Angel here and many of you know I lost my daughter Kathern to SIDS. Today is her 17th birthday and our family still celebrates her as if she were right here with us.

All of these years later and people are still afraid to mention my girl for fear of upsetting me.  I really appreciate the concern for my well-being but talking about my precious girl brings me more joy than you could ever know.

The more we talk the more she lives on.  I find the greatest pleasure in speaking her name and sharing her life even though short-lived.  She made a great impact on who I am as a mother and person.  I value my other children more.  I have raised them to take hold of life and live it to the fullest because you never know when it could be gone.

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Our family often talks about Kathern on a daily basis.  Especially, Charlotte, which in a way speaks volumes to how we handle her death.  Kathern is the second oldest of my crew of five.  Parker, who is about to graduate this year was just 18 months old when she went to be with Jesus.  I promised myself and our family I would share her life with her siblings, and others and I have kept that promise.

We celebrate holidays with her in mind and on her birthday we always take her balloons and have cake or cupcakes (whatever the kids pick out).

Over the years I have gotten used to mentioning Kathern in conversation first.  When people ask me how many children I have and I say five and then show them a family photo only to have one absent.  Some never say a word but I can always tell what they're thinking and then the other brave souls who pose the question "I thought you had 5 kids?"  I explain I have 4 earthly babies and one in heaven.  Usually, it is a quick apology and a mortified face.  I am always fast to reassure them I understand and then I tell them about my girl.

Memories and pictures are all I will ever have so getting to share those over and over help me to keep her alive and well in my heart.  It's therapeutic honestly.  She lives on through each of us who talk about her.

I have always loved listening to my son, Braden, and youngest daughter, Charlotte speak of her.  When Braden was just five I was laying down with him one night and looked at his sun-kissed freckled cheeks and asked him "where did all these freckles come from?"  without missing a beat he said, "mommy those are all the times my sister came down from heaven and kissed my face!"  As you can imagine tears streamed down my face knowing he was telling the truth.  He has always loved her so much even though he never met her.  Now Charlotte giggles when she says her name and swears she is her best friend. She tells everyone about her sister and says she gets to live with Jesus.  I'd like to think the two of them would be thick as thieves having to handle all the boys in our house.

Each family is different but ours chooses to celebrate the life of our Kathern as much as possible.  We remember her in our prayers and conversations and every so often I catch a glimpse of her through her siblings right here on earth.

The pain is still so real all these years later but I thank God each and every single time I remember her that he gifted my baby girl to me over any other mother in the world.

It's been a long 17 years without her but knowing I can share her with friends and family gives me comfort until the day I am able to see her sweet face again.

Today we will pick out her cake/cupcakes, head to the cemetery, and sing her a song.  We will laugh and definitely cry and we will praise God he allowed her to take a breath on this side of heaven.



Angel's Daughter Kathern Elizabeth


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