Friday, October 15, 2010

One.



In seven years I have met so many.
So many.

My heart always hurts when I see a new face- hear a new name. I am happy they have found us, and yet so sad that they are part of "us".

Us.

Some of them I see again and again-
Others I see once a year- or once a lifetime.
But still we are connected.

All of us- united in one common bond.
Loss.
The loss of a child.

And it is a bond. A bond of acceptance. A bond of understanding. A bond of kindness. It is a bond that spans ages, genders, towns. It can happen to you no matter your financial situation, your religion, your lifestyle. It can happen. It happens still. It happened to me.

And yet I am thankful. Thankful to be here for you and thankful you are here for me. We are a community. We are one. When you are weak, I will carry you. When I crumble, you pick me up. We are in this together.
One.

Tonight we gather around the world to light a candle and remember those lives that left us too soon. Tonight we remember. Do you remember? Perhaps it was a heartbeat that was gone before you could see it- perhaps it was a baby you held in your arms as he flew away-

Tonight I remember. I remember them, and I remember you.

Who do you remember?
Write their name so the world will see.
We are everyone.
We are one.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Left too soon.

This year Joe wrote "Andrew" on his balloon.
His brother's name.
And we both kissed it and knew that it would soon make its journey past the clouds to the heavens. It would fly to the sky where Andrew could see just how grown up his twin was. See how he could write his name. How much he has grown these last seven years. Seven years since they shared that space together, listening to the beat of my heart.

We were in a sea of blue, pink and white balloons when I saw it. Andrew's balloon slipped through Jonasen's hands and meandered it's way up into the crystal blue sky. It was a beautiful sight. I watched as it's string danced in the wind. I watched as it seemed to get smaller and smaller as it traveled further away from us. And then I watched as my little boy flung his arms around me and sobbed, "It left too soon!"

Left too soon.

All I could think was, "Yes, it left too soon. He left too soon."

And I know that there is not a mother or father on this earth who wouldn't have given the world for one more hour, one more minute, one more moment with their precious child.
But those who were there- gathered at the garden- all knew that feeling. All lived it. For all of us had a child who had left too soon.

I gathered Joey in my arms and we cried. He for the balloon that left too soon, me for the boy. I turned him around and we looked at the sky and I whispered, "Watch it Joe. It's going. It's on its way. Watch it."

We sat and cried and stared, watching the lone balloon as it traveled further and further away on its path- and finally- it was gone.

After a moment he turned to me and said, "You know what mom? I think that Andrew is up there." And with a gesture he said, "And he just scooped his arms through a cloud and gathered up his balloon. I think he liked it."

I think he liked it too.

But there was another balloon left to set sail. Ali Jane held tight, not wanting to let it go. Wanting to hold on.

Wanting to hold on, until it too left, and we watched, and wondered and imagined... two arms reaching down through the clouds, smiling at her very special balloon. With one letter on it, written by her sister.

Where do balloons go? It's a mystery you know. But just hold on tight, until it's time, to let go...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Where Peace Lives

I often wonder how I got here.
I often wonder when I got here.
-The place where peace lives.

Today I looked all around me and saw what was good. I saw white fluffy clouds in a brilliant blue sky.
I saw leaves beginning to change as one season ends and another begins.
I heard laughter in the distance.
I felt the sun.
I saw life.
And I felt peace.

I remember when I couldn't see the stars. It didn't matter how bright they were, I could not see them. I remember when I couldn't hear the laughter, because my pain was much too loud. I remember when I could only think of him, his absence- and cry. And had He grabbed me by the hand and led me to that place, I don't think I would have seen it. I would not have arrived. I wasn't ready. My heart was not ready.

Today I thought of him, as I so often do. And while I wondered what he would be like, what his dreams would be, and of course the color of those eyes- I would have given anything to gaze into those eyes- ah if just for a moment...

Today I thought of him. I felt peace. Perhaps that is odd, but knowing he was beyond those clouds. In a place far better than here. Beyond those clouds but just a whisper away... Beyond but watching. Watching with those eyes... Watching from that place. Sun on his face. And I know that place because sometimes I feel it. The place where peace lives.

I wonder when it was I got here. Did I wake up and find myself here? Or was it gradual? Did I arrive so slowly that I didn't even notice my leaving? Did it find me or did I find it? Did it tiptoe across my heart, find it's way into my soul? Did it sneak in on my breath? Find its way into my clenched fists? Lead me here? Soften me?

When did I arrive? And perhaps more importantly... will I stay? For if there is one thing I have learned traveling this road, it is that feelings aren't right or wrong, they simply are- Feelings- not to be controlled- but to be.

There are days where I question- where I wonder, why me? why you?
And there are days- like today- when peace finds me and I think, 'why not me?' Because I know that he's there. Beyond those clouds. Sitting in a field of gold, watching the most amazing sunsets of purples and oranges- Oh yes. He is there. But he's not alone. Where peace lives. Close my eyes and I can see it. Today I live there too.

I thought of you today.
Said a prayer.
Hope you find your way soon- or that it would find you.

But until then, I will walk beside you on this road of uncertainty. Not knowing what tomorrow will bring, but being thankful for today. I walk with you on this journey- for though it can feel so very lonely, I take you by the hand, lead you there, though you may not feel it yet.
Yes. You will find it. Or it may find you. When the time is right.
The place where peace lives.

And I am so very thankful for those moments- The moments I find it... or does it find me?
Does it matter? For today I have arrived in that place.
And with him beside me- whisper thank you- because he was. And for today, that is enough.