EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH –
FRIENDS & FAMILY
MAY 1ST – MAY 30th
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 1
A beautiful note from Tracy Dailey, Emma’s mom:
Emma’s birthday month – Day 1 of 30
Oh sweet girl you turn 11 this month. I remember your first couple of birthday’s I would spend on the bathroom floor heartbroken and crying. Never did I think I would have looked forward to celebrating your birthday, let alone celebrating you the whole month of May. Today I got to spend the day hanging out with friends that I have met because of you, and talking about all the big plans we have to remember you. The tears still flow because of how much I miss you, but my heart is so full because of the impact your tiny footprints are leaving in this world. I love you so much and I am so proud to be your mom.
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 2
A heartwarming note from Bryan, Emma’s dad:
Emma’s birthday month: Day 2 of 30
Emma, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about you. I don’t ever want that to change. It’s amazing to see how God has used your life to impact so many lives. Your mom and I are so proud of you. You have helped give us a greater perspective of our time here and what we must do to honor God in all that we do. My flesh longs to hug you, tuck you in, read you stories, play catch with you, dream for you, and even walk you down the aisle. I know one day, there will be a great celebration, and Jesus will be there, and I will see you face to face. But for now, I dream, I hope, I snuggle and read to your brothers, and I love your mommy while she puts on her boots and goes out to finish what you started, for God’s glory. Happy birthday month my love. See you soon!
Love, Daddy (Bryan Dailey)
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 3
Letter from big brother, Jackson
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 4
Letter from little brother, Caleb
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 5
Letter from little brother Bennett:
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 6
A note from Uncle Matt:
The thing that doesn’t fit is the thing that’s the most interesting. You continue to be more interesting and inspirational every year. You are the part that didn’t go according to plan but have since become the plan. We miss you and love you.
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 7
A letter from Aunt Ashley-
Dear Miss Emma,
I stand in awe about the wake you have left behind you. Your little feet have left BIG footprints in the lives of others. I watch mother’s and father’s hearts heal, I watch families come back together, I watch new relationships form, I watch your footprints as they walk outside of Erie border and into other cities across the nation, I watch people find faith, I watch parents start to hope again. I hear your brothers talk about you. I see your parents love you. I find myself daydreaming about what we would do together – play in the rain – make a big mud pit – play basketball (you’d teach me like your brothers of course) – cuddle on the couch and watch a movie. I realized that you are in everything, that you will always be in our hearts, and that is a blessing. You are a blessing. Our tears now are tears of joy because we miss you and we love you deeply here.
I love you,
Aunt Alice (Ashley Westgate)
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 8
Letter from Kristen Schaub Banocy – Co-founder/Executive Director of Emma’s Footprints
I remember the day I met your mom, dad, and brother like it was yesterday. It was right before Christmastime, and they were waiting in line to meet Santa. They were so excited to show us the adorable shirt that was hidden under Jackson’s sweatshirt. It said, “I’m going to be a big brother.” We parted ways, and I never expected to see your little family again. I had no way of knowing what the next few months would be like or that your family would have to say “goodbye” on the day you were born. I remember the second time a “met” your mom. She was shopping at The Limited with your Nanna, and it didn’t take long for me to remember that we had met before. Almost immediately, I said those words…the words that pierce the heart of every parent that has experienced a pregnancy loss….”how is the baby?” And then the response, “um, she passed.” I apologized, and we stood there for a moment, not quite sure what to say. We had a few more “random” encounters and one day your mom said the words that would change my life forever. She said, “Kristen, we should be friends” and just like that, we were best friends.
Emma, your mom is incredible. She is so strong and fearless. She has been by my side for the last ten years, and I don’t know what I would do without her. I dream of the day when I get to meet you, scoop you up in my arms, and thank you for bringing your mom into my life.
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 9
A Letter from my big brother
Yo, what up girl? I’ve always had a burning question for you: “Do you like hot pink?” I hope so. If not, you’ve been a good sport about things.
Pearl is honored that you called her your cutest cousin. You two are a lot alike, except for all that Wildcat swarming around in your system.
