My Dear Aveline,
I remember the first time your mom told me what she wanted to name you. I instantly fell in love with your name. It was only a little while until I started calling you Ava. My heart melts every time I say it. Your name was chosen before we knew you would be our little girl. When we revealed your gender to our family (it was also a fun surprise for your mom and I too) I think many were expecting you to be a boy. Our family had quite a few girls. In my heart, I always wanted a little girl. I can’t tell you the joy I felt when I saw that pink paint splattered all over the place. Your mom and I were supposed to cover one another, but I being the person I am could not manage to get that paint on your mom. It was only a huge hug that got that paint all over her. The experience itself was one of the many about you that I will cherish forever. That feeling of knowing that you were going to be my precious daughter… that I was going to be father was my proudest moment.
I pictured rocking you to sleep, holding you in my arms, consoling you when you were sad. I pictured holding your hand and simply walking through the store, or while going for a walk, or just hanging out together. I pictured all those father-daughter dances, the many firsts and of course the evil boyfriends you were bound to bring home. I knew from the moment I saw you the first time, the flawless beauty (from your mother) I saw in your face that you would be chased by boys, for a very long time. I of course would make sure that they knew you were my little girl and you always would be and should anyone ever break your heart I would destroy them. My dreams as a father were shattered the day that God took you from us. I am trying so hard to do everything I can to make you proud.
Ava, it is my belief that Dads protect their daughters at all costs no matter what. There is no greater responsibility as a father that I can think of. That fateful day when we were racing to the hospital in that ambulance, I begged God to save your life and your mother’s. I told Him to take me. I wish to this day that he had accepted my offer, as you would be here in your mother’s arms. She misses you so much. The pain that I see her in when she pleads for you to come home is so heartbreaking. This is aside from the fact that I wish for my own selfish reasons that you could be here. You were supposed to be my little girl that I was going to show the world to.
That is why I am consequently beyond sorry that I couldn’t save you. I would give my life a thousand times over and over again to save yours if all it meant was you were here with your mom. I can’t help but feel that I failed you Ava. I couldn’t save you. It is my deepest regret and I will never forget it. I hope that you can forgive me.
I want you to know that as you and I talked when you were here and before you were laid to rest, I love you so much. My time on this earth will be spent never forgetting you. I will always love you and you will always be my first child, my little girl. I hope that someday we get to meet again so that you can tell me all about the amazing things you are doing in Heaven. If that time does come, I also hope that I can tell you what I have done with my life since you left. I want so desperately for you to be proud of me and most of all, if only one time I just want to hear you call me Dad.