Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day in the pool

It’s Memorial Day and the pools are open! We’ve spent the last two days in the pool and it has been wonderful. We plan to spend a good bit of our summer there, soaking up the sun’s rays.

I really love to swim. It’s most definitely my favorite kind of exercise, hands down. I spent many happy days of my childhood in the pool at my grandparent’s property, and I always think of those carefree days when I’m swimming.

Memorial Day in the pool

Continue reading “Happy Memorial Day!”

A Country Day Trip

A Country Day Trip

I spent Saturday on a country day trip, visiting some of my favorite places with some of my favorite people. David, Lakin, Addah and I, along with David’s mom, Jean, drove through the country to my grandparents’ property, the foot of Glassy Mountain, to take fresh flowers for Clara’s memorial stone. It has been several months since we had the gas money to travel that far from home, and we were grateful to finally be able to visit her stone.

It is not yet Clara’s final resting spot, as we (mostly I) have been unable to “let go” enough to spread her ashes there, but it soon will be. I am trying to prepare myself for the finality of {maybe} spreading her ashes, on what would have been her first birthday, {possibly} this July 1st. In the meantime, I keep her ashes close, but we visit her gravestone as often as we can.

Today we took a bouquet of fresh daisies, pink alstroemeria, pink roses and pink berries, gathered in a pink mason jar. We watered the thick green moss that is spreading around the stone, and Lakin placed a single pink camelia on the moss. We scattered wildflower seeds between her stone and the tree line, out of the way of the inevitable lawnmower, but still in the bright sunshine.

A Country Day Trip

Afterward, we traveled on a bit further, stopping for generous portions of hand-scooped ice cream at a group of lovely little roadside shops that have been around since I was a kid – Aunt Sue’s Country Corner. We spent some time poking around in the shops that were open — and the girls managed to get Mama Jean to open her pocketbook for a couple of bead necklaces — before heading back toward home for a delicious meal of spicy Mexican food.

It was a beautiful sunny day, full of laughter and the joking sarcasm of my funny family. It was a much-needed step away from our typical day to day routine, and I’m already looking forward to our next day trip.

Falling for Autumn

Saturday was spent working outdoors at the Property. My aunts and mother built a bonfire for burning debris, and we all pitched in with raking, trimming strangling ivy off of trees, digging out flagstones that have been reclaimed by twenty years of dirt and ground cover, cutting down dead limbs and dragging limbs and brush to the fire. There’s so much to do still, even after many of these “clean-up” days and lots of work done all summer by my aunts, uncle and mother, but the Property looks better now than it has in a long time.

We brought new flowers for Clara’s headstone, and we brought the butterflies that we were given while in the hospital. I think the girls picked exactly the right shade of coral tulips… they are lovely against the fall leaves. The moss in front of her stone is taking root, and with any luck it will spread well in the coming spring and summer. It is a beautiful spot, on a beautiful piece of land, surrounded by beautiful mountains, and though we have not yet placed Clara’s ashes here, I feel closer to her when I am here.

“I saw old Autumn in the misty morn stand shadowless like silence, listening to silence.”
~ Thomas Hood ~

In Memoriam – Our Baby’s Memorial Service

This afternoon is the day of our daughter Clara’s memorial service. We placed her headstone yesterday, and today we will all gather to remember and honor her. I am dreading this, because it seems so final, even more so than her cremation did. We have debated whether or not we will scatter her ashes at this memorial service, and the end decision is that we’re just not ready. I like having her ashes here, on the bookshelf by our bed, next to her picture, her footprints, and the statue that David bought for me on the day she was born.

Our daughter would be 11 weeks old today. She would be smiling, trying her hardest to flip from back to tummy, making sweet little noises and blowing bubbles at us. Maybe she would be fussy, cutting her first teeth and wanting to nurse around the clock, gearing up for a growth spurt. I wonder which of her sisters she would be most like. I know they would be in love with her, doting big sisters who adore her, because I’ve seen how excellent they are at taking care of their little cousins.

I would give anything for a chance to have our daughter alive today, right now, keeping me awake at 3 in the morning or fast asleep, curled into her daddy’s arm. I would give anything to have seen the sparkle in her eyes, so that I could hold that in my heart forever.

Please think of us — myself, David, Lakin, Addah and Clara — this afternoon. Honor her by remembering that she was here and that she touched our lives in amazing ways. Light a candle, whisper a prayer, think a loving thought, and hug your children and loved ones closer today.