What do you think your three brothers have planned for your birthday? My advice…..tread lightly, look behind doors, beware of squirt guns, etc. They’re certainly up to something….always.
Don’t let the others fool you. Eleven is not really a big deal. It’s just a prime number. Ten was a big deal because of its “double digit” status. And twelve represents one’s entrance into adolescence. Eleven gives you one more year in the shadows.
But…..its still fun to celebrate, am I right? Happy birthday!
Unclean J (Uncle Andy)
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 10
This amazing teacher went out of her way to write the letter and message it to me yesterday. I was not expecting it, so it made it extra special 💕
I’ve had the pleasure of having all three of your brothers when they were in kindergarten. They each have their own special personality and I loved them all. I wish I could have had the chance to have you as one of my students. I’m guessing your personality is a combination of all three of your brothers. That makes you a very special girl:) you’re part of a very special family. Happy birthday!
Ms Kupczyk ❤ (Michelle Kupczyk)
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 11
Sarah Hogue Bookhamer is one of the special people who got to meet and hold Emma. She has never left my side on my journey through grief and has seen me through some pretty dark days. God places people in your life who shine their light so bright that in times of darkness you can see which way to go. You, Sarah, are one of those people and you have played such a defining role in my life (and I know in many others) and you have never waivered. I love you friend 💕
You are too perfect for this world and are better fit to fly among the angels. This life is a blink of an eye, and you dancing in Heaven makes it that much sweeter. Your tiny footprints, yet only here for a day, have made more impact on this earth than most people dream of having their whole lifetime.
I am beyond blessed that I got to hold you when you entered this world. You are a perfect daughter of the King most high. Emma, when your mommy and I were together at a memorial picnic and she stopped feeling you move, I began to pray fervently for you. I was gonna go with your mommy, but as I I held my new born premie, Phin, who was just 12 days old, we decided I should stay home.
I wept and cried out for Jesus to save you. I stayed up and battled in prayer till I got the text in the middle of the night, saying your time had passed. I didn’t believe it. I knew the Lord could do a miracle.
The next day when I went in to see you and your mommy I still believed a miracle could Happen. As I held you in my arms, I prayed with all of my heart, there was never anything in my life I wanted more in prayer than for you to somehow come alive. I knew the Lord could do this. I stroked your soft black hair and touched your cute sweet nose that matched your mommy’s, I believed with all of my heart that the most beautiful baby girl could come back to life, right then and there.
But, you didn’t.
I knew the Lord didn’t fail. I just didn’t get it.
Not until your balloon release a few days later.
After the ceremony was done, my dad spoke with your mom and I with tears in his eyes and he said, “Tracy, you know, some day, SOME day when you get to Heaven, and you meet face to face with Jesus, I believe He is going to pull back a curtain and unveil almost like a movie, of all that her life counted for in the Kingdom of God.”
I hung on to that in the depression I secretly battled in for your mommy. I hung on to the truth that the present sufferings are not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us. I also knew that the Lord works everything for the good for those that love him. Romans 8:18 and Romans 8:28. However, I was heart broken that my best friend’s arms were empty and her heart was shattered that she too couldn’t hold her new born.
I prayed day and night for your mommy and daddy when they walked through the valley. I am blessed to have a constant reminder, through My son, to remember your family in all the milestones that they you and Phin would have have crossed together. I will continue to be here for your mommy and daddy to celebrate you and honor you.
I know that the truth my dad spoke is deeply true and I know that Jesus has been glorified through your life and death. We see the fruits already of your mom and dad and many others who have labored to bless, and love on so many people who are hurting. I am so very thankful for your mom and dad for taking the ashes of something so tragic and exchanging them for beauty. I am so humbled at the army of volunteers to make Emma’s Footprints run so smoothly. May Jesus continue to be glorified in your honor. Thank you for giving up your life, as I’m sure you willingly did, to serve so many others- the Bible says there is no greater love than this. I am so excited to see how many people will be blessed in the future.
