A Day of Remembrance

Today Randall Children’s Hospital held their yearly Day of Remembrance for all the families that have lost a child over the past year. Emily, Ben, Tom and I went down to the hospital for the first time since the week of October 21st. I think we were all a bit on edge this morning anticipating the emotions that would emerge when we walked into the hospital again. We sat in silence for most of the trip downtown.

The service was beautiful and we were able to see some people who touched our lives during Abigail’s hospital stay. We also got to hug and thank them in person. This felt so good to do.

As we sat in a room full of people, lovely harp music playing in the background, I couldn’t help but realize that we are not alone. These people, other moms and dads, had suffered a great loss just like us. They too woke up this morning with the reality that their little one was in Heaven. They too have to figure out how to manage their lives on this new journey, so new for me that I can close my eyes and still smell the leaves that were falling from Anna and Abigail’s tree the night they went to Heaven.

We are not alone on this path of trying to figure out how to live without our children, the path that no one wants to be on.

I exchanged numbers with a mom from our neighboring town. She had seen our story on the news and wanted to give me a hug, let me know she was praying for us. I told her that I would pray for her. She is a mom, just like me, that has to wake up in the morning, take a deep breath and get by minute by minute without being able to hug her youngest. Her story may be different than mine but we both have so much in common.

We daydream about a place where rainbows are slides, rivers are made of chocolate and our children hold hands with Jesus.

walking on wall

 

Seattle

It’s so good to be home. I love our space that we share with our girls and being away from it is so hard sometimes. I just came in from lighting candles for my girls, like I do every night, and spending some time by their tree. Oh how I missed their tree while we were away. Looks like Stanley did some more damage. I sure hope he and Sally are comfy in their little hole.

Tom and I had a good time in Seattle this weekend, visiting a city that was frequented a lot by our family in the past couple of years.

We spent Anna’s 6th birthday there with her first trip to the American Girl Doll store. My mom and dad met us for a really fun weekend exploring the Pike Place Fish Market and swimming in a heated outdoor swimming pool. I’m not sure what the kids were more excited for, watching fish flying through the air or swimming at the hotel pool.

This summer we made a stop at the Seattle Aquarium on our way to Orcas Island for our family camping trip. We explored the city, ate our favorite giant snickerdoodle cookies and enjoyed walking along the waterfront. Mama, of course, took lots of pictures to chronicle both trips.  There were smiles, laughter and, I’m sure like any family experiences on a family vacation, a little bit of sibling fighting. We were all looking forward to our next adventure to Seattle in the spring or summer of 2014.

anna pignana anna annatomaquiriumabs tom 2 family seattle

This trip, with just Tom and I, was very different than before. We talked ahead of time about not going down to the market or visiting any of the places we went with the kids, we wanted to preserve the memories we had during those times for just a bit longer.

On Saturday afternoon we found ourselves buying a giant snickerdoodle cookie and standing next to the big bronze pig, the same one Anna sat on holding her new American Girl Doll. Hardly keeping it together, Tom and I both recognized that there are some places where there will always be a void when we visit without our girls in toe.

I was waiting for the giant rainbow to appear in the sky but instead there was just rain. Doesn’t mean our girls weren’t with us, it just means that sometimes the conditions aren’t right for a rainbow – and when they go to sprinkle the dust it just gets wet.

heart rock