Dear Ann Catherine,
I'm writing this as part of my effort to document your journey of learning about Melissa. When you are grown, I want you to be able to look back and see the progression as you learned more about your twin sister: what she means to our family and what she means to you.
When you were a baby, I was so fearful of this time. I worried that once you began asking questions about Melissa I wouldn't have the right answers. But now that it's here, I relish talking with you about your sister. After all, she is as much a part of you as she is me. Maybe even more. There is something so incredibly special about talking to you about her.
This past Saturday night, the most beautiful thing happened. We spent the evening decorating the Christmas tree that belongs to you and Lily Baker. At bedtime, you asked your daddy to pick you up and carry you to the tree. When he did, you kissed the angel at the top of the tree and said, "Good night, Melissa," followed by the sweetest words I could ever hear you say:
"Sissy loves you."
Sissy loves you.
It was the first time I had ever heard you tell Melissa you loved her.
I stood there frozen. You walked over to me with a huge grin on your face and said, "What, Mama?"
"Nothing," I answered. "We all love Melissa, baby."
As long as I live, I'll never forget that special moment.
Sunday after church, you asked me when Melissa was coming back to Earth. That was a tough one as I explained to you that she wasn't coming back. She was in Heaven. You said you wished she could come back and I told you so did I. But I explained that she did come to Earth when she was born and I told you about how I held her in my arms.
Those conversations are always the hardest to explain.
Then, as He always does, God followed it with laughter. You and LB were outside "helping" Daddy put up the Christmas decorations. All of a sudden you came running inside shouting, "Mommy! Mommy!"
When you found me, you had a very pressing question.
"Mommy, will Melissa get more presents than me for Christmas this year?!"
I asked why you wanted to know and you answered, "Because she's in Heaven and there's a lot more people up there to give presents!"
I laughed out loud because only a 5-year-old would think that way. I told you that I didn't know about the presents, but I did know that Melissa would have an unbelievable Christmas celebration in Heaven.
May you never stop asking questions about her, Ann Catherine. And may God continue to give me the words to say to you. I miss Melissa so much this time of year, but it is so comforting to know that she's on your heart as well.
God is good.