Monday, January 18, 2010

One of my favorite days. Ever.

Nothing makes you appreciate your own children more than after the loss of another's child. I've been mourning Charlotte's loss for some time now, even before she was gone. Yet I felt shut away from the girls. Almost guilty for loving on them, when my friends' child was dying. I know that makes no sense - especially since Charlotte's father's instructions to me every time I saw him was to "hug your babies" but it was just hard to think of how healthy they were, how unfair it was to the Reynolds. But I'm moving on.

The memorial was absolutely beautiful. Thanks to all my friends who helped out with it, donated or were there for me to commiserate with. I love you all, and the Reynolds thank you too.

The service was so touching. I've been singing "I'll fly away," gospel-style for the last few days. It ended with "Let's go fly a kite!" as we headed out to the balloon release (eco-friendly ones of course). It was such a beautiful site, and was a wonderful act of letting go. The reception actually went well, even though we crammed 700 people in a space for 250. The bands were hopping, there was laughter and tears, hugs and friends galore. I even ran into some old high school chums I hadn't seen in years, which was a bonus boost. I felt a great sense of closure - not necessarily for me, but as a collective group. And I am in awe of the Ashland community. That little town truly is the "Center of the Universe." I'm proud to have called it home during my high school years.

But to be honest, I was so busy preparing, obsessing about making it all right, that I'd neglected my babies all week. Yesterday I crashed and burned - a complete pajama day, lounging on the couch, finally showering in the late afternoon and snuggling with the girls all day long. It was bliss to be so lazy (though I did feel very guilty).

Today was back to business. Thankfully it was a school holiday, so I had a fantastic day with the girls doing everything they could possibly want - breakfast at McDonald's playland, shopping for new Schleich animals, playing with said Schleich animals, playing outside, going to the park, making home made pizzas together (my white pizza is the BOMB!) and just relishing the little moments with them. The sun was out, it was a glorious 58 degrees and I felt alive and happy like I haven't felt in weeks. My God I missed my girls. And the sun.

I had the most awesome time with the kids. I laughed at Sadie running from spot to spot in the volley ball court to make sand angels. I had a long talk with Katie about Martin Luther King Jr and his impact. (She brought it up - this morning she told me she wanted to make MLK's wish come true for his birthday and she was going to be kind to every person and treat everyone the same no matter who they were, where they came from or what they looked like. Atta girl!). I teared up when the girls took turns shouting from the playground mountain climbing rock "I love you Mommy!" at the top of their lungs. I was just plain and utterly happy today.

So, I'm ready to embark on the next adventure in life, and where ever it leads. I will never forget the lessons taught by Charlotte and her brave parents. I will forever be changed by this experience in living and dying, and I am the better for have being graced by being a part of the conclusion of Charlotte's life. I would give anything to have learned in a different way, but am thankful for the lesson none the less.


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  2. I'm so glad you had a day like that, I know you needed it! Hopefully we'll catch up soon, but in the meantime, I'm sending you hugs.


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  4. Hugs and I understand how you feel :-D Enjoy those babies of yours - life is so very precious