Sophia let us know she was special right from the start. She was a miracle baby that we did not think possible. Sophia came into the world in a breech position that she absolutely refused to surrender. Right from the beginning, she wanted to stand up and join our growing family.
           
Sophia was born on December 4, 2003, and I remember watching anxiously as the doctor examined her little body moments after her birth.

“Is she okay?” I asked.

And the doctor replied, “She’s perfect.”

I asked our family pediatrician the same question at the conclusion of Sophia’s one-year checkup. “Is she okay?”

The pediatrician responded, “She’s perfect.” 

And, for the one year and one week of her life, that perfection and love of life sparked a wonderful joy in all of us.

Sophia had brilliant blue eyes, dark blonde hair and an endearing smile. We called her “Smiley.” We also called her “Ord” or “Ordie,” a character from “Dragon Tales” that big sister Isabelle asked she assume when playing pretend. During her precious year, Sophia took great pride in her accomplishments, especially those that brought her closer to playing with Isabelle. She was a walker at 11 months and began saying “Mama,” “Papa,” “Ibelle” and “dog” by one year.

Sophia loved her books, especially turning the pages and listening to stories while being cuddled in her rocking chair. Her favorite books were Pat the Bunny,Tails, and Time for Bed. Whenever we wondered where Sophia had ventured to in the house, the crate of books in the living room was always a safe guess. Sophia also enjoyed dogs’ playfulness. She even laughed in delight when a dog pulled her doll from her hands!

Sophia experienced the joys of all the New England seasons. In the spring, she swung on the swings at the local park and toured our neighborhood in her stroller. During the summer, Sophia dangled her feet in the Cape Cod waves, splashed with Isabelle in their backyard kiddie pool, and waved a flag at the Fourth of July parade. In the fall, she picked apples and went trick-or-treating as a kitten. And in winter, Sophia and Isabelle made a snowman in freshly fallen snow.

Sophia liked to dance and wiggle her bottom to the beat of the music in our home. I remember dancing with Sophia in my arms the evening before she died. We had put the lights on our Christmas tree and played our first Christmas CD for the season. Sophia and I danced cheek to cheek. She smelled so clean and sweet. I remember looking in the mirror with her that evening and marveling at how lucky I was to be able to watch my second daughter grow before my eyes. We were all so innocent then.

Our lives changed forever on that dark morning, December 11, 2004, when Sophia died suddenly and unexpectedly in her sleep. We miss her every day. 

Although we ache for her physical presence, we feel her joyful spirit with us always. Sophia forever will be a part of our family.

~ Melyné Zartarian Nagle

“Sophia and I danced cheek to cheek.
She smelled so
clean and sweet.
I remember looking
in the mirror with
her that evening
and marveling at how lucky I was to be able
to watch my second daughter grow
before my eyes.
We were all so
innocent then.”

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