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Seven years.

That’s how long it’s been since I’ve held you or saw your blue eyes. It seems like just yesterday that our lives revolved around a hospital bed watching you literally fight for your life, watching you give all those doctors a run for their money.

I can remember vividly the night you passed away. We had finally fallen asleep in the hospital chairs in your room, and you were being held by one of our favorite nurses while we got some rest. She came in the room with watery eyes, holding you close, and I knew right then that you were gone. I wanted out of that hospital as quickly as I could. I couldn’t bring myself to be in there anymore.

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The drive home was a blur. I don’t think your dad and I said one word to each other on the drive home. I mean, really, what would we have even said? How would either of us have had the right words to say to each other?

We had just lost a piece of each other, a piece of our family.

How would we ever survive that? How would we navigate this? How would we make it through this?

We got home, and I grabbed your sister. I needed her with me. She slept curled up next to me as if she knew I needed that. It was the first time we had even slept in our bed in almost two months.

Seven years later and it still hurts like it did that night. The emptiness and sadness don’t sting like they once did. It doesn’t pierce through my heart thinking how I would ever go on. It comes and goes thoughit’s not constant like it once was. I can go days without crying now, but then there are days like today when I can literally feel my heart breaking, and the tears can’t stop coming down my face.  

I’m not supposed to be sitting here figuring out what we are going to do this year on your wing-a-versary, yet here I am. Thinking. Nothing seems right.

Nothing seems like it would do justice to you being in Heaven for seven years already.

But, in reality, will it ever? Will anything ever match up to the fact you are in Heaven and not here with us? No, it won’t.

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Seven years changes a person. I’m not the person I once wasthat person is long gone by now. But this new person I’ve become . . . well, she’s a fighter and that’s what you taught her. You taught her to have a different outlook on life.

You taught her not to let the living room messes bother her so much. You taught her to keep fighting for whatever it is that you want in life and don’t give up when things get hard. Not to let the little things get to her because she knows how easily they can be taken away. How you can go to sleep one night with a healthy baby and wake up the next morning to your whole world shattered.

She knows that whenever a butterfly comes by it’s you letting her know you’re close by. It’s those days when I feel like I can accomplish anything. It’s you sending me extra love to keep me going. It’s telling your story as often as we can to keep your memory alive.

So here’s to you Andi Michelle Perry . . . seven years later and you still continue to change my life day in and day out.

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Lauren Perry

I’m Lauren. I’m a mama of three girls, two earthside and one angel in Heaven. My husband and I have been together almost 11 years now. Our middle daughter Andi passed away at 11 weeks old to a rare genetic disorder called Tuberous Sclerosis. Each year as a family, we work towards keeping Andi's memory alive through the TSC Alliance. Our goal is to keep her memory alive in our everyday for as long as we live.

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