‘As I held you for the very last time before you passed away, you glanced at me with a tranquil stare. You smiled ever so softly.’

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To my dearest son, on the anniversary of your death,

As I lay awake in the middle of the night, my heart is racing while memories flood my mind. Exactly five years ago, we were preparing to say goodbye to you. I bravely walked into a store in search of that perfect little outfit, something soft and warm to wrap you in as we said our final goodbyes. Exactly five years ago, you took your final breath. And my life would never be the same. While you may see me with tears in my eyes, please know my heart is beating with love and pride. You, my sweet son, brought me so much happiness in your short time here.

Your tiny features were absolutely perfect, even at only one pound. That adorable button nose and those ten little fingers are pieces of you that I memorized. As I close my eyes, I picture your blonde “Parker hair,” wild and care free. Your curious eyes opened wide and never wanted to close. Your eyes darted between nurses and back to your family, not wanting to miss the world around you. You, my sweet son, were beautiful, a perfect blend of mom and dad.

Your short time on earth was enough to see your personality blossom. While your sister kept nurses busy with her diva-like antics, you were content to just watch with your calm disposition. Your laid back personality won over the nurses and everyone who had the privilege of meeting you. As I held you that final day, you glanced at me with a tranquil stare. You smiled ever so softly as I rocked you in those peaceful hours. You, my sweet son, were the angel of the NICU.

There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think of you and your sister in Heaven. I picture what life would be like if you were by our surviving triplet’s side. Would you be that calm boy from the NICU, allowing your sis to pull your hair? I picture you playing football and t-ball, while your dad coaches from the sideline. I picture your laughter and contagious smile, a boy well liked by everyone he meets. You, my sweet son, are loved by so many.

There are moments when my grief creeps up, consuming my mind, body and soul. And sometimes it’s guilt that takes over, a tearful moment wondering why my body failed you. It’s on those days that I find myself pouring through pictures and videos of your 55 days on earth. But, rather than dwell, my heartache turns to happiness. Your body may have been weak, but your inner strength was unbeatable. Sometimes the best things come in small packages and you proved that on the day you were born. You, my sweet son, have helped me see the world through different eyes.

You taught me not to sweat the small stuff in life. You taught me to embrace every single day; tomorrow is never promised. And thanks to you and our other triplet angel, you have given me new purpose in life. My life changed forever at 6:12 in the evening of August 16, 2013. The moment you took your last breath will always be etched deep in my heart. But, as the years go by, I’m finding joy by honoring and celebrating you in all that I do. You, my sweet son, may be gone, but you will never be forgotten.

Courtesy of Stacey Skrysak

This story was written by Stacey Skrysak, an award winning television journalist based in Illinois. You can follow her on Facebook. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.

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