It’s Christmas Eve.
A year ago today, unbeknownst to us at the time, we received a very special gift.
At my parents’ house, after the extended family left, we pulled out the fetal Doppler and found Joanna’s heart beat for my parents to hear. It took a minute, but there she was, galloping little heart beat, perfectly pounding away.
This would be the last time we heard Joanna’s heart beating.
Tonight as Bill and I celebrate Christmas Eve just the two of us in Virginia, I’m thinking back on last year, remembering how her heart sounded, remembering the happiness of family as they celebrated not just Christmas, but the joy of new life – a life we’d been waiting so long to hold.
Though only a few days later we would hold Joanna, the life gone from her body, we still held the greatest gift.
Our daughter, our first born, our dreams come true. Though this Christmas is hard to celebrate fully without Joanna, the gift of her life and the gift of her in our hearts makes it a little easier.
We are grateful for our forever Christmas gift, Joanna Rose.
Merry Christmas, dear ones. May you find peace and joy in your hearts this year.