I haven’t written much over the past few years. I will try and do better. Today is Ansley’s Birthday. She would have been 7. I try not to spend too much time thinking about who she would have been or what she would like or dislike. Would she be smart? Silly? Sassy? A girly-girly? Those types of thoughts are not productive for me. What is more productive is to make sure she is remembered within our home.

The week before Christmas our beloved Dog Abbey passed away. She was a few weeks shy of her 12th birthday and lived a great life. I was so worried about how the boys would handle losing Abbey; after all, I was a mess. Abbey had been by the boy’s sides from the moment we brought them home from the NICU, but the boys were strangely at peace. When asked if they were really okay, they asked why wouldn’t they be? Ansley gets to have a dog now, and not just any dog, the BEST dog. It was at that moment I knew I was succeeding at keeping her memory alive. The boys know and love the sister they never met.

Our tradition for Ansley’s birthday is to release balloons with handwritten messages on them. It is our equivalent of sending a card to heaven. The boys wanted to send balloons to both Abbey and Ansley this year, and so we did.