This is my all time favorite picture of Charlotte, I think. It was taken with my cell phone if you can believe that. She had a bad diaper rash and I was having her soak her bum in the sink with some baking soda to sooth it.
I love her hair in this picture, the funny little side burns and the little tufts at her crown. So much fantastic hair! I love her little expression, because I was hooting about how darling she looked and pulling out my phone to snap a picture, and she is looking back like "Oh MOM!" And those eyes! What beautiful eyes she had! They never changed color, I'm sure I've mentioned that before. They stayed that dark newborn baby blue her entire life.
I love that you can see her little belly and even her g-tube button, dear little button that helped her get all chubby and grow that fantastic thick hair. That button was such a blessing to us and to her.
I even love that little blue duck in the picture. I had never noticed it before in this picture until I was bathing Ella in the sink a couple weeks ago and she reached over and pulled it out from behind the dish soap. Minutes later I passed by the microwave where this picture is stuck, and noticed the blue duck in the water. There used to be a pink and a yellow duck too, but only the blue one is left.
I have this picture on my phone. I have it as my desktop on one of my work computers. I have it printed and stuck to the microwave, next to an old Christmas card (the obituary picture), and a picture of Jesus that was stuck to my windshield one night when I came out of Primary Childrens to go home and get some sleep. I bawled and bawled when I saw it; I was feeling so exhausted and forsaken.
This is how I will always remember my Charlotte, of all the thousands of pictures I thankfully took during her life. This morning in bed I was thinking of the pictures I took the day she passed away, the last pictures that camera took, and they all came out blurry and out of focus. Which is fitting, as that is how I remember that day, through the blur of tears and a swollen puffy face. I remembered how she didn't even look like herself to me anymore, like she was already out of her body. Which she might have been. I started getting all tense and sad, and then this picture flashed to my mind, and her silly smile and the time she was sitting in my sisters lap, suddenly made a loud squawking sound (her dinosaur call) and then dove for my sisters arm and bit it hard. And I had to smile, because that was my Charlotte. Not the puffy, pale, very ill little one I held that day, that was not what her life was about. Her life was about happiness, and biting to be funny, and big blue eyes, and little blue ducks.