It started out like any other night. The universe gave no warning.

The mayhem of bathing and feeding nine small children enveloped the icy evening. The chaos of PJs and bottles and bedtime kisses consumed the house.

Even at its most insane, this house radiates a love that is hard to describe. That night was no exception. 

You lay, contently in your swing, watching the ‘middles’ and the ‘bigs’ move through their evening routine, the other ‘smalls’ rocking along side you. The fire crackled, evening turned to night.

Mamma noticed something different and scooped you up for a cuddle and a kiss amidst the mundanity of the normal night. It was quarter past six. 

Something was off. 
She sensed it immediately.

‘My love. I think it’s time’, the words whispered from her lips.
Daddy looked startled. 
Big sissie started to sob.

Everyone gathered around you. You lay peacefully in mamma’s arms. The middles gave you kisses and went off to bed, too little to understand fully what was going on. 

Mamma and daddy, big sis and your big brother jumped into bed with you. The same bed that you had slept in for all of your days, nestled into daddy’s chest. 

The space was sacred, inviolable, beautiful, so peaceful. 
Your breath was gentle. Your eyes looked tired.

You were surrounded by love. You were cloaked in cuddles. You were showered with kisses. 
Whispers of reminders of your strength were spoken into your ears.
Sweet lullabies filled the room. 
Your brother brought you gifts of soft toys from around the house until the bed was a tower of teddies. 
Your sister let her tears trickle onto your forehead. 
Daddy held you close. 
Mamma rocked you more.

We breathed with you. We willed your little heart to keep going. We told you it was ok to go. 

Time stood still. 
Time flew by.
Hours went past.

And then, as peacefully as you had graced the world with your presence, you took your final breath and slipped away, in mammas arms, surrounded by everyone who adored you.

A piece of us went with you. 

‘What is your emergency?’
‘Our baby girl has stopped breathing. Our baby girl has no pulse.’

We held you longer. 
Kissed you again. 
Rocked your sweet little body in our arms.

The siren sounded at the gate. The energy shifted. The machine showed no heartbeat.

‘Time of death, 8:53pm’.

Something inside mamma and daddy died too at 8:53pm on Wednesday 5 August 2020. 

We knew this day was coming. Your doctors had warned us all. But no warning prepared us for the depth of the love that we would have for you at the time your sweet little soul left this earth to be with the angels. Nothing about knowing that your life may not be as long as others made your departure any easier.

It’s hard to believe that two weeks have gone by since we held you in our arms. It feels inconceivable that It was two weeks ago, today, that you left this earth, our precious girl. 

We miss you so much it physically hurts.
You were magic.
You were light.
You were the purest form of love.

We’ll love you forever.
We’ll like you for always.
As long as we’re living,
Our baby you’ll be.

Fly high with the angels our ladybug, our Strong Princess. The world is never going to be the same. You were spectacular.