May 19th marked the one year date that our beautiful daughter Isabelle was suddenly taken from us by viral meningoencephalitis. She was loved and adored beyond measure and this tragedy ripped our world to pieces. The anniversary weekend was a solemn one, and we kept it quiet and close to home - just as we wanted it. Little was different about it from any other day as Every Day we long for her to be here with us, Every Day we shake our heads at the fate we were dealt, Every Day we miss her. That will never, ever change.
While we would give back every life lesson and every ounce of perspective gained from this horrific experience to have her back, we have had no other choice than to take each other's hand and put one foot in front of the other. With that, it means that we continue to celebrate our children and the joy and laughter they bring us. It means that we ride the rhythm of our family, centered around being together, what's for dinner, bedtime hijinks with our little funny guy and the delight of watching a beautiful newborn grow. When you see us or speak to us, you will see us smile and laugh. You may hear us mention "Isabelle used to do (this or that)" with ease and casualty. You might see us choke up. We are navigating this new normal of ours the best we can. One thing is certain, she will always be acknowledged in our home and when you speak her name, it truly warms our hearts.
This year has changed us, but not our goals, not our hopes and dreams, and not our right to happiness. Isabelle gave us 2 years and 299 days of pure sun-shiny joy and that is what we try to focus on. While we could fill a stadium with the painful realities of enduring such a colossal loss, it is dwarfed only by the sparkle, love and laughter she brought to our lives.
Laugh, love, hug & blow bubbles,
- Kelley, Richard, Sebastian & Olivia