I am thankful for the love that has flowed through honoring your life and blessing families in their darkest hour. I am proud of you Emma, and I pray my life has as much impact on the kingdom as yours continues to do!
Honorary Aunt Sarah 💜
Sarah’s parents Mark Hogue and Becky Hogue gave us this bell in memory of Emma. This was such a special gift and I know she is talking to me every time I hear it ring 😊
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 12
A letter from Uncle Shaun Dailey
Dear sweet Emma Kathryn my niece! Its your 11th birthday soon!! I often wonder who you’d be today..and what would your laugh be like, and what would u look like. (Most likely very pretty like your mom) And would u be playing sports and athletic like your mom and dad and all your brothers…and what special order dinners Nana up the hill would cook for you like she does for your brothers:) I look forward to seeing u someday in God’s kingdom to find all these things out.
Over the years your footprints have walked thru the lives of many hurting families and sprinkled happiness, smiles, and healing. I have felt so honored to be a part of your great organization that touches and changes so many lives. We love you and miss you Emma! Happy birthday
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 13
We are missing day 13!
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 14
A letter from Kate Spiegel. Neighbor, founding board member, she is like a second mama to me, and we are blessed to have her in our life. Thank you Kate for everything you have done for us and for taking the time to write a letter to Emma. 💕
Every time I hear your mama tell your story I am the one that tears up or downright cries.
She called me that morning and said she hadn’t felt you move since last night. She couldn’t get a hold of your Daddy or Nana so I took her and Jackson, who was a year old, into the doctor. She went into the appointment and I waited in the waiting room with Jackson. I honestly never had any expectation that you would be silent. I thought she would come out feeling much better and we would go home. Never having that loss myself, I wasn’t sure what to say or do. I just knew I loved your mama like my own and felt such a loss along with her. We then went to labor and delivery at the hospital and again your brave mama went back alone while I had to stay in the waiting room with Jackson.
Unlike myself, Tracy can tell your story without crying. She has been able to come out the other side of sadness. I have watched her be brave through your loss, but also to be able to find a purpose through it all. I am sure you are as proud of her as I am and until I can meet you in heaven and give you a big hug, I am going to hug your mama every chance I get.
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 15
A letter from my beautiful grandma Betty Courtright. How blessed am I that I get to be your granddaughter. You are the epitome of grace and mercy.
Dear sweet great-granddaughter Emma Kathryn Dailey,
Happy birthday to you! You were born into heaven on May 30th, 2007. You have been a gift to so many people through your short life, with Emma’s Footprints.
Two of my favorite Christian mottos are: “Lord, help me do what I can, where I am, with what I have.” And the second one is “Lord make me an instrument of your Peace.”
You, dear Great Granddaughter have done both of these things. What God has inspired your family and dear friends to accomplish is awesome. Thanks be to God.
Please know you will always be in my heart ❤. Sending love and hugs until we meet on that Glorious Day.
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 16
This woman walked into our hospital room after we got the news that our baby had no heartbeat. (We did not know if we were having a boy or girl until Emma was born.) I know Jesus sends people into our lives to remind us that He loves us and is in control, and He sent us Carol Wolf Cacchione. She was the light in that dark hospital room, guiding us through those unthinkable decisions, and holding us up as we made as memories we could in those couple of hours we had with our baby girl. Carol, you are such a crucial part of Emma’s story and we are forever thankful for you that you answered the call that God gave you and you walked into our hospital room. We love you 💕
“There is always such incredible mystery surrounding the birth process. One of the greatest mysteries I have witnessed ….and will never fully comprehend….is the birth of a baby born still. The devastation is immeasurable and the agony palpable.
The night that Emma came into this world was no different. In her beautiful perfection, as a child of God, she was, indeed, born still. Yet, little did we know, she was destined to change SO many lives with the love that surrounded her. Could this tiny angel have known the magnitude of all that her life and death would mean to so many ? Could she have known how her “warrior parents” would be driven by her beautiful spirit to bless so many others in her name ?
