Today I’m thinking about the dance party that is happening in Heaven. Our friend Harry is 8 today and he’s celebrating with my girls. My dear friend Caroline, Harry’s mom, is spending the day with her family spreading love at Doernbecher’s Children’s Hospital in honor of her little boy. There is so much love to spread in his honor.
Caroline was one of the first people I connected with when I came to Oregon so long ago. I loved going into her 2nd grade classroom at Gales Creek Elementary School and watching her teach. She was always so calm and loving. I knew right then that I had a lot to learn from this amazing woman.
Through the years we would connect at school, through email when I moved back to Ohio and even once on a high ropes course. Her daughter, Lucie, is someone I would seek out when I was teaching, wanting to steal a hug from her to get me through my day. She is very wise beyond her years and so delightful.
After Harry went to Heaven, Caroline and I started meeting for coffee on Friday mornings. At first I wasn’t sure what to say or do; how do you comfort someone that means so much to you after they have lost a child? I realized that being there in that space with her was all I needed to do. We talked, shared stories, we laughed, we cried and we created a bond that God had a deeper plan for.
I would leave our meetings with such a deep love for my friend whose heart was breaking from missing her little boy so much. I would pick Anna up from school after our coffee date and would hold her a little tighter, give her more kisses and hug her over and over again. I was doing this for Caroline because she could not love on her baby anymore. I never wanted to feel that pain and I was so sad that my friend had to.
The night my girls went to Heaven I asked someone to call Caroline and ask if she could come be with me. My girls were now with Harry and I didn’t know what to do. She came, hugged me and loved on me in a way no one else that night knew how to. She had a deeper understanding of what was to come and knew I just needed someone to be by my side.
When I’m sad I can look at her and she gets it. When I’m struggling I can call and she understands. God’s plan is so much bigger than anyone knows and my friendship with Caroline, started so many years ago, was part of that plan. I love that God knew we would need each other and that our kids would all be playing in Heaven together celebrating Harry’s 8th birthday, riding unicorns and sliding down rainbows.
Today, on Valentine’s Day, I’m celebrating Harry! Happy Birthday sweet boy, you are so loved and so missed!