Scarlett Rose was born perfect. Perfect size, perfect weight, perfect pink, soft skin. From the day she came into our lives, on July 20, 2010, she was a happy child with so much love she couldn’t contain it.
At restaurants, she would harass other patrons with toothy smiles and persistent waves. At gatherings with children, she insisted on hugging every other child – to the point that the other kids had to push her away or she would just keep hugging them. We gave her so much love, she had to spread it around.
Scarlett loved to dance. To anything. To the dry cleaner commercial on TV, or to a phone ringtone. And she loved to sing, her recent favorites being ABCs and the Spiderman cartoon theme song.
She had a big vocabulary for such a little person. She would attempt to say any word you asked her to. Before we were aware of her early ability to mimic, one of us accidentally called someone an “a-hole” in front of her – and she immediately turned to us and, with a quizzical look on her face, said “Apple?” So from that point on, bad drivers and other annoying people were called “apples” in her presence.
And boy could Scarlett eat. She would try almost any food you put in front of her. Her favorites were fruit, cheese, and any sweets we would indulge her with. But above all else, she wanted whatever anybody else had – even if it was the same exact thing on her plate. We still hear the echo of her voice when we sit down to a meal… “More? More? Done!”
Scarlett was as girlie as they come. She loved frilly dresses, sparkly shoes and baby dolls; and stole Mama’s jewelry so often we had to buy her a set of plastic necklaces, bracelets and rings so she could have jewelry that was all her own. The first thing she did in the morning was come downstairs and put on her jewelry. Then she’d prance over, lift her necklace for us to see, and say “Neckies!”
If there was any child without fear of animals, it was this one. Scarlett loved, and I mean LOVED horses. Jeremy once brought her up to pet a couple of large carriage-pulling horses. The horses’ heads were bigger than she was, and she delightedly squealed and kicked in Jeremy’s arms as he helped her pet their noses. And of course, she asked if she could hold them.
“Hold you?” was her favorite question. She asked to hold those horses, she asked to hold the bears at the zoo, she even asked kids and animals on TV if she could hold them. When Scarlett looked at you with those big blue eyes, happy or sad, angry or joyful, and said “Hold you?” there was no way to resist. You had to hold her. And then she’d probably beep your nose or kiss your eye.
That echo of her voice is what is both keeping her alive in our hearts and breaking them at the same time. Every time we put on a hat or drink our coffee, we hear her – “Hat, Mama, hat. Hat,”; “Hot coffee, Dada”. We can feel her blowing on our food to cool it, tackling our legs as we stand in the kitchen, flopping on our lap and asking to have her back scratched. Her spirit was so big, and so bright, that even with her body gone we can still feel her every minute of every day.
Since both of us work out of the home, we were blessed to spend every single day together with her. For 19 months, our home was a little heaven filled with giggles and happy squeals, messes and crayon art on the wall, and the ever-present threat of a tickle attack. We have 19 months worth of hugs, kisses, and laughs to remember. And we feel so blessed to have had her, even for that short amount of time.