Just as I felt so blessed to have been present at her birth, I feel even more blessed to realize how she has impacted families and professional caregivers….for years after she slipped quietly into her Father’s arms. On that night in 2007, I truly held an angel. I saw her precious face, touched her tiny hands and feet and marveled at the gift of love that was present during that sad, yet deeply spiritual event. Few of us get to experience this level of love and mystery….and for the honor and gift of knowing Emma …..I AM BLESSED….and most grateful.
I will always think of myself as “Emma’s Aunt Carol”.
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 17
A letter from Emma’s nana Rebecca Westgate. I know she would have loved to come up to your house with her brothers to spend the night and to ride the golf cart. Cooking, gardening, painting are all the things I know she would have loved doing with you. Thank you for the beautiful pink flowers for her birthday.
“Here I am today writing a letter to my granddaughter in heaven. I prayed for guidance on this one, and this is how He directed me to follow through.
To my dear Emma,
As much as I selfishly pines for all the moments that we would be missing in every step of the way had you been born into this world I realized the beautiful purpose that Jesus had for you and all those you have touched. Just as God gave His only begotten son to fulfill His grand purpose, He chose you for a grand purpose as well. Only He can turn our mourning into dancing and clothe us with gladness instead of despair durning our darkest hours. You have touched so many lives in such a short time. Would I love for us to share Nana and granddaughter moments?! Yes, but this is in the flesh that I say this. However, I am so proud of you that God chose you for this special purpose that only you and your mama and daddy could do so perfectly! Happy birthday my sweet girl, I will be seeing you.
Love you 2 much,
Nana “up the hill”
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 18
A letter from Amanda Berk, Emma’s Footprints bereavement coordinator. She is the comforting voice on the phone when you call our Emma’s number. When I started this organization I didn’t think I would ever be able to hand the phone off to anyone else to answer the calls from our families, but God knew what He was doing when He moved the Berk family to Fairview. Amanda is empathetic, knowledgeable, a great listener, and a bereaved mom. I am so blessed that she is part of our team and she plays a huge role in our growth and success in walking beside families on their grief journey. Love you AB!
When we moved to Erie about four years ago I was still trying to find my way after losing my daughter. I had no idea that the missing piece was you and your mother. When my neighbor introduced me to your mother I found that final piece in my healing process. I found community, love, and support. Your life and your legacy are changing lives little girl. I get to see how amazing you are every single day, and I am so very grateful that you and your mother push me out of my comfort zone. You have made me a better person, and you have introduced me to so many other beautiful, strong, and brave people.
You have one heck of a strong momma and because of you we are able to walk this road with so many other mommas as they grieve the loss of their precious babies. I am so proud to be a part of your story, and I will always be amazed at the impact you have made and will continue to make in this world.
Happy 11th Birthday sweet girl. Give Aubree a big hug for me. 😊
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 19
A letter from our next door neighbor Jess Filson. Shawn Filson and Jess were the neighbors I didn’t know we needed, and blessed that God brought you to Lay Road. Thank you guys from the bottom of our hearts for loving us, serving us, watching our boys, walking beside us through hard times, and for all of the sugar and food I have borrowed😂. And the fact that you are birthday twins makes my heart so happy.
“Dear sweet Emma,
Happy 11th Birthday! May 30th is a very special day! You see, it’s my birthday too; we are birthday Buddies!
We moved in right next door in mid-December 2007. At the time, Aniah had just turned 2 and I was expecting another baby in June. Within our first couple of days there, I got a visit from your mom and Jackson, who would be turning 2 in a month. They came over to welcome us to the neighborhood and they brought us a plate of Christmas cookies! It was the sweetest gesture ever! I knew it right then, when brought me cookies, they must be good people!
We had a few play dates where Aniah and Jackson would play and your mom and I would chat. They got along really well and so did your mom and I. Jackson’s birthday was coming up and she had invited us to his party. We got to meet the rest of your family including your daddy, Nana up the hill and Papa Barry, Nana down the hill and Papa Dennis and some other family members and friends. We had such a great time; everyone was so nice and funny! This was also the day I learned about you and that it hadn’t even been a year since. I felt my heart sink a little. I thought about the baby I was carrying at that very moment. I absolutely could not fathom how awful it would be. Then I thought about the girl who I had made fast friends with over the past month. She was as nice as anyone I’ve ever met. She was peppy and funny and always had a smile on her face. I never would have imagined that she was hiding a broken heart.
