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A letter to my Dahl on your 2nd birthday

Our angel is two. Our sweet girl, how does it feel like you are somehow older, in a way? I think it’s because the last two years were the busiest of all our lives.


These two years were filled with trying to find answers for what was “wrong” with you, and for that I feel conflicted; guilty that it was such a priority and a rough road; so many tests, pin pricks and blood draws, phone calls crying in frustration to insurance and clinics, a thousand visits to doctors and therapists, and so much paperwork… but I know it was a necessary thing. What I do feel 100 percent guilty about was that I spent so much of your life willing you to make gains, and being so disappointed that you were passing milestone markers and they were getting further and further behind us. I focused so much on what you weren’t able to do, and my days were filled with some hope but a lot of worry and anxiety, instead of just enjoying my new beautiful blessing of a daughter.


I know I’m allowed to mourn and grieve, because this is a tragedy, what you’re going through and how different our lives will be, but I want you to know that I’m sorry for the way I was the last two years. I’m sorry I did those things above. I let you down.


Like I said, I worried so much about what you weren’t doing, and pushed and pushed you to make gains. But you know what? You don’t have to do anything! If you make a gain, great. If you don’t, great. Everything you are, everything you do, is enough for me. You have the brightest smile, the deepest, funniest, goofiest laugh, you love to hold my hand and walk, with your big waddle butt and your other arm swinging. You say “nananananananana” in a deep low voice and then laugh so hard when I laugh back. You get excited to eat, and you love to brush your teeth, you’re so serious about it. When the toothbrush stops buzzing you throw it into the sink like a badass mic drop. You love to swing, play outside, have us sing songs to you, you LOVE books, you sleep great, and you give the best hugs and cuddles. It’s incredible. You’re incredible. You are so happy and lovely and cheerful (most of the time). I’m so glad you are so happy. Your brain is doing all it can, and it’s awful that this disease is working against it, but you have no idea, and couldn’t care less. You are enjoying your life to the fullest. Of course I will always hope to hear some words, see you walk, and I pray you’ll prove to be a higher functioning BPANNER. But if you don’t, or aren’t, I’m okay with it. I won’t ever compare you to any other child, not even another BPANNER, again. Because it does not matter. You have already knocked it out of the park being you. You’re a whole person no matter what you do and accomplish; you’re my daughter, my Dahlia, and your heart and soul is the most important thing. And, best of all, you love me so much, every day. I couldn’t be more privileged to have you in my life, to raise you, to learn from you, and I’m here to soak every delicious day up. You be you. Because you are perfect as you are.


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Jenny Wildvank

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