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Daddy to a Daughter in Heaven

Matt & Ashley

To my Husband on Father's Day,

Happy Father's Day. You are such an amazing father and I am so thankful that you are Bridget's daddy. You have been such a loving, caring father to her and a supportive husband to me. From the time we found out we were expecting her, you have been an example of a Christ-like father and husband in all you do.

You cared for me during my all day morning sickness, bringing me crackers in the night, driving around town to find food that I would eat, and cleaning up my vomit when it found its way into places other than the toilet. You began reading the Expectant Father and were so excited to start working on the basement so we could have a nursery upstairs next to our room. You helped me pick out the perfect shade of mint green for her nursery. And when everything changed and I was in the Emergency Room, you rushed there to be by my side. You held my hand and you stayed hopeful when the doctors thought I would miscarry.

You brought me home and supported me through the next few months of bed rest. You took care of everything around the house, you walked our puppy, and most importantly you took care of Bridget and me. You drove me to every doctor's appointment and pushed me around in a wheelchair so that I could get out of the house a few times. You were at every ultrasound, every high-risk doctor's appointment.

Even when the doctor's prognosis was poor, you always remained hopeful, trying to keep my spirits high and my faith grounded in God. You encouraged me to continue to have a gender reveal party and celebrate Bridget's life even when the day before we were told she was severely growth restricted and would most likely be born early and not survive.

You were so happy and excited that we were having a little girl. You laid in bed at night with me and listened to our baby girl's heartbeat on the doppler, using your phone's timer and counting her heartbeats. You talked to her through my belly, read books to her, and prayed for her.

Bridget's Gender Reveal

And when Bridget was born on October 22, 2014, you were next to me as her body was born into this world and as her soul entered into Heaven. You held her, loved on her, and kissed her. You weren't afraid to cry. You told her how much you loved her. I know that she could feel your love from Heaven. You were so gentle with her. I fell in love with you all over again watching you holding her so delicately yet with a father's strong, unconditional love.

Bridget & Daddy
Bridget & Daddy

On October 27, you cried with me at her funeral. You sang Jesus Loves Me and you held her as we baptized her. You helped me snuggle her into her casket and placed special keepsakes around her. When we buried her, you helped the funeral attendant carefully lower her casket into the grave. After filling her grave with fresh dirt, you held my hand and we released balloons to Heaven together.

Daddy burying Bridget

Since then, you visit her grave with me frequently and visit her on your own too. You remove your cap when you come to her grave, always showing her the utmost respect. You talk out loud to her and always tell her how much you love and miss her. You pull me close and put your arm around my shoulder and comfort me when I am there with you. You have walked this grieving and healing journey with me.

I don't have to do it alone because I have you. You mourn with me. Along with Jesus, you are my rock and foundation. I cry to you and you listen to me. You comfort me, support me, and encourage me. You are not ashamed to express your emotions to me and you often tell me how much you love and miss her. You make Bridget a part of our daily life. You memorialize her in little ways each day.

You planted her memorial tree for her. You are building a memorial bookshelf for her. You were instrumental in the birth of Bridget's Cradles ministry. You help with the ministry in all the ways you can including drilling the holes for the Wonderfully Made charms. You support me and guide me in ministry as the Vice President and on our Board of Directors. You are passionate about our mission and vision and you bring honor to Bridget and glory to God in all that you do. I am thankful to have you to walk this journey with.

Bridget's Due Date

Bridget is with her Heavenly Father now but she was able to first experience glimpses of Him on earth from your love. In everything you do, you show her love, respect, and admiration. She is so blessed to have you as her earthly father and I am so blessed to call you my husband. We love you.


Mommy & Bridget

With permission from my husband, he has allowed me to post the letter he wrote Bridget after she was born. This handwritten letter is sealed inside her casket along with letters from all of our family members. Bridget, you are loved so much by your earthly father:

Bridget Faith,

From the time you were conceived, I loved and cherished you. You and mommy were always in my thoughts and prayers. You were the perfect creation that God was giving us. You were the little soul that was given to us to complete our family. I was very excited to have you and was working very hard to finish the basement so you could have the perfect nursery.

Then my world fell apart when Mommy had to go to the emergency room because her body was not right. We could see your tiny body and heartbeat and were hopeful you were okay. Little did you know, your world around you was not right. You were a very strong girl for mommy and daddy. You always gave me hope, and I always loved you dearly. I couldn’t stand the thought of you not coming home with us. I told God that I was giving up control to Him because I knew He was your Creator and was the only One truly in control.

I wanted you here on Earth with me, but God had other plans. He made you truly perfect, innocent, and pure. Unlike me, you were sinless. God created you in His image and made you sinless like Christ. I will tell you I love you every day. You are my first child, my purest love, and you are my heart. I will always wonder what you would have grown to be: your laugh, your smile, your heart. Now, I will have to wait until I get to Heaven to know you. I will long for this day the rest of my life.

You are so special. I want you to see that in my words and actions. I will live for you so that your memory and purpose is not forgotten. You will always be a part of our family. Your brothers and sisters will know you. They will never forget they had a big sister. Oh Bridget Faith, how much I love you! I will visit your gravesite and tell you I love you and miss you. This is not goodbye. I will see you again. Love, Daddy

Bridget & Daddy

Written by Ashley Opliger

Bridget's Mom & Executive Director of Bridget's Cradles

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