As winter turned into spring, we played outside and hung out with the neighbors more. One sunny spring day while we were watching Jackson and Aniah play in his sandbox, she opened up and told me the whole story. We were both in tears. I learned how strong your mom really was.
God had a plan, though. He knew that there was something pretty special about you and your mom and dad too. Out of the heartache and pain of losing you grew something more than I’m sure they ever had imagined. Your mom, dad and Kristen created an organization that reaches out and helps those who are heading down that dreaded path and gives support, comfort and guidance as they begin to heal. This is possible because of you, truly, the work of an angel.
We are so blessed to have moved in next door. They are the neighbors everyone hopes for… I have actually borrowed sugar and I have given her eggs and onions. And those Dailey Boys!! They are so proud to be your brothers! They are amazing. As are you, pretty little lady, and everything you have unknowingly accomplished!!
So until the day I get to see you and your beautiful blonde hair and blue eyes that I know you’ll have, I wish you a happy birthday in heaven, birthday buddy!
Love always, Jess (the coolest of the Filsons)
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 20
A Letter from Julie Wheeler-Monroy. I met Julie my junior year of college when she became my suite mate. We became friends immediately and 15 years later I am so blessed to have had you stand beside me as a bridesmaid in our wedding, shared many laughs and tears, and her husband Oscar is even responsible for creating Emma’s logo. I love your girls like my own and even though we have lived miles apart over the last 10 years we make the time to get our families together and your support and encouragement mean more to me than you know. I love you friend!
I always pictured your mama having a daughter… It’s true! An adorable freckled faced mini Tracy. I imagined you with your mom’s wit and humor. I could see you and your mom trading fast talk and hysterical banter. I am sure you would have had her athletic ability and unstoppable drive. Her kindness, thoughtfulness, warmth and love for bbq chicken pizza…. all rolled into one fiery little girl.
I remember the day I received that voicemail from your dad that you were gone. When I heard the unthinkable pain in your mom’s voice. When everything seemed so final and unfair. I remember the dark times that followed which make your story so relatable and real. But it is the light that came next that was so unexpected and empowering…
2 Corinthians 4:6 – Let light shine out of darkness.
There is one thing that changed when you left…. And that is EVERYTHING! I am beyond proud of your amazing mom and dad for turning your story into a legacy. Your little light has shined brighter than anyone ever could have imagined.
One day I hope to see you wrapped in your mama’s arms eagerly listening as we tell you the stories of all you have done. You are so much more then I originally imagined. Blessings come in all forms… And you my dear are a blessing!
Happy birthday Miss Emma!
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 21
A letter from Rachel Elisabeth Lusky. We met 5 years ago in the Chick Fil A play place thanks to Kristen Schaub Banocy. Rach you are one of the most talented people I know and your heart is so beautiful. You are an amazing photographer, singer, mama, wife, and friend. I met you about half way along my grief journey and I am so thankful that you have become a crucial part to Emma’s story. Thank you for all of your time, talent, prayers, and empathy you bring to our organization. Love you friend 💕
I never met you or held you, but somehow you have changed my life and those of so many around me, in our community and afar. Meeting your mom and dad and learning about your story has helped shape who I am today.
I will never forget the day your mommy showed me your photos, and I got to truly see what that day was like for them. How you were so sweet and fragile, how you looked like your brothers… I could just imagine what it would have been like if you had survived and were still here as part of our “Framily.” But even in your passing away, your presence is still seemingly tangible, here with us, everyday. I wish I could have snuggled and held you, gave you a high five, that you could have played with my girls. But your legacy continues on and everytime my bell rings in my backyard I can think of you, sweet Emma.
