I came across one of my little sister, Emmaline, holding Lily. She was 15 at the time. It's hard to believe she'll be 23 this year. In this photo, she's sweetly looking down at her long-awaited and treasured niece. Emma's finger is placed in Lily's hand, almost like her little fingers wrapped themselves around it... as they would have had she lived.
This one photo brought back a flood of memories from the day of Lily's birth. I tear up as I think of how brave my little sister was. I know that it's extremely uncomfortable to even think about a baby dying unexpectedly. How are you supposed to respond? Do you hold the baby? Do you take pictures? For me, there was never a question whether or not I'd hold and meet Lily. But that wasn't such a simple decision for others... my dad never even saw Lily. Neither of my brothers held her. One friend held her, but she had a look of horror and discomfort on her face the entire time. My sweet mom/Lily's grandmother, her daddy, and my sister held her without reservation or shock.
Oh, Bub (what we call my sister). The youngest of us responded so lovingly, gently, sweetly. She wasn't afraid of the pain and unknowns. She took several pictures of and with her niece that night we were in the postpartum room. She clasped her hands together for the photos. She rocked her, and held her, and made memories with her.
She loved her, and this is just how that love was shown. She had loved her all those months of awaiting her arrival. She was the first person besides me to feel her kick.
My brave and beautiful sister. Auntie Em. ❤️