Earlier this year Janaysia Stevenson died after being beaten. Sunday would have been the toddler's second birthday and her family gathered to celebrate.
The family said celebrating her 2nd birthday brings them one step closer to letting go of the grief. They said although it's been months since her death, finding peace will be a journey: one that they are starting to understand.
"We still thank god for saving the little angel. He took her home to be with him because the abuse had been going on a long time," said family member Ann Jackson.
Kaywee Hunt, the father, said commemorating her birthday is their way of keeping her spirit alive.
"We still honor her. Honor her soul, her legacy. What she did do while she was here," said Kaywee Hunt, father of Janaysia Stevenson.
After the gathering, the family plans to visit her gravesite. Once there they'll release balloons in her honor.
The father said he knows he'll never have his child again. He expects to miss out on pre-school pictures, the first day of school and taking her to the prom. He said while the accused suspect sits behind bars, he's awaiting justice for his only child, Janaysia.
"The max that can be done needs to be done. No matter how many kids I have, I can never get back her," said Hunt.