You Were Loved performed by Ashleigh
We have been moved into the pediatric ward in the children’s hospital, and I am sitting in a recliner writing this letter to you because I finally have some time to reflect. Parents usually have the best intentions to write a letter to their children, but always get too exhausted to start one. I felt like I should write you a letter to show you how much you have been loved in the first 36 hours of your birth. Agape is a biblical term for love translated from Greek into English. It is mostly ideintified in the context of Christianity with God/Christ’s love with man. In the past 36 hours, people from all regions of the state of NJ, NY, TN, and VA have taken time out of their day to visit you and shower you with gifts. At this point, the size of these gifts dwarf your size because you are not even 12 inches in length and weigh less that a pound and a half. Tears have been shed along with prayers and wishes. Christians from different denominations have prayed for you while including you on their prayer lists. Agnostics and atheists have reached across their lines and faith to extend their thoughts and well wishes. People have attempted to communicate to us via social networking, phones, visits, texts,landline, and cell phone calls. You are fighting for your life one floor above me with the assistance of machines, medicines, technology, knowledge and qualified individuals, but the gift and essence of life is something you own and can not be replicated by those items. Those items only play a supportive role.
It would be completely untrue if I told you that your parents were perfect in every way. People have faith in you because they have faith in us. They have faith that we are not only going to be the best parents we can be, but also that we will share you with the world. You will soon learn that the world sometimes makes little sense and that you have little control over life. However, you will know that with friends and family like ours anything can be accomplished. None of the battles in life can be won alone.
Your name is Grace Ann Shu. In our opinion, a name is built just like your mother and I have built a home and life together. Grace represents your mother’s great grandmother who looks and sings alot like her and Ann comes from Aunt Shirley. Aunt Shirley was an individual who could never be duplicated. She desperately would have wanted to meet you, because she always wanted Ashleigh and I to produce a child. She passed away last year from her battle with cancer. She was a fighter, but her faith was as resilient as her smile. I had the honor of knowing Aunt Shirley for three years. She was the first to welcome me into the family and her culinary skills were amazing. I found out that your mother’s culinary skills were atributed to the countless hours spent in Aunt Shirley’s kitchen. She made the best deviled eggs known to man. Her kindred spirit could light a room and her presence was irreplaceable during special occassions and holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas were perfect with her, not because there were expensive presents or extensive festivities but because she was the adhesive which made the family come together. Ashleigh and I can only do our best to duplicate the success of her life through our friendships and family. Your presence with us so far has done the same exact thing Aunt Shirley did on a daily basis. You have brought smiles, tears and joys. People have decided to make attempts to resolve personal and professional conflicts to join in the goal to love you. No amount of money in the world could buy those things. We have missed Aunt Shirley greatly and thought that the greatest honor we could give her was naming you in her memory. In 36 hours, we have seen her in you. Her spirit has been somehow fused with yours. Her love catapulted an individual out of the darkness of loneliness. You have done the same thing by allowing your parents to hear stories from friends and strangers spilling their personal stories filled with emotions and tragic experiences. Aunt Shirley has given us the gift to love and listen even more than before.
People have opened up their hearts, tear ducts, and homes for us because of you. The lesson I want you to learn is that the greatest assets in life aren’t measured by money, power, wealth or influence; it is measured by the number of true friendships and meaningful relationships you can have in life. You have been able to make a person smile or cry just with a yawn or a limb jerk. About this time last year Aunt Shirley left us; however, with her last bit of energy she came to my birthday party as a suprise with a grand smile. Shortly after that she passed and that was the last memory I had of Aunt Shirley. She spent the last moments to be a part of my life. You have decided to share your first moments with us, family and friends.
Her passing gave us the strength to have you and to understand the importance of family as well as God’s love of man, agape.
As you get older, you’re going to realize at some point that you will have lots of aunties in your life and they are all of different shades. You will be surrounded by people who come from all different cultural backgrounds, but at the end of the day they will love you unconditionally while providing you with the wisdom generated from agape. This is the greatest gift we can give you.