Because of you, and other sweet angels that have left this world too early, I am using my gifts to help families through that process. Thank you, sweet girl! Hug my cousin Abigail for me in heaven!
#emmasfootprints #breakthesilence #emmaturns11 #1in4
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 22
As most of you know we have been blessed with 3 boys and when I am out with them I get asked a lot “don’t you want to try for a girl?” I usually try and respond that we are very happy with three boys. Sometimes the person goes on and then I have tell them that we have a little girl and that she is in heaven. I have the joy of getting to talk about Emma a lot more than my hubby does, so when this happened to Bryan Dailey yesterday I had to share it. And that pink looks pretty good on you! 💕
“So….the woman at the gas station today who said, “awe, what a good daddy you are to let your daughter paint your nails……..”
Brought joy to my heart. I just smiled and said, yea.”
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 23
A letter from Lindsay Spiegel Metcalfe. My childhood bestie growing up. I have so many stories and memories of us laughing and sometimes even peeing our pants from laughing so hard! Linds I remember exactly where I was when I called you to tell you the exciting news that I was pregnant with Emma. You came back home to visit a couple weeks later and brought me a blanket you had bought the baby. (We didn’t know what we were having so you got a fuzzy cream blanket) I have that blanket to this day because that is the only gift I received for her before she passed away. I love that I can be a big part of Amelia and Miller’s life even though we live 8 hours away. Thank you for all you have done for Emma’s and being such a supporter 💕
I think about you so much and it’s crazy that I am sitting here tonight to write to you. It’s unbelievable to know that you have done so much good in this world from above. I was so exited to meet you. Your sweet Mom, my best friend, was getting ready to have a little girl! When I was younger, I always imagined that your Mom and I would have little girls that grew up together, played sports together, had sleepovers and braid each other’s hair on the bus, just like we had. You girls would fight over boys, just like we had! I remember feeling so broken when you left us. I also remember being so scared to tell your Mom when I was having a little girl. But, your Mom is the strongest Mom around! I know you are so proud of her! I talk to Amelia about you a lot…she knows exactly who you are and she wears her Emma’s Footprints shirt around proudly. I am so glad she knows your Mom and loves playing with your brothers. I think sometimes they are too rough for her though and she would love to be playing dolls with you! Emma, I am proud of you for giving your family the strength and courage to talk about you. You have left a lasting impression on so many people and I am proud to be your Aunt Lindsay!
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 24
I was working in our Edinboro office (The bagel shop) this week with Amanda Berk and a couple in my life group walked in for lunch. Joe Mott and Tammy Loughner Mott sat down and I went over to their table to chat with them. Joe started talking about how he missed his chance and he should have gotten his pinky pinked! He barely got the sentence out of his mouth and I ran back over to my table and pulled the Emma pink nail polish out of my purse. His pinky was pinked in no time at all. Later that day Joe sent Bryan and I this text. We met them last year when they joined our life group and it has been amazing getting to know them and for the encouragement and inspiration they bring to our group.
“Sometimes we go through life quickly and don’t take time to soak up the moments that happen to us during our day. I’ve learned to sometimes go back and reflect on things that happen to me each day. Today after Tracy painted my pinky pink, I left after and thought about the meaning behind it. I’m am very proud to wear the pink on me representing your very special daughter. It’s so amazing everything you were both able to accomplish in her name. To me this color pink represents all the love you have for your daughter, and all the love God is spreading all over, both in his name, and in hers. I’m imagining right now that God has his hand around her and they are both smiling down about everything that is going on and all the peoples lives that are changing as a result of everything that you both do. May God continue to bless you and all the work you are doing.🙏”
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 25
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 26
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 27
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 28
A letter from Stefanie Angeloff-Johnson. I am blessed to call you friend and am honored that I get to play a role in your story that God is writing. You have been a gift in my life, and thank you for taking the time to write this letter to Emma and to help our organization walk beside other families on their grief journey
I’m sitting here at the Waldameer Water Park today with our three kids thinking about you and your mom. I have been so incredibly blessed to have moved to Edinboro. Not only have I met your mom, but now I am able to help other moms like me, who have suffered a miscarriage. I would have never thought that I could guide others through the process since I still grieve the loss of our babies every day. But I have opened my heart more and more to the Lord and to helping others, and it allows me to continue this healing journey.
