“The angel in the book of life wrote down my sister’s birth,
and whispered as she closed the book “too beautiful for earth”
In loving memory of my sister Danielle Christine – 11/23/1995 to 11/25/1995


Oh Danielle… I don’t even know where to begin. I miss you so much. It’s taken me 16 years to build up the courage to articulate publicly how I’m feeling. So many people have asked me about you, and I always well up and shut down inside. I’m always lost for words. In denial. The thing is… my head is screaming. It goes into overdrive. It’s a hard feeling to shake.

I can’t believe it’s been 16 years since we said goodbye. It feels like just yesterday.

I was extremely excited to have a little sister. I remember begging Mom and Dad when I was much younger to give me a little sister. I just didn’t understand why it wasn’t that easy. Little did I know that they had been suffering through recurrent miscarriages. When I found out Mom was pregnant with you, I was overjoyed. I was going to have a little sister. I couldn’t wait to meet you. Little did any of us anticipate the outcome.

Mom’s water broke mid-October 1995. She tried so hard to hold on to you. She stayed in the hospital at Women’s College not giving up hope. She was placed on bedrest. She fought tooth and nail for you. On November 23 – just a month and a half before your due date – you were born. Very quickly  after your birth things became a downward spiral. We should have been rejoicing in your arrival, rather we were all fighting for you to hang on. You were severely underdeveloped. You were on life support. Your digestive system wasn’t functioning properly. It was painful to see you suffering. You were so perfect. So precious. So fragile.

Dad picked me up and brought me by the hospital on the 23rd to meet you. Seeing you hooked up to all the machines freaked me out. Mom and Dad tried to reassure me that you would be okay. I couldn’t bring myself to hold you. I was terrified of hurting you. After the visit, Dad took me to school and promised me that we would go back on the 25th to visit with you.

I remember the 25th of November 1995 vividly. I woke bright and early. I was so excited to see my little sister again. I had built up the courage. I was going to hold you this time. I was going to get my picture taken with you, so I could show my friends what a proud big sister I was. I ran downstairs to get Dad and Mom. I wanted to head to the hospital ASAP. That was when they asked me to sit down. Dad was holding Mom tightly. I was sitting on the couch across from them.

Mom and Dad informed me that they had made the difficult decision to let you go. It wasn’t fair to have you living in the condition that you were. You were just shy of 3 days old when you earned your wings and flew with the angels.

I remember feeling so angry, so cheated, so hurt, so alone. I was so pissed off. I just didn’t understand. After hearing the news… I ran. I ran hard and fast. I collapsed by our mailbox and broke down.  It’s all a blur. It was a nightmare. I just wanted it to be a bad dream. How can someone so little not get a  fair chance at life. It was just so unfair.

Years after your passing, I felt numb. I missed you so much. I didn’t like to let people in. I was afraid of being judged.

I regret not holding you. I wish I had just sucked it up and did it during our first and only meeting.

I really started to open up about your loss around your 14th birthday. I was a new Mom. I gained a whole new perspective. I can’t even begin to fathom the pain that Mom and Dad must have felt to let you go. There is no pain greater than having to let your child spread their wings. Mom and Dad may not speak of you often, but I know they miss you a great deal. We all miss you more than words can describe.

This past Wednesday should have been your 16th birthday. It would have been a huge milestone year for you. You would have been learning to drive. On your second last year of high school. Getting ready to decide what you wanted to do with your life post-secondary. The “what-if” game has been plaguing me a lot more recently. It can really be a vicious and cruel game sometimes.

What would your personality be like?
Would you look like a spitting image of D and I? 
Would you have a boyfriend?
What colour hair and eyes would you have?
What type of music would you like?
Would we have been close?
What if you held on until your due date? Would you still be here now? Would you be healthy?


There are so many things… thoughts. Cycling. I know I’ll never get my answers, but that will never stop my inquiring mind.

I carry your memory with me everywhere. When Cadence and Cameron are old enough to understand I will speak fondly of your memory to them. I’ll tell them what a beautiful strong fighter their Auntie Danielle truly was. We miss and love you so much sweetheart!

“If tears could build a stairwell and memories a lane, 
I’d walk straight up to heaven to bring you home again.”

9 Comments on My Sister… My Guardian Angel…

  1. Insane Mamacita Brandy
    November 25, 2011 at 7:20 pm (6 years ago)

    I was in tears reading this. Thank you for being brave enough to share your s and your sister’s story with us. As heartbreaking as it is, remember that she is always watching over you and will walk with you throughout your life. I know somewhat what you are going through as I lost my mom 10 years ago. It’s tough losing someone we love.

    Reply
  2. Tara
    November 26, 2011 at 12:21 am (6 years ago)

    Also in tears. You may not have held her, but at least you got to meet her, and were old enough to have such strong memories of her. Your babies are lucky to have a mama that knows the fragility and value of the little ones she has been blessed with. I know there isn’t a single second that you take them for granted.

    Reply
  3. Tammy
    November 26, 2011 at 3:25 am (6 years ago)

    I was in tears too! Thank you so much for sharing your story! I cannot imagine how hard that was on you! She is watch over your family! ((HUGS))

    Reply
  4. Nicole
    November 28, 2011 at 2:49 pm (6 years ago)

    Thank you all for the love and support! I had a good cry as I wrote the post. I needed it. I had been sleeping so poorly last week. I wouldn’t even call it sleeping. I saw pretty much every hour roll by for several nights.

    A lot of people don’t seem to understand why I get in the emotional state that I do each November. It’s not that I’m sad. I just get tearful remembering all the beautiful memories and my beautiful little sister. The sadness has lessened over the year, but the beautiful memories will always be there. So will the what ifs.

    It’s taken me 16 years to get this off my chest, and I’m glad I have. I know some people thing this post was selfish. Many others think it was a beautiful. For those of you who have been supportive and offered love. I thank you!

    ~ Nicole

    Reply
  5. Cheryl
    May 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm (6 years ago)

    Oh honey, my heart broke for you. Such a wonderful tribute to a little girl who was taken far too soon from your family. Thank you for sharing your story, and I hope it can begin healing the huge hurt in your heart. <3

    Reply
  6. Margo b
    November 23, 2015 at 7:16 am (2 years ago)

    This story brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing. people must remember life is short, enjoy now not tomorrow because you never know what tomorrow will bring. So sorry for your loss hun.

    Reply

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