Lila smiled and flirted with all the flight attendants, including the one who picked her up out of my arms on the plane, only asking afterwards if it was alright (umm, no?) She did not cry when I rudely put her tiny toes in the freezing cold Pacific Ocean for my photo op. She did not fuss at the countless relatives that were meeting her for the first time and wanted to pinch her cheeks and love on her. She did not complain that she slept in everything other than her crib for five nights. Including a dresser drawer, blankets on the ground, a port-a-crib at the hotel circa 1987 and her stroller.
And most of all, she made my heart smile on this sad trip. She let me snuggle her way more than she usually wants while I cried at my grandma's funeral. She silently sat very still as I sat in the funeral home, staring at the shell that used to be my favorite playmate growing up, now lying peacefully in her coffin. She made my dad smile and laugh as she sat up for the first time, only hours after he had buried his mother. She was our reminder that life goes on and with the passing of one life, another one is just beginning.
May the road rise up to meet you,
may the wind be ever at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face
and the rain fall softly on your fields.
And until we meet again,
may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.