A Letter to Carter

I wrote this letter to Carter a few days before we buried him. My dad read it out loud at the service, and then the letter was left at the cemetery with him. I tried to sum up our 39 weeks together in one simple letter, but there are not enough words to justify how much that time meant to me.

Sweet Carter baby, 

It feels like our time together was too short to put into words. But at the same time, there aren’t nearly enough words to adequately describe our love, gratitude, and happiness for the nine months we got to spend with you. 

You were my little buddy while dad was away for work, even before we knew you existed. We got to take you coast to coast on adventures, and they were always infinitely more enjoyable knowing that you were right there alongside us. You said good morning and good night with your fierce, little kicks, and I know your dad and I are both grateful for the nights you kept us awake with your tiny hiccups.  

Many of my memories of you consist of food-you are my son, after all. I’m grateful I got to experience what your teenage years would be like, while I plowed through six bags of pizza rolls and felt you kick with delight. Dad was disappointed in your brief distaste for ice cream, but we hit that thirty-week mark and were fully reassured that you were indeed another ice cream loving member of the family. 

My favorite memories with you don’t revolve around food, though. I’ll never forget sitting on the bathroom floor crying tears of joy because you had turned us into a family. The day after Father’s Day when your dad got to feel you kick ever so lightly for the first time before being gone for ten days. The night I called him at two am crying because you were kicking so hard, and I just felt so happy and blessed to know you were alive and healthy inside me. We still laugh when we think about how you used to dance to all the best music, and how you would jump every time my ankles popped. Even before meeting you, we knew you had the silliest, playful personality. 

It’s not fair that you were taken from us before we got to play or snuggle or teach you anything. Our hearts have ached constantly since the minute we lost you, and they will never stop. Our only relief is to know that you did not have to feel any earthly suffering. We would take this pain a thousand times over if it meant keeping you safe. 

We will always remember your handsome face, long feet, and those squishy little lips you got from your dad. And we will never forget all the happiness, laughs, and light you gave to us over the last nine months. You will always be our perfect, playful, tender, sweet boy. 

You were with us on our adventures, and we know yours are far from over. Fly safely, sweet boy. You are in our hearts forever.