Unlike most of the other incredible people who have written you a letter this month, I did not know you or your mom from the beginning. I met your mom after you went into Heaven. However, the impact that you and your mom have left on myself and my family, makes me feel like I have known you my whole life. Your mom puts her heart and soul into Emma’s Footprints, and I am so humbled by her love for others and for Jesus.
I know that our babies are your big brothers and sisters up there in Heaven. Please give them a kiss for us, we will be so happy when we will one day get to do that too.
Your impact is profound and I am so proud of you!
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 29
A letter from nana (my mama) Jodi Jackson. She came over the other night and we got to have a glass of wine and chat on the front porch. We were talking about her letter and about that day in the hospital 11 years ago tonight. She was telling me stories about that day that I don’t remember at all. We haven’t sat and talked about that day since it happened, and if we didn’t share that conversation those stories I would not know now. Why? I’m not really sure…..I guess because how do you go back to that day? How do you relive that painful moment that changed our lives forever? What I have learned is that we need to talk about it. It’s not easy, but keeping silent is much harder on the heart. That’s why Emma’s Footprints is making such an impact in our community. We break the silence and give families the opportunity to talk about those days and their baby’s. It is difficult and I’m still learning, but there is healing that happens. Thanks mama for loving my little family so much and for always being a constant source of love in my life.
“Happy birthday Emma,
We usually think of birthdays as happy events or happy days, but your birthday is sad for me because it is the day you were born into heaven. So glad I got to hold and rock you – I will cherish that moment forever.
So proud of your mom and dad and the non-profit they started called Emma’s Footprints in memory of you! Helping others go through the pain and taking one step at a time is what Emma’s Footprints does.
We celebrate your life by pinking our pinkies, wearing pink, working on backyard makeovers, walking, golfing, sewing, cooking, and helping others any way we can.
One of the Emma’s Footprints t-shirts I have shows little Footprints walking or running across the short. The Footprints are moving forward. “Just keep moving forward,” is the wise advice given me by my mom, Betty Courtright. (Great Grandma C)
So, I am following your footprints, moving forward. Some days walking, some days running, but I am moving forward. And, if you turn around and look, you will see – I am right behind.
Love you Emma dear,
Until we meet again
Nana and Papa Jackson
EMMA’S BIRTHDAY MONTH – DAY 30
My beautiful daughter-
Here we are the day 11 years ago that you were born still. Today was full of tears, laughs, friends, ice cream, and cupcakes. We even had a “birthday party” at Grace Church for the worship night where I got to praise Jesus for who He is and how He has healed my heart after losing you. This month has been more than I could ever imagine with all of the pinkies we pinked and did you read all of those notes written to you? You are so loved and are leaving quite the impact on others hearts. Oh how my heart misses you, but Your brothers keep me busy and daddy and I are trying to keep up with all of the work you have us doing 😊. I will keep running the race down here, serving others, loving others, climbing into the trenches with other families, and walk beside them as they find healing as long as The Lord has me on this earth. I love you with every fiber of my being. And I am so proud to be your mom.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to write a letter this month. I will cherish them forever. Thank you to everyone who painted their pinky nail pink and talked about Emma. When we break the silence about pregnancy loss there is healing that happens. Thank you to everyone who reached out to Bryan and I today, your sweet texts, messages, and gifts mean more than you will ever know. Thank you to our friends The Monroy’s who surprised us Saturday from Ohio to celebrate Emma’s birthday with us. Thank you to everyone who played a part in pulling off another epic backyard makeover. Emma girl I can’t wait to see what you have planned next year for your 12th birthday.
If any of you want to support the mission of Emma’s Footprints and help us provide help, hope and healing after pregnancy and infant loss I started a fundraiser. Every donation will go to help a family just like us walk through grief. Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world where no one had to walk through grief alone? ❤