Ever since I was Ella's age, I wanted to be the mom of a little girl.
When I lost Riley Grace, that dream shattered into a million pieces for me.
The following year, when I held a healthy, beautiful, living, breathing newborn Ella that dream was fulfilled.
Today, we attended the funeral of a dear lady we went to church with, Ms. Margaret. We were her neighbors for a little over a year. She was good to us, and I'll never forget the sweet red-haired lady in the pink suit who always told me "you look so pretty, but your hands are FREEZING!" every week at church. She truly was the picture of grace and dignity, and we were blessed to know her.
I sat in the back pew and Ella sat next to me. At one point, Ella leaned over and whispered, "Mom, she's home now. She's with her husband. But you know what? We need to pray extra for her family. They're going to miss her so much."
Those words stayed with me as pictures of Ms. Margaret flashed by on a screen. They stayed with me while I watched some kids giggle during the preaching. They stayed with me while my daughter sang "Victory in Jesus" and whispered along with the preacher while he read from the Bible. They stayed with me as she went over to her friend, Ms. Margaret's great-grandson and comforted him while he cried.
I am raising a young lady of grace and dignity.
Someday, she will grow up.
Someday, she will spread her wings and fly away.
Someday, she will have a family.
Someday, she will wonder if she's doing it right.
Someday, she will wonder about being a woman of dignity and grace.
And I hope someday, she will realize she always has been that woman.