Dear Charlie Hope,

I have written you before (and usually publish it on my blog), but this piece is a little different. It’s a letter that Jeff Henderson asked me to write you.

He didn’t include too many specific instructions, though, so I can still say basically whatever I want.

I read yesterday the heartbreaking story of a couple of lost their baby. They were going to deliver the baby and hope to hold her and read to her for the scant few minutes she was alive before her birth defect took her life away.

I was already in tears at that idea, but then after 9 months of waiting, the worst happened. Their little girl died in the womb before she was supposed to be born.

I can’t even imagine that kind of devastation. To go from the joy of knowing you’re having a child, to the sadness of knowing she won’t live long, finally to the bittersweet hope of at least looking into her eyes and holding her in your arms for TWO MINUTES before she passes on to the next life, and then EVEN THAT tiny glimmer of hope being ripped away.

I read that and I couldn’t WAIT to see you when I got home. To see your smile, and hear your laugh and try to read you a bedtime story (you don’t really pay attention to them yet) and just hold you in my arms, and feel your breathing.

I just want to say that I’m SO glad you’re on this earth, and you’re happy and healthy and alive and my daughter.

I hope so much that I can be a good father to you, and show you a little slice of what our God’s love is for you. I can’t begin to equal it, but I can hopefully show you a glimpse of a fraction of its measure.

Jesus loves you, little Charlie Hope, and so do I.

Love,

Dad