I was only able to hold her for a much too short eleven days, but she accomplished so much for someone so little.
My grandmother-in-law wasn't too fond of me. She would snipe at me at every opportunity. I wasn't a good enough housekeeper, I went to the wrong church, I dressed inappropriately. After Ianna, our relationship improved to the point where she asked for me when her husband of almost 50 years passed.
My father-in-law had been backsliding. After Ianna, he re-evaluated some things and started going back to church.
In fact, everyone involved re-evaluated what was important in life. My family (which is a large one), Jason's family, hospital staff. One of the nurses told me she was inspired to further her medical degree and work in research.
While I am still not completely over the tragedy, and I'll probably never be totally, the life lessons learned from my young daughter's eleven short days will be with me forever.
The stone marking where she rests simply reads: A mother holds her children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.
Happy Birthday, Ianna. I love you.