Sunday, February 21, 2010

My little girl

This is how I was able to honor the memory of my daughter at her memorial service yesterday.

My precious Little Lady,

I’ll never forget the day your mom told me you were going to be. I was sitting in my office when an email came in with a picture of the positive pregnancy test. I cried immediately. You were already precious in my heart. For the next nine months, I’d wonder and imagine. We didn’t know whether you would be a boy or a girl. On the day you arrived I was so excited. There you were… my precious little girl. .” You had a name now… Elyse. I’d begin to call you my “Little Lady.” The moment I saw you, my heart began to melt. Standing in the hospital holding you, my mind immediately fast-forwarded 20 some years later where I’d be walking you down the aisle. I was now a Dad to a daughter. Thoughts of tea parties, dolls, crying shoulders, probably a little bit of drama, and holding a shotgun at the door when a teenage boy came to try to take you out. I’d protect you and care for you and be everything you needed from a dad. Knowing the influence that a daddy has on his daughter, I committed on that day that you’d always know that your daddy loved you. And you’d always know just how beautiful you are.

For the two nights we spent in the hospital, you showed me quickly you were different than your brother. You loved being held, and definitely didn’t like being left in the bassinette by yourself. So you’d sleep soundly right up against me. My love for you just grew more and more. It didn’t matter that I was spoiling you. I just loved holding my little girl.

As you started to grow and develop, I got to see your personality explode. You seemed to have a stronger will than your brother. You always seemed to know what you wanted. One of your trademark moves became how you kicked your feet. I’d hear a loud banging coming from your room, only to come in and discover you were simply kicking your feet up and down on the mattress. That patter would repeat itself on the changing table and anywhere else you had a chance to move those feet freely. I was lucky to ever be able to get those socks on you with how much you squirmed around.

When your brother was only about 6 weeks old, he started sleeping all night long every night. I suppose that I had high expectations for you, but those sure wouldn’t last long. Instead, you would figure out a way to wake up probably 6 out of 7 nights in a week. With your mommy being quite the heavy sleeper, and me being the opposite, I’m the one that got to hang out with you. Usually that meant a bottle would settle you down. So we’d hang out for about 20 or 30 minutes on the couch as I’d hold you, pray for you, and sometimes even sleep. Pretty soon you’d be right back to sleep. But sometimes you’d stay fussy. So we’d go downstairs and hang out. You were ready to party. I’d just lie on the floor and try to sleep with one eye open. You would pick out as many toys as possible to play with and usually the loud ones at that. As I look back, I now see that God gave you and me those precious moments in the middle of the nights together, moments the two of us never would have had if you had been a great sleeper. I’m so thankful to God for those ordained times. These are the memories of you I will treasure the rest of my life.

You’ve gone now to be with Jesus. You’re perfect and complete. But in my heart you will always be my little girl. People will ask me how many kids I have. The answer will always include you.

Yet this truth remains… From the day you came into this world, I prayed that God would have His way with your life. I’ve prayed that He would use you to glorify Him. I gave you to Him that day. And He now has you completely, and I know that He’s using you this day and for days to come. Enjoy God’s presence. I can’t wait to be there with you, to hold you again, and to know that His work is final and complete. Your Daddy loves you Lysie Lou.


JohnnaB said...

Love you guys and will miss little Lysie. I don't know how you got through this speech, I know I didn't. Your "little lady" was blessed to have such a loving and awesome dad and mom.

Unknown said...

Glad to be around to walk with you through this. I'll be following your blog.

elda said...

Hi Cliff, this is Elda Coleman. I volunteered at Hume several years ago with River Oak Grace and Chad and Rica Allen. Rica called to tell me the news and my heart is breaking for you and your family. I cried as I read your letter to your daughter and am so, so sorry for your loss. I will be lifting you all in prayer through this time for abundant grace to cover you. Rica also sent me the link to the photos and they were beautiful as well. God's peace be yours.

Denise said...

hi cliff.

i'm denise jones, your wedding coordinator.

your words are beautiful.

i have been praying for you and april (prayer request came from both sierra vista pres. church in oakhurst, and through rica from r.o.g. in oakdale). i pray for God to be glorified, for his mercy, and strength.
i mourn with you your great loss, but celebrate that your elyse (which means "consecrated to God") tangibly lives in "God's love better than life." (psalm 63).

may God lavish his love on you, april, and peter.

Unknown said...

Beautiful, Cliff. That's all I can say...what a precious, loved daughter. She was so blessed.

Tucker's St. Bernard's said...

Cliff, I don't know you but Eric and Johnna are dear friends of ours, your little lady has made such an impact on my family. We grieve for all of you, we shed tears for all of you, we have learned to really cherish each moment we have with our little ones. Thank you for giving us that. I can not wait to meet you little lady someday!!

Zach said...

Cliff, I love you man. I can't tell you how excited I am to see you this summer. Let's sit down and I'll buy you a coffee.