Today you are four months old.
And we survived this month. We survived your first cold. We survived your return to newborn sleep habits. We survived your first wedding, where you proved yourself to be a very calm and mellow baby. And then you screamed the whole way home.
And we survived the death of someone I knew. I have thought for hours about how I would go about explaining death to you, and truthfully I can't think of a good way to tell you that eventually the people we love leave us. Life offers us many tragedies, but this is one of the greatest. It is never easy to say goodbye.
My hope, Charlie, is that we will all have a long, happy life together as a family. I want this more than anything. The day you were born was truly the greatest day of my life, but like anything great, it was so complicated. Your entrance into this world was accompanied by more pain and sorrow than I would ever wish on another human being, but it's not your fault. It's just the way it happened. I have spent all these months trying to come to terms with it. I'm not sure if I'm there yet, but I am closer to moving through it. Not past it. Through it.
Because this person, the one who died? She was a wonderful woman, and she had complications during childbirth. Her daughter was removed from her the way you were removed from me, but the difference is once I woke up, I stayed awake. And she didn't. She is lost, forever. She never got to see her baby in the flesh, and she never got to hold her. Her daughter will never know her touch or her voice or her smell. Charlie, we are so incredibly blessed to have each other, to have this family.
There are many people in the world who are not as lucky as we are. And it's our job, our duty, as human beings to be kind to them. I know that I haven't always been the best person I can be. But you're teaching me how to be better. Just by being you.
You are truly the best thing that has ever happened to me. From your chubby little cheeks...
...to your sweet baby tummy...
...and your scrunched-up, yet peaceful sleeping face...
....and your lopsided, full lips...
...you are an absolute wonder to behold. You have taught me what it means to be good.
I want you to always know just how much I love you. No matter how many times you wake up during the night, no matter how much you spit up on me, no matter how loudly you cry, no matter any of that, I will love you with everything I am until the day I die. And then, beyond life and in that great unknown, I will still love you.
Yes, there is no good way to tell you that eventually you and I will have to go our separate ways. But Charlie, I will always find you. Even after we're separated, I'll always be a part of you - and you of me.