To my (almost) one year old boy,
Cohen, your daddy and I love you so much. I know we tell you all the time, but we do. When you are in your crib sleeping, we lay in bed and talk about how cute you are and how proud of you we are. We talk about all the amazing things you do and how far you have come. It's hard for me to remember how tiny you once were because you are such a big boy now. It seems like ages ago that we once huddled over your isolette just looking at you, in awe of what a little fighter you were and how someone so small could be so perfect. I still remember the very first time I got to hold you when you were just over a week old. They put you in my arms and I couldn't stop looking at you, my incredibly teeny, perfect baby. I wanted to hold you forever and take away all your pain and struggles, but I couldn't. That was a battle you had to fight, and fight you did. You are such a strong, persevering little boy and I know that will serve you well in this life.
I didn't know I could ever love a little boy as much as I love you. You are adorable with a hint of troublemaker and have your own little sense of humor. You have always smiled at appropriate times like you understood whatever joke or funny thing we were saying. You want to do and see and touch everything right now and we love that about you (although it wears us out)! You seem to capture the hearts of everyone who meets you with your little personality and your one dimpled, toothy smile.
You have also taught us so much. You have shown us what it means to fight and persevere against all odds. You have shown us over and over not to tell you that you can't do something. You have reminded us how to laugh and love after such incredible loss and pain. You are exactly what we need to help us keep living despite the loss of Carter. You are such a blessing and we are so incredibly thankful for you.
We wish with all our hearts that you had gotten to grow up with your brother. We joke with people that you seem to have the energy of two because I think you are experiencing this life for yourself and for Carter. I know it will be a great reunion when you two get to be together again.
Happy First Birthday!! We are so proud of how far you have come and don't take any of your accomplishments for granted. We thank God for you every single day and we can't wait to see He has in store for you. You are an amazing little boy and we love you!