Feast of cecilia Rose

Our beloved Cecilia Rose would’ve been twelve today. It’s not hard to imagine a curly, brown haired, blue-eyed girl being the delightful middle child of the family, just on the verge of teenagedom. 

I imagine she would still love all the things of childhood—her dolls, her princesses, her games, her costumes—just on the eve of thinking about grownup things. She would be, at age 12, the embodiment of that tug we once all felt, between past and present, between what we love and what we think we should love.

She would love to snuggle with me (a real love, past, present, and future), and she would adore her older siblings, while always counseling her younger ones. Her favorite color, I think, would be a hue of violet, and she would cherish the princess stories of George MacDonald. Her imagination would be her joy.

No matter how I might feel on August 7 or August 9, I never feel quite right on August 8. Even if I didn’t have a calendar in front of me, I know that my soul and my body would know that it’s August 8. 

August 8 is a world between worlds, a twilight existence.

Though I never knew Cecilia Rose well in person, the painful hole, the tearing pit, the deep abyss in my heart reminds me that I knew her completely—at least as a child of Christ. It’s a hole that never goes away, and, I suppose, never will. 

At least not until she (please, God!) greets me at the gates of heaven, grabs my hand, and asks me for a dance.

Happy birthday, my Cecilia Rose (b. and d. August 8, 2007).

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