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From Dad

Dear Milo,

I wish you could grow up to see for yourself how many people love you. I wish they could tell you in person how you’ve impacted them. I wish you could’ve had the chance to spend time with Wesley, your mom and me at home. I wish Wes had a chance to prove to you how amazing of a big brother he would be to you. I wish you didn’t have to fight so hard. I wish you weren’t so tired, and I wish you were still here.

I wish things were different, but I wouldn’t trade your 18 days on earth for anything in the world. I’m so grateful for every hour your mom and I got to spend with you. The early mornings, the late nights, the long days – it all means so much to me and I just want you to know how proud I am of you. It’s not that you weren’t strong enough – you proved time and time again that you were – you were just tired and that’s okay. I just wish I could thank you again, for everything. You showed me a level of pride I didn’t know I could have. You gave me memories I thank God for every day. You made our family stronger than we thought we could be. I’ll look up to you – in more ways than one – for the rest of my life.

Before you were born, I told everyone (including your mom so many times) that we would get through this no matter what happened. So just know that we will, and that’s a promise from me. You gave it everything you had and more, which is just too much to ask of a baby in their first weeks. So of course it will take time, but we will prove your impact is a positive one, for our family and for the world. We owe that to you and we owe that to Wesley. I try to always live with positive and grateful energy – so now more than ever I feel like I need to do that for you. Most of the people close to me know I say “we are very lucky” every chance I get. But those words seem to weigh more now. When I think about everything that happened between July 10th and July 27th, I feel those words in bold letters.

I’m so sorry you had a diaphragmatic hernia. I’m sorry your lungs were underdeveloped. I’m sorry you had to endure so many surgeries, chest tubes, breathing tubes, IV lines, and more. I’m sorry you had to go on ECMO – not once, but twice – and how hard that must’ve been for your little body. I’m sorry you had to come into this world with everything stacked against you. It’s just not fair.

But I’m so proud of you for making it to your due date. I’m proud of you for making it through birth. I’m proud (and in awe) of you for breathing on a ventilator for 12 hours before going on ECMO. I’m proud of you for successfully coming off ECMO twice and continuously impressing every nurse, doctor, and specialist who worked on your case. I’m proud of you for defying all the odds for as long as you did.

I think I’ll write more later about how special it was that you showed us your eyes the day before we had to say goodbye to you – and everything you were probably telling us in that moment. I could probably write a lot about how much peace it brings me to know that my mom gets to hold you now. I could never write enough how thankful I am for every single one of your doctors and nurses who gave us so much comfort and hope while you were with us. And to everyone at home following along on your journey – even though circumstances kept us apart physically, how all the love and support that was pouring in for you made the distance seem irrelevant.

But for now, it just helps to write this and cry. I would give the world to hold your hand or rub your head, and just read you one more Shel Silverstein poem. I just wish I could tell you over and over that I love you and I’m sorry we couldn’t do more, but I’m so proud of you and you’re my hero, buddy. I’m so proud to be your dad.

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From Mom

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Aug 06, 2020

Like you both said so eloquently there are no words. Just sad he is gone and hold Wes so tightly. Keep Milo alive in your hearts. He was a special little guy. Hugs to you both.


Erin Rolandelli
Erin Rolandelli
Aug 06, 2020

This brings tears to my eyes. Milo will always be our forever fighter. I’m sorry too.

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