>sisters, anniversaries, sadness, and joy


Today is the birthday of our second daughter, Coco. She was a glorious and beautiful person, and I believe she still is. There is not a day that passes in which I do not think of her. Being present at the moment of her birth and then of her death indelibly seared my heart. Words do not speak adequately of her life, however short, nor do they reveal her soul. But I think that is true for all of us. We can only convey approximations. We have to live if we want the real thing. Her life was the real thing, and I held her in my arms seconds after she entered the world. I was holding her in my arms when she left us. I cannot be the same ever again.

But who I want to write about today is Coco’s big sister, Lily. It may seem strange to be thinking so much about one child on the birthday of another, but Lily was there through all of this. She was there, and in her kid way she helped our little family get through it all. She thinks about her sister all the time. When she draws family pictures she always includes Coco. And her heart was broken terribly when Coco died. She is a remarkable person, so thoughtful, so beautiful, so tender.

I remember the moment Lily first saw her little sister. Her entire body reacted with utter joy. She is a lover. She is a sister through and through. And how glad she was to have a sister of her own, and to finally be a sister herself. Just yesterday Lily asked her mother to sit with her on the couch, but she kept a space between them. She said Coco was sitting there.

Lily is a beautiful girl. She is smart and she is tender. She is one of the most creative people I know. I am glad we did not keep her from experiencing the story of her little sister, however painful and brief. Lily still talks about having had the chance to hold Coco. And that means everything to me.

Now we have our hands full with another little one. Wilder looks a lot like Coco in some ways. In no way is she a replacement for Coco, but Wilder is also a wonderful and beautiful girl that helps us get through days like this one. I thank God for the girls we have. They are great gifts, all three.

7 thoughts on “>sisters, anniversaries, sadness, and joy

  1. >You and Bella have always been an inspiration to me because of how genuinely you embrace life as God has given it to you. This post made me cry. You do have amazing children…all 3 of them.

  2. >My condolences, Tucker, and I appreciate how you might be feeling. Next Friday is the first anniversary of my 17yo son’s passing away. My 7yo came home this week with a picture he had drawn of his family, in which he had included everyone, including his older brother. It was very moving, and we have it stuck on the fridge. Life tests us, doesn’t it?

  3. >I happened by Bella’s blog today, not knowing it was Coco’s birthday. Thank you both for sharing her precious life with the lives around you. All your girls are special.

  4. >I am thinking of your family today and lit a candle in remembrance of Coco. I thank God for Lily’s tender protection and remembrance of her sister. I know Colin’s remembrance of Gavin and including him in our family long after he died has been a balm to my soul. Even Esther, who never met him, includes him in our family and speaks of him regularly. Peace to you.

  5. >I have always regretted that I never got to know Coco before she left. When I read about her passing in the Four Pages, not only did my heart go out to you both in your time of loss, but it made me reflect on what an impact you and Maricel have had on my own life and how I have let too much time pass without keeping touch with you guys. I remember feeling, as I drove back to Corvallis from her memorial service, some shame that it took a tragedy like this for me to initiate contact with you guys once again, but if it is possible to think that any good can come of something horrible like this, I am grateful for the reminder that we should never squander the time we have with the people we love.Beautiful post, Tuck. Keep fighitng the good fight.

  6. >Thank you all for your comments.What I find so remarkable is how I have been able to feel deeply passionate and emmotional about the whole process, and yet I have never fealt bitter. Perspectives born out of my beliefs about life and ultimate reality have played a huge part in the process. I love my daughter deeply, and yet I know that we all must die; sickness, war, and various tragedies do not increase death, for everyones dies, we are all mortal. But I am not jaded to that fact; I am still moved and troubled by death. I am just grateful that I had the time to know such a precious life so intimately. I hope and pray for the same level of experience – hopefully not through as much difficulty as I – for all of us, for all of you. Thanks again for your comments.Paul, thanks for sharing about the death of your son. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Life does test us, sometimes severely. We lost our daughter not long after the tidal wave in Indonesia and India that killed so many thousands. I kept reminding myself that my tragedy was being played out among tens of thousands. And then I also realized that we know a family that lost a child years ago, but I never really understood what that was like. Now I know something of what it means to go through all that – even though our stories are unique. Thanks again.

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