I had great plans for this month. January is Emma’s birthday month and I planned to share a myriad of Emma stories and lessons I learned from her five years of life.

But something else happened. Something I didn’t fully expect, even though this dance of grief and hope has been the rhythm of my life for quite some time.

 
 
Does love end with the final breath?

Does it stop when one no longer walks the earth?

This question twirls and spins about my mind of late. Not because I’m about to breathe my last. No, I’m thinking about my precious little girl, my Emma. Her birthday is near and thoughts of her life crowd my waking moments.

 
 
She would have turned 17 this year.
I can’t imagine the length of her hair or the hue of her eyes anymore. The sound of her voice and things that would make her heart beat fast elude me, this sweet girl's mama. Would her face resemble mine or would age have morphed her into someone I never got to know?

 It’s been far too long since I last held her sweet frame, but I’ve learned so much since she breathed her last. Healing. Hope.  Redemption. Lessons about God’s character I may not have learned any other way, though I still would’ve chosen a different path for my life, for hers.