You are Not Your Ashes, You are a Flame

Happy 11 months to my sweet baby girl, Frankie Joy. If you were here on earth with us today, I would be taking a picture of you with a big old 11 months sticker on your belly. Maybe you'd be fussy today, maybe you'd be smiling, I know you'd be chatting up a storm because your Daddy and I are big talkers. Regardless, I'd be posting your milestone on social media and sharing my PRIDE in being YOUR Mommy with the world.

I am using my best gift of grace today and I believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that Em is doing some fun dress up games with you. And I imagine she'd stick that big 11 month old sticker on your belly for me. I can't wait to hear all about your days with Em when I get to you one day.

I'm writing this today because on Thursday, August 10th, we officially laid you to rest with Emily. I know you know all of this, so when I write these things to you, I feel a bit silly. Please know, it's more for me than for you. I truly believe that you have been with Emily for a LONG TIME. Since even before I heard the words "I'm sorry honey, there's no heartbeat." I remember my exact thoughts from that morning before I even went to the hospital. I knew something bad was going to happen that day, but I knew what to do. I had an exact plan in place and a train of thoughts that I couldn't pinpoint where they were coming from. They were Emily thoughts and I picture you, holding her hand, looking up at her with your big brown eyes, and her looking down at you and nodding- promising you that your Daddy and I would be okay. She would guide us. God would show us grace.

So, here we are today.

People love you, sweet girl. So, I'm going to use this life I've been given to share your story and honoring your life by living mine. By truly coming alive.

Leading up to your burial day, we were full of anxiety. Your Dad was being a bit shy about it and I wanted a big, bright, colorful party. Because that's how you are! You're a big, bright, and a party wherever you go.

We got out to Aunt Terry and Uncle Hank's early that day. Your Uncle Mason, Trevor, Great Uncle Hank (we should call him Grank! haha!) and Pap John spent a lot of their time preparing the grounds for you. Your Grammy M wrapped your urn in a piece of the blanket she had been crocheting for you. You're wrapped up tight in a piece of the blanket that says "first"-- you will always be just that. Our first. Pap John had a beautiful steel box made with your initials and birthday on it for your yellow urn to go into. They made a cement box in the ground, as well, just like they did for Emily. They planted new flowers, spruced the place up- Graunt Terry likes to fiddle in the garden and everything was PERFECT. They even made the sweetest little girl stepping stone path to you. It is more than I could have imagined or asked for. I am grateful.

When Thursday eventually came, Daddy and I went out to the garden and put you in the ground alone. Your Aunt Morgo read us a letter from Aunt Katie and Uncle Jon back in Florida and gave us a beautiful stone for the garden with Emily AND your name on it together. We are so lucky you chose them as your godparents. So many of your grandparents and cousins and Aunts and Uncles came to celebrate you. Fr. Harry did your blessing, which I am also so grateful for. He also did Emily's burial and he made sure to call you Frankie more so than Francesca. We blessed you with Holy Water and we prayed together. 

We then ate a big dinner, laughed, shared memories and stories. The night was perfect, beautiful, and full of JOY, just for you.

Want to know what my favorite part was? I bet it was yours, too.

Your cousins play in the garden. They run around in there, laugh, skip, feed the fish-- Willem even tried to throw a frog on me. The garden is loud. They make their presence known. I don't even have to close my eyes to picture you squealing about in the garden with them.

When it came time for us to head back to Florida, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make a final trip out to the garden so say "see ya later" to you. But, we did. In that moment of chaos with all of your cousins running around and playing, I realized what I already knew.....

You are exactly where you are supposed to be.

You are home.


  1. ❤❤❤❤ You are incredibly strong, brave, and inspirational.


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