By: Robbie Parker
I can’t believe you are turning eleven
Seems like yesterday you would have been seven.
Can I tell you again, how it all began?
May 2006—the weather was turning warmer
Your mother was pregnant, getting everyday larger.
We went to the doctor who didn’t seem happy
That her blood pressure was continually rising.
The next morning we scheduled you for induction,
An appointment for your birth? What an odd introduction.
We went in and waited as the induction progressed
Till your mother was lying uncomfortably in bed
“Its time, start pushing!” The young nurse said,
Then we all saw the top of your head.
A few more pushes—you flew into the world.
The first time I saw you, my sweet little girl.
You gave out a cry, what a beautiful sound,
When our eyes met, felt like no one else was around.
They wrapped you in blankets and gave you to me
Officially a father—instead of father to be.
My heart started pounding inside of my chest
A feeling of love so strong, immense and intense!
Took over my life in a flash, in an instant!
It all happened so fast, I couldn’t believe it,
My old life was gone. Where it went? Not a clue.
All I knew, my life now, was devoted to you.
I’ll never forget that powerful day
Meeting you first on the 12th day of May.
And then you grew and our family did too.
Two more daughters came, not long after you.
That love from the moment we very first met
Never stopped growing. That surprised me, I admit.
It filled my whole soul in the blink of an eye
Never thought I was capable of fitting more inside.
Then you were taken. As quickly as you came
And that love I had…turned into pain!
My chest was not full, but empty and vacant.
That love was gone. I just couldn’t take it.
It stayed that way for a very long time
When one day I felt something…extraordinary…sublime
It was unmistakable, so familiar to me.
I felt you again, my heart started to beat.
Where did you come from? Where have you been?
Then it was gone, just like it began?
I still felt my heart pounding, the love wasn’t gone
But stayed with me, I realized, I had been wrong.
The pain I was feeling is not an absence of love
But simply an expression of that boundless love.
I miss expressing my love for you so,
Tickling your sides, seeing the crunch of your nose.
I miss my girl in my arms, my girl making messes,
With her scissors and crayons, dressing up in her dresses.
I miss all those moments—memories can be painful
But the love is not gone, the love is more…Beautiful!
So, Emilie, I thank you and my God, for this love.
This precious gift given me from up above.
This love is a treasure that I’ll treasure forever.
Although I want you to celebrate your birthday with me,
I’m so glad knowing you, and our love, is for eternity.
Until the day when our eyes meet once more
When my heart in my chest feels as it did before;
I’ll simply say, Happy Birthday, sweet number Eleven
Besides, I’m sure the parties are much better in heaven.