Sunday, December 11, 2016

7 Begins

December brings the reminder that Lily would be turning a new age soon. She'd be 7 in just 3 months. It starts when December 10th and 11th roll around. You see, Josie Duggar turned 7 yesterday, on the 10th. And Lily's cousin, Owen, turns 7 today.

The reason I remember Josie's birthday is because she was due on March 18th, 2010 and Lily was due on March 14th, 2010 and was born on March 16th, 2010. I remember when I was pregnant with Lily and finding out that Michelle was pregnant with Josie and thinking it was special they were due just days apart.

And then of course little Josie was born over three months prematurely, spending time in the NICU. While this tiny girl was fighting for her life, my Lily grew big and strong in what should be the safest place on Earth, in her mother's womb. 

But Josie survived to see her 7th birthday. And Lily did not... even though she was in the best place I thought she could be. I sometimes think if Lily had just been born a few days earlier, she would have been born alive. It's difficult to know that she could have survived for literally months outside of the womb before the time she was born, yet she died because she was in the safe place. It's all so hard to wrap my mind around.

Josie Duggar will always remind me of Lily. Seeing her grow up some on the 19 Kids and Counting television show just blew my mind to know my girl would be that big too. They are equally as real and equally as important and cherished by their families.

And then Lily's cousin, Owen, turns 7 today. Owen is my first cousin, Daniel's, son. I have written many times about how Owen and Lily are boy and girl cousins born three months apart, just as Daniel and I are boy and girl cousins born four months apart.

As the years have passed, honestly it has gotten a lot easier for me to think about Owen growing up and to see photos of him. He is absolutely adorable! But each year on his birthday, I am reminded afresh of the little girl who should be having a birthday close behind him.

I wish I was feeling amazed at how fast my daughter is growing up, how the years are flying by... but instead, I am sad that the years are flying by, but my daughter will never grow up. She will always be a baby.

You can read all the posts I've written about Owen through the years by clicking here.

I thought I'd share some special photos of Owen, Daniel, Lily, and I...

With Daniel 7 years ago this month - shortly after Owen was born and Lily was growing away! I actually still have and wear that shirt!

Daniel and I visiting Lily's spot around Thanksgiving 2013, shortly after her permanent stone was installed.

This photo was taken during the summer of 2010. I didn't even know I had this picture until I found it on a disc a couple years ago. It was the first time I met Owen and would have been the first time 3-month-old Lily would have met him too.

Ins't he a cutie?! :)

Daniel and I when we were little... how I wish Lily and Owen were in pictures like this together too!

But instead, these are the only sort of pictures they'll ever take "together." Each year, Owen makes a birthday sign in honor of Lily and takes a photo to send me. I really treasure those photos. Each year, he grows bigger and she stays the same.


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