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I touched her hair today. The delicate, fully-formed, angel-baby droplet plucked intentionally off heaven’s tree and placed in my belly 10 years ago. The sweet child who came out with heaven’s flowery fragrance still on her tiny rosebud lips. The one who made me a momma.

I held her close today. The one who’s nearly 11 now and over half our time together has gone in a blink. The one who still lets me hold her hand in semi-rare instances and read to her before bed some nights. The one who still curls up in an infant-like stance, lying on my lap like she once laid while squished inside my womb.

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I stared at her face today. The face that looks a little like me and a lot like the father she has only faint memories of. The face that doesn’t hide her feelings well and is always telling me what her heart is screaming to convey. The face that documents my own moods, pen and paperless.

She is miraculous. A ball of cells and skin designed specifically and intentionally for a purpose.

She is beautiful. A portrait painted by the Most High, her face displayed in heaven for the souls in waiting to see.

She’s my daughter—a mixture of her parents’ best parts, and her Creator’s character, and I’m darn lucky to be the one picked to shepherd her existence while here on this planet.

I don’t take for granted the seconds I get to spend with her because I know the clock is ticking and time slows down for no one.

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Right now I sing to the tune of constant motherhood, but when she leaves, I’ll learn to sing a new kind of motherhood song. One that echoes from a deeper cave. One of groaning, of reaching, of wishing I could go back in time to age 10 again.

But for now, I will smell her hair, hold her tight, memorize her face, and try my darndest to prepare her for the life she is about to live.

Because she is my daughter. And I am her momma. And tomorrow is coming—another day closer to assured departure.

Originally published on the author’s blog

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Lori Jude

Lori Jude is a Kentucky-based writer and managing editor for Bridges Magazine––a long-standing lifestyle magazine that circulates throughout the Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio Tri-state area. Lori loves to encourage those enduring intense seasons of suffering on Facebook and on her blog www.themessybeautiful.org. She, her two children, and their two dogs currently reside in Ashland, Kentucky.

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