Seven years ago, we were just going about our lives. We were just doing normal things everyone else does–watching TV, snuggling up under blankets, laughing, planning, going to work, the kids were loving school, and everything was just about as good as it could be. We had just gotten a new cat, Chloe, who was still adjusting to her new environment.

Who knew that our lives would soon explode like the Death Star and all of those things we took for granted would be gone.

I remember the night before Lily’s accident very clearly. She and I decided to have snuggle time together that evening and we just covered ourselves up with blankets. We whispered silly things to each other, giggled, and talked about things a six and a half year old would talk about. I remember we had an “I love you” contest: who could describe how much they loved the other person the most. We took turns–Lily said “I love you to the moon.” And I said “I love you to the moon and back.” Lily “I love you to the moon and back TWICE.” And it went on like that for a while, until we ran out of heavenly bodies to use. We finally decided on this:

“I love you with ALL the moons, and ALL the stars, and ALL the planets and ALL the suns, and ALL the comets and ALL the asteroids, in ALL the galaxies in ALL the universes.”

This is what I still say to her every night when I tuck her into bed. Every night.

I miss her so much. I miss her spark, her joy, her kindness, her love, her potential, her dreams, her future.

She will never have friends. I see girls her age out and about, doing things teenage girls do. I wonder what she’d enjoy doing now, what music she’d like, what activities she’d be involved in.

She will never be asked out by a boy. She will never get married. Todd will never walk her down the aisle. She will never have children. I will never get to be the mother of the bride, or the grandmother to her children.

It occurred to me recently that we’ve had Lily for more time post-accident than we did pre-accident. This makes me very sad because it makes me realize how much we’ve been ripped off of having a normal life with our beautiful girl.

This is what we grieve every single day.

Every day, we just try to let her know how much we love her, need her, and adore her.

We are grateful that she is still here with us and we can kiss her sweet face and look into her beautiful eyes. The last year has been really good for us and for Lily’s health. She started using a CPAP machine a few months ago and this has made a huge difference in her breathing and pulse ox, not only at night while she’s sleeping, but also during the day when she’s at school or going about other activities. She also started on the Ketogenic diet in January. So far, it’s been going very well and we’ve noticed a slight decrease in seizure frequency and an increase in alertness. These are all wonderful things and we hope to continue to see these improvements continue! We also were able to move into our new home and it is just so perfect for us! We all love the house so much and I am thankful every day that we were able to move here.

Each year at this time, I like to say thank you to those who have helped us and supported us since Lily’s accident. However, every day I think of a kind act, donation, or some other type of support we’ve received. You have all impacted our lives in some way or another and we are truly humbled and grateful for every single thing that has been done to support us.

I can also see how far God has brought our family since this happened. This event completely devastated us and for a very long time, we didn’t know if we’d ever climb out of the pit of grief and despair. We still have many periods of time where any one of us are in the pit again at any given moment. However, we have been able to put the pieces back together very slowly (and it still ain’t pretty) and move on with things as they are. This has been very difficult to do, but I can only say that it’s been with God’s grace, mercy, strength, and redemption that we’ve been able to do that. HE is greater, HE is the REDEEMER, and I praise HIM for what he has done for us. I truly would not be able to even get out of bed in the morning without the strength of God, which is beyond my comprehension.

One thing we want everyone to know is that Lily is still a person with thoughts and feelings, even though she can’t verbally respond to people. When you see her, please say hello, talk to her, acknowledge her. It’s amazing how many people just don’t talk to her or even notice she’s there. I know it’s awkward sometimes, and people are afraid of saying the wrong things. But if you just talk to her like a regular person, it is fine!

So, please remember our Lily. She was a vibrant, kind, joyful, creative, sweet, loving, amazing girl before this happened. I don’t want anyone to forget that. Please pray for her on this hard anniversary and always. Thanks again for all of the love and support we have received and continue to receive from all of you.

Much love,
Melissa, Todd, Bryce and Lily