticipated our needs. For the ones who were silent and strong, for the one who dragged in a rocking chair, for the one who carefully wet the clean linen so I could give her one last bath. For the one who made hand and foot prints and clipped a tiny ringlet of her soft black hair. I am thankful that I was able to be strong for my daughter, as I rocked her to sleep, and that I was able to tell her how much I love her. I told her she did not have to fight anymore and not to be afraid. This thanksgiving is unlike any other for my family. I arms may be empty, but I am still thankful that they were once full of joy.