Dear Baby Gi
Well, it’s me. I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. It would have been your birthday right around now, you know. You’d be a chubby baby, with a head full of dark hair like all your brothers and sisters. We’d all have cuddled you and shushed your brothers when they played too loud, because you’d have needed all the sleep you could grow to get as tall as the rest of us. You’d have smiled at a week old and never stopped, because that’s what us cheery Federoffs do. Maybe you would have gone with us to the March for Life last Saturday, and I wouldn’t have felt all achy-breaky inside when I saw all of the babies everywhere and heard friends talking about new siblings.
I miss you, Gi. I never met you, and I miss you. There are a lot of resources out there for moms and dads who miscarried, but none really for older sisters who feel like someone is missing when they count noses at the store. I know that you’re happy, up with Jesus and all the saints, and you’re praying for the family that you left behind before you ever got to them. But I wish you could have been here. I wish I could have helped you draw your first pictures, read you the same Dr. Seuss books a thousand times and still laughed at the funny pictures, made cookies with you, yelled at you when you got into my books and accidentally tore one. I wish that I could see you play tag with your brothers, eat Daddy’s pizza, open years worth of Christmas and birthday gifts, learn the Hail Mary in French from Mom. There are a million memories that never got made, and I miss every one.
I was there when we buried you, up on top of the hill outside the house. It’s the best place to see our beautiful Arizona sunsets, and I know you appreciate that. I suppose you can SEE them, and even more beautiful things, up in heaven. And I know you see us, too, muddling about down here, trying to just live. You’re where we’re all trying to be, safe in the love of God, perfect and whole as you were meant to be. And, Gi, I know I’ll see you again up there. It’s hard not to blame God, honestly. You probably know I’ve already been feeling pretty distant from Him, and this didn’t help. But I know you’re praying for me, because you know now just how much God loves us and you’re just waiting for us to come back to Him, even though it hurts.
Gianna, you were unique and unrepeatable and so, so loved, and I know that I’ll always feel a little empty without you here. But you’re never really gone, now are you? You’re just our own personal saint, and I know you send your prayers and your guardian angel to keep an eye on us. I know you love all of us- Mom and Dad, and Zoe and Pavel and me and Kerian and Isabel and Noah and Liam and Thaddeus and Alexander and Isaac and Sam. We lost you in June, and I’m sorry it took this long to write. You know me, I tend to stick bad feelings down deep so I don’t have to deal. But I couldn’t anymore. Every time someone talks about me having ten siblings, it feels like I’ve been kicked in the chest, because I have eleven. Opening presents at Christmas, I kept feeling like there should have been some marked with your name. I see our pastor, and I remember the happy look on his face when we told him you were coming (one of the only people outside the family who knew) and I think about how he should have baptized you, making you even more part of our family. But even that’ll never happen. But you have something better now, huh? Keep a seat warm for me up there, you know my joints hate the cold.
This isn’t a goodbye, so I’ll say
Seeya soon, Gi.
your (favorite) big sister