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Dear Dakota....

Dear Dakota,

It was not that long ago that Uncle Bill and I were standing in line to pay our respects to the parents of an angel. As we waited in line, I listened to everyone talking and speculating how the parents were doing. It brought me back to when we had to say goodbye to you and how helpless those around us must have felt. As we stood in line, tears just ran down my face as the pain of that time came rushing back to me. I ached at what those parents were going through. I ached at what we all still go through every day without you.

It has been almost nine years. That still does not seem real to me. You are still that beautiful angel that I held in my arms on that February morning. It still is so surreal to me at times. I look at how big Mason and Madisyn are and can only imagine what you would look like. Act like. Sound like. I will never know. The one thing that I know for sure is that your life had so much meaning to me. To all of us. Without you I may not have learned what is really important in life. You have taught me patience and forgiveness. You have taught me what is truly important and what I should not waste my time on. It amazes me how some people spend their lives searching for the answers and it took an angel in my arms to show me.

I was recently asked who has influenced my life. One of my responses, was “My niece Dakota”. When I said it, I was somewhat surprised, but not really. Your brief time with us in this world has taught me so much about myself and about life. I know I say it often, but you taught me to be a better person. You have taught me to want for more. You have taught me that I am more. That we are all more. When we lost you, just like other families that lose an angel too soon, I spent a lot of time, needing to make sense of it all. I tried to rationalize it. There is no rationalization.

Over the years, I have learned to look at all problems, challenges and difficulties in my life as opportunities. Losing you was an opportunity for me to help find myself. To make myself a better person. I didn’t want losing you to be in vain. I needed there to be a reason. You opened my eyes to the things that are really important. I needed to create a purpose for your short powerful life. For me, your purpose was to help me have better insight. To teach me to slow down. To teach me what is important. To teach me I don’t and never will have all of the answers and that is ok. I need to be grateful for the process of being in the moment and knowing that there is a higher purpose for all of us. We just need to slow down and listen to what the universe is telling us.

I will never stop missing you or loving you and I will never stop being grateful for the impact you have had on my life… you are one of the greatest influences in my life and I love and thank you for that.


Auntie Francine and Uncle Bill

In Memory of Sloane Elanjian

May 30, 2012 – October 9, 2012

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