There's someone I'd like you to meet. This is my niece, Taylor.
Isn't she pretty? I love how this picture captures her beauty and shows her fun-loving personality. Taylor was born on December 5, 1996 to my brother and his wife. Their first child. She had the most gorgeous mop of curls when she was little and the cutest dimples. Oh, and her beautiful blue eyes -- wow.
Taylor went on to become a big sister to three more little ones...all girls. Yes, four gorgeous daughters! Quite the handful, I'd say.
What we didn't know that happy December day, was that there would be no more birthdays.
Taylor tragically passed away on March 18, 2013, exactly one month ago today.
It's hard to put in to words the emotions surrounding a loss like this.
Actually, there really are no words.
My brother and his family had only recently relocated to a new city, so they decided to come back home and have the memorial service for Taylor here where she spent most of her short life. They stayed with us while they went through the heartbreaking task of preparing for and attending their firstborn daughter's funeral.
I decided soon after Taylor's death that I wanted to get a new charm for my bracelet in her honour. I found two charms that I liked - a heart that said 'Sweet 16' and a pretty butterfly - but was having trouble deciding on which one I ultimately would buy.
After my brother, sister-in-law and their three adorable daughters had collected their belongings, said their good-byes and left for the long ride back to their new home, I noticed one small, seemingly insignificant object left behind that someone had haphazardly stuck in the chain of our kitchen table light fixture.
I knew then what charm I was going to get.
Spread your wings and fly, beautiful butterfly. We love and miss you dearly.