James and I have been constantly humbled over the last few days by the outpouring of love for us and our family. I look out today and am humbled once again. Until this point I have not really understood the power of community but I get it now. Thank you to everybody near and far for everything, it’s too much to put into words.
After being told we could never have children we thought that Murray was our only gift, our precious little boy, his daddy’s mini-me. And lo and behold 7 months later we were blessed with me being pregnant again with our darling sweet little Bella. She was a little fire cracker from that moment. She was in a hurry to get into the world and almost made an appearance at 27 weeks. We managed to persuade her that the world wasn’t that exciting just yet and that staying inside mom was the better option. And so on 1 February, at 37 weeks, she couldn’t stand the suspense any longer and she entered our world. I remember so clearly her being placed in my arms for the first time, and her quietly staring into my eyes, and embedding herself into my heart and soul forever.
What a little darling she was from the outset, our princess, our gift, our blessing, Our Belsie Poopie Pops, Murray’s sissie. She was the easiest, sweetest baby, and just laughed and smiled at everybody. Her brother Murray was her particular favourite, her little eyes following him around the room, reaching out to touch his face, and to shower him with smiles. She crept into your heart from the moment you met her, those beautiful blue eyes sparkling at you, welcoming you into her life. And as much as Murray is a daddy’s boy, Bella was a mommy’s girl.
She was a strong willed little girl, not sure where she got that from, and she let you know what she liked and what she didn’t. Such a little chatterbox, and so determined to do things. As soon as she had learnt to master the art of sitting she was already trying her damnedest to crawl, and was doing a pretty good job. She would bang those chubby little hands on her high chair to get your attention and squeal in delight.
We had so many dreams for our daughter – to watch her grow up into a fine young woman, to achieve big things, to make a difference in the world. We will never get to see what she grows up to look like. We know she would have been warm hearted, kind, spirited, beautiful inside and out, and most importantly just a good, decent human being. I particularly had dreams of doing all those “girly things” with her that mom’s do and had even dreamt of her wedding one day.
I have been reflecting on the things I would have wanted to help her know through her life – there are so many things – life’s lessons – and here are just a few that came to mind.
1.) Value and love yourself. There are so many pressures out there. Be steadfast in your values and be confident and true to who you are. What you are inside is so much more important than what you look like outside
2.) Always be kind and patient. You never know what people are going through. Treasure and love them and leave an indelible mark on their lives just by being you
3.) Hard work, determination and a bit of well timed good luck will get you almost everywhere
4.) Family above all else. They are the only people in the whole world who will support and love you no matter what
5.) Always go for intelligence and decency over good looks. It may be the jocks that you are attracted to at school, but they aren’t the ones you want to marry
6.) Don’t fall for the first guy that comes along, experiment. Find out who you really are and what you really need and want. Live life on your own and be happy. Then you will find your true prince. When you do, remember that men are different. Don’t try to understand everything or mould him, just embrace him
7.) Always have financial independence – and make sure the house is in your name
8.) Let your dad teach you some practical DIY skills. How to change a light bulb, use a drill, change a car tyre. There is a reason Carol and I were called “Carl and Simon”
9.) And most importantly, mom, dad and Murray will always be here for you, without question
It seems quite fitting that we had Bella christened in the Bishops chapel 2 weeks ago and made those promises for her. It gives us a good amount of peace.
Connie and Christine – she was as much our child as she was yours and I know you both feel her loss as if she was your own. You are part of our family now and always.
My darling, treasured husband, how blessed I am to be able to call you that. The best father in the whole world. I commit to you in front of all these people, that we will get through this, together, as a team. We will be stronger for it, we will help those less fortunate than us who don’t have the support we do and who experience similar tragedies, and most importantly we will treasure our children every moment of every day.
There will be an unfillable void in our life for ever that will never go away. We are blessed to have had her in our lives for the little that we did, but life really doesn’t seem fair to have stolen her from us so soon. We had so many more things to teach and show her, and her us.
Precious Belsie, hand in hand with my mom, your granny Lindy and your other granny, your daddy’s mom Marjie as well as our special Sass, look down on us. We will do everything possible to make you proud of us. Your dad and I love you more then we can ever explain to you and we always will. We promise to take good care of your brother Murray Pops and to ensure your presence lives on in our home and lives. We will celebrate you in simple ways every day. Goodbye my darling girl, I love you.