Saturday, January 4, 2014

Balloons for Brady

Just before Christmas, a sweet little boy passed away.  I can't imagine losing any of my babies, but the timing of it seemed especially heart-wrenching.  Brady was like Sammy in many ways, and so his passing touched my heart in a way that was especially heartfelt.  It reminded me how fragile life is.  Too often, I get in the mode of "life."  I forget that each moment is a gift.  Maybe that's not all together a bad thing.  If I dwelt on every single minute I had with my children, maybe I'd never get anything done....and we are here to learn and grow and be productive as well.

But, when the scale leans to heavily on one side...the one where I forget to treasure our moments together, the hugs, the kisses, the giggles and even the troubles...then that imbalance can be heartbreaking.

Brady has helped me realign my focus.  To balance the scales.

The day of his funeral, those who could not attend let balloons go in his his honor.

This was the day of Analisa's wedding.  We were busy, having fun, being with family.  But we did not forget Brady and his family.

As we got Samantha and the kids dressed for the wedding, I thought of Brady.
As I did Samantha's hair 5,000,000 times because she kept turning her head or pulling at it, I thought of Brady.
As we took pictures together, I thought of Brady.
As I pushed Sammy around in her wheelchair, I thought of Candice...Brady's mom.
As Callie pushed Sammy in her wheelchair, I thought of Brady's sister, Camryn.
As we passed the balloons that led us into the reception, I thought of Brady.
As I gave Sammy her medicine that night, I thought of Brady.

We didn't send our balloons off that day, but we did the next day, when the sun was shining and the sky was a beautiful clear blue.

As Callie let go of Brady's balloons, we both noticed how those hearts stayed close together most of the time.  When they got way up in the sky, the wind seemed to pull them apart, but then quickly after, they were pulled together again and stayed together until we lost sight of them.  I couldn't help but think about how symbolic that is of Candice and her baby boy.  Five short years, together, every minute.  And then one day, they are separated, but only for a moment.  Does it feel like a moment?  How could it?  It must feel like eternity, this physical separation.  But what I put my faith and hope in is my strong belief that we are always close by.  Even if we can't touch or feel our loved ones close by for now, they are close.  Our hearts can't be separated just by death.  And one day, that reunion...when the wind blows us back together...will be an eternal reunion.

Until then, though, we mourn and feel the loss, because we have loved so deeply.  We are human beings living a human experience that involves pain.  We help remind others that this mortal life is short.  We realign our priorities.  And we are there for each other the best we can be.  We hug.  We pray for each other.  We we let balloons go in the air for each other.  Because, sometimes that's all we can do.  That's all I really felt like I could do.  I don't know Candice or Brady or Camryn personally.  But I will always feel a connection with them and continue to pray for them.  They, as well as many of my friends who have lost their children, will need a lifetime of prayers.  And that, I can do for them.  And I will.

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