November 3, 2008 was an amazingly joyful day. I was filled with much of the same peace I felt the day that Benjamin was buried.
I had been planning for a while, even more carefully than for other birthdays, because I felt like this is part of what would create Benjamin's place in our family here on earth. I wanted us to start traditions that we can continue through the years so that he will always be included in our lives.
Wonderful friends and family joined in the celebration from many other places. . . . .
In Hawaii there is a tradition that started in the early 1900’s when the islands were only accessible by boat. As you were sailing away from the island you would drop your lei in the water and hope that it would return to the island. This was symbolic of your own hope to return to the Hawaiian Islands someday.
My sweet brother and sister-in-law used this tradition to celebrate Benjamin (since balloons were hard to come by), making their own lei with plumeria from the temple grounds. They talked about our Savior and that He made it possible for us to be with our families forever through the Atonement and resurrection. Then they walked to the beach where they threw the lei into the water and watched it return to shore. And it did return to shore.
My sister wrote ,"We felt that this was symbolic of the fact that we will all get to be with Benjamin again through the love of our Heavenly Father and our Savior."
Even my very-busy student siblings took time to get the balloons, write notes, and send them off!
Oh, how wonderful you all are!
Everyone sent me the most amazing pictures after doing this. Each one made my heart swell with love and gratitude. Thank you, beloved family, for remembering our Benjamin!
I'll post tomorrow about our balloon release at the cemetary and other celebrating. . . .
(Thank you to the Larsen family for this beautiful idea.)