My darling little girl Louise! I cannot believe that she has been taken away from us after only six years on this earth. It is much too short a time, but they have been the most precious.
When you were born, you were so tiny – I couldn't believe my eyes. You had a shock of black hair and a cheeky face. You quickly gained weight, though, and after a couple of days in the hospital I was allowed to take you home. We had been told that you had a congenital heart condition, but we were positive that you would still live a long and happy life. We always focused on our time together and treasured every moment.
From the time she was a little girl, Louise brought joy and laughter into our lives and the lives of others. When she was little, I called her my ‘cheeky monkey’. As soon as our backs were turned, she was up to something. But you couldn't get angry with her for too long as she would always give you one of those cheeky grins and say, “Oh Mummy, I’m sorry”.
Louise grew into a charming little girl who was outgoing and affectionate. She absolutely adored school and made lots of friends. She loved her teachers and would race home from school every afternoon with stories about what Mrs McNamara or Mr Jones had taught her in class.
One of Louise’s greatest pleasures was dancing. The moment she heard music she would be up, clapping her hands with glee. I remember taking her to the mall one day to do some shopping. I turned around and she was gone. Naturally, I was panic stricken and raced around everywhere looking for her. I found her a few minutes later in the music section of the store, performing a dance routine she had learnt at school - much to the amusement of the staff.
We enrolled her in dance school and she flourished. I will never forget the look on her face after her first dance class – a look of enthusiasm and pure excitement that only a child can give. I was so excited for her.
When Louise was five, she had to undergo surgery. It seemed successful and after months of rest, Louise appeared to be on the road to recovery. She found it hard staying at home and desperately wanted to go back to school and dancing. When she was feeling well enough, we brought home school work for her to do, which she devoured with such enthusiasm.
Louise’s last year on this earth was difficult. It is such a terrible thing to see your child struggle with illness and not be able to do anything to make her well and whole again.
It is with so much sadness that I am here today to farewell our only child, Louise. She was a lovely and vibrant daughter who has been taken away from us much too early. But the memory of Louise will live on in us forever. We were so proud of her and know that she is in peace.
Goodbye, my precious girl – I know you are up in heaven now, waving down to us with cheeky grin on your beautiful face.