My Dearest Princess,

When you were just a little girl I gave you the moon. We called it “Luna Jilly” and every time we saw it you’d say “Daddy, there’s my moon!” But those were the days you believed I could do anything. And even though I have the Father’s Day cards to prove it, those days are gone forever.

I am the luckiest of men to be gifted with three incredible children. Your big brother Jonathan fought an amazing fight against cancer with a grace and courage that is beyond comprehension. His life was filled with love and hope but in the end, I believe, a weariness that came with a sense of his fate.

But you, Jill, came into this world with an attitude, an unquenchable thirst for life and the most beautiful face I have ever seen. You were meant to do great things and embraced life with a gusto and depth that constantly amazed your mother and me. And I was meant to watch you graduate college, walk you down the aisle, bounce your children on my knee and marvel with loving adoration at MY Jill, my “Luna Jilly”.

I wanted to watch you grow up while you watched me grow old. I thought we had forever and selfishly believed the world of Jill would never end. In fact it is still inconceivable to me that we could lose you, a force of nature, in a mere instant. That you’re not just about to burst into the room with your unique energy, purse over your shoulder, keys jangling and say, “I love you Dad. Big kiss. Muah!” As you had a thousand times.

You need to know that nothing will ever be the same for us. Jason, now about 5 inches taller than you, would love to point that out to you on a daily basis. He came into this world on the heels of his brother’s departure and brought such joy to wipe away our sorrow. He truly is the healer his name implies but he doesn’t have the words to express the intensity of his sorrow. Instead he plays his guitar right outside your door, hoping I think that you can hear him as he plays Stairway to Heaven. He always wanted you to be proud of him and if you could see him, you would be.

When you were born I wrote a poem that I gave to you on your 16 th birthday. Part of it says;

When you stumble

I will be there to take your hand

and wipe away your tears

When you feel alone and frightened

I will be there to hold back

the shadows and the fear

When the world to you seems heavy and unkind

I’ll lift that weight

and hold you in the calm of my heart

When the paths before you make you falter

I will stand with you

for I will not let you lose your way

I’m sorry that I can’t fulfill these promises, that cruel fate has taken you from all who love you. I’m sorry your little brother has to make his way without your light leading him. I’m sorry for your mother and the unimaginable sorrow she bears. But most of all I’m sorry for you, my sweet Princess. What an adventure you would have had. Sleep well my Luna Jilly, sleep well.