You guessed it. Today I am grateful for my ray of sunshine...Averie. You may have heard this before, but this is my very best description of Averie. She is the sunshine, crammed into a tiny little body. This little girl is the most fun, wildest, craziest, most hilarious little princess you could ever meet. She has set a Guinness world record for speed charming. I don't think there is a person alive or dead that Averie couldn't wrap around her little finger in 60 seconds or less.
I grew up an only girl with four brothers. It was very lonely for me most of the time. I love my brothers dearly, but I really missed out on that special connection that sisters get to have together. When my first child was a boy, I wasn't surprised because I just thought that babies were boys. Then when my second child was another boy, I was still okay with it because I was excited for Ethan to have a brother. I actually thought that because of my all brother upbringing that I would be a perfect mom of all boys. When that doctor told us that our next baby was a girl, I didn't believe it. It took three more ultrasounds for me to be convinced. I realized that I wanted a girl so bad that I had tried to prepare myself for the opposite so that I wouldn't be disappointed. I was absolutely elated that we were having a girl, but what surprised me was the fact that John was ecstatic. He never voiced a preference one way or the other, but that little girl was the apple of her daddy's eye.
I can hear Averie's little voice now saying, "Daddy, Daddy, watch me.", and then her sweet dad saying in his cute little voice that is reserved only for his princess, "What babies? That is so awesome!" Those two were inseparable. She was on his lap, his shoulders, holding his hand or just right next to him whenever he was around. At the funeral, she didn't understand what was going on. She heard people say that her daddy was in the casket, and at first she thought it was just silly. As the day went on she kept asking when we can get her daddy out of the box. Then as the days went on she would not just cry, but scream "Somebody save my daddy from the box." She screamed and cried like that for about two months. We could drive past road construction, and she thought that her dad was under the pavement and she would get upset. To this day, she has to look at a picture of her dad holding her before she can go to school, or go to bed.
Though all of that is as heartbreaking as it is, our little princess has been such a wonderful blessing to me. She is the one that can make us laugh when we are all upset. She is the one that brings the light into the room. She is the reason that I push myself as hard as I do. She has taught me that even though there is pain and sadness, there is also joy and happiness. She is just happy to be alive. Life with Averie is always an adventure, and I love that about her. Mama loves her Averie. (She loves to pinch my cheeks and say, "Averie loves her mama")
This is the story of one woman's navigation through grief following the loss of her true love, and husband of almost eleven years. Questions of who am I now, questions of how to raise the kids alone, and leaning how to live again will be confronted, hopefully in a positive and meaningful light.