From Mateo's mommy, Joanna Blanding
My dearest Mateo,
It'll be one year soon since you left for heaven. Truth is, it still feels like yesterday when your daddy and I said goodbye to your swollen body at the hospital. Tears soaking your infant clothes that I wish I had taken back home with me. I wish to this day that I had gone to your cremation, to have fetched your urn, to have visited your friends at the ICU who continued fighting for their own lives. But I had no energy left with me those days. I know I should just think of the happy thought that you are playing with the best of friends you could ever have, but it's still a struggle to appreciate heaven when I'm not there with you.
You have been such an amazing gift to our family. You are my angel. I miss our cuddles, our dances while you doze off in the carrier, and our many adventures with daddy and André.
Your brother is growing up to be such a gentleman. You'll be so proud of him. He asks about you often, and I try my best not to cry whenever I answer his question, "When is Mateo coming back?" And I try not to laugh when he tells strangers "Wash your hands or else you'll die like my brother!"
Your daddy remains to be the strongest and kindest person I know. He helps me survive bad days, and cheers me on all the time. I know you rember how funny he is with his jokes and accents.
I've changed so much, Mateo, you know. I enjoy now just staying at home for days. I am more careful about keeping everything around daddy, André and myself clean and disinfected. I don't want to have another reason to blame myself if anyone in our family gets sick again. I am still battling with that. I'll soon fully forgive myself. I also have lost a bit of excitement about things that I used to be passionate about. I'm still building back my faith that God loves me even if He took you away from me. I know it's not something to be proud of. But it's also the truth you have to know about mommy--that mommy also gets hurt. Very hurt. I'm still trusting Jesus, who you are now very close to, that He will come to me and give me back my passions.
I hope you meet my friends' babies who are also in heaven now. I don't know how it works, but maybe you can tell Jesus to send the babies' mommies lots of hugs and kisses every day. Tell him please to save some for me too.
I miss you sooooo much, Mateo. Your laughs, your cries, your silly noises. I will try my best to uphold your legacy of compassion for children who don't have anyone to fight for them.
It may still be a long wait for us to see each other again, but I'll wait, my baby. I love you. ❤️
#MightyMateo's parents document their journey through grief towards healing.