To my dearest Parker on the anniversary of your death,
It's hard to believe it's been three years since you left this world. August 16, 2013 is a day I will never forget; a day I can picture so vividly in my mind. While a little piece of my heart went to heaven along with you, I smile through the tears and heartache. You, my sweet son, brought me so much happiness in your short time here.
Your tiny features were absolutely perfect, even at only one pound. That adorable button nose and those ten little fingers are pieces of you that I memorized. As I close my eyes, I picture your blonde "Parker hair," wild and care free. Your curious eyes opened wide and never wanted to close. Your eyes darted between nurses and back to your family, not wanting to miss the world around you. You, my sweet son, were beautiful, a perfect blend of mom and dad.
You taught me patience and perseverance; you showed me that I am stronger than I ever thought possible. You taught me to embrace every single day; tomorrow is never promised.
Your short time on earth was enough to see your personality blossom. While your sister kept nurses busy with her diva-like antics, you were content to just watch. Your laid back personality won over the nurses and everyone who had the privilege of meeting you. As I held you that final day, you glanced at me with a tranquil stare. You smiled ever so softly as I rocked you in those peaceful hours. You, my sweet son, were the angel of the NICU.
There isn't a day that goes by when I don't think of you. I picture what life would be like if you were by our surviving triplet's side. Would you be that calm boy from the NICU, allowing your sis to pull your hair? I picture you playing football and t-ball, while your dad coaches from the sideline. I picture your laughter and contagious smile, a boy well liked by everyone he meets. You, my sweet son, are loved by so many.
There are moments when my grief creeps up, consuming my mind and body. And sometimes it's guilt that takes over, a tearful moment knowing that my body failed you. It's on those days that I find myself pouring through pictures and videos of your 55 days on earth. But, rather than dwell, my heartache turns to happiness. Your body may have been weak, but your will was unbreakable. Sometimes the best things come in small packages and you proved that day in and day out. You, my sweet son, have helped me see the world through different eyes.
You taught me patience and perseverance; you showed me that I am stronger than I ever thought possible. You taught me to embrace every single day; tomorrow is never promised. And thanks to you and our other triplet angel, you have given me new purpose in life. My life changed forever at 6:12 p.m. -- the moment you took your last breath. But, as the years go by, I'm finding joy by honoring and celebrating you in all that I do. You, my sweet son, may be gone, but you will never be forgotten.
Stacey Skrysak delivered triplet in 2013, more than 17 weeks premature. Her first triplet, Abigail, passed away shortly after birth. Her son, Parker, passed away after nearly two months in the Nicu. Today, she has one surviving triplet, Peyton, who is a healthy and happy 3-year-old.
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A version of this post originally appeared at: http://www.perfectlypeyton.com/2016/08/to-my-son-on-the-anniversary-of-your-death/