Look back on time with kindly eyes,
He doubtless did his best;
How softly sinks his trembling sun
In human nature’s west!
This past Sunday was our 3rd opportunity to attend the annual SHARE memorial service and balloon release, held at the hospital where Benjamin and Rosebud were born. I groaned and started praying when I saw the forecast -- heavy chance of rain and possibility of tornadic activity.
The highlight of the event is writing notes to our babies, attaching them to the balloons, then riding the elevator to the top of the parking deck, where a song is sung, and the balloons are released. To have an Arkansas-style storm, complete with tornado sirens going off, would put a decided damper on things. I know I wasn't the only one praying for the skies to be clear at least during the balloon release!
When we arrived, it was threatening but not actually raining. It had already poured buckets that morning, but seemed to be holding off for a while. The service was beautiful, and we proceeded with faith to fill out the notes for the balloons.
Our family's balloons got tangled together as we went through doorways and rode the elevator, but we decided that was nice and symbolic. :) Some of us still held on to our own string so we could feel the pull skyward. Still no rain.
It was pretty windy, and when we let go, the balloons quickly drifted behind us, passing right over the hospital.
Rosebud's balloon got stuck in one of those lower trees (you can barely see it in the picture above), but soon the wind pushed it out and it wended its way up alone.
Such a feeling of peaceful contentment comes when I am with my husband and my living children and we are remembering together our Benjamin, who is so present in our hearts, but invisible to all who see us. Something about being with people who recognize that there is one more person in our family--who look at the 6 of us together and visualize 7--always makes me happy.
We came in and gorged ourselves on sugar (especially those younger male members of our family :) and as we headed back out to our car to go home, the rain started to fall with a vengeance. The tornado sirens went off, and suddenly there was lightning and thunder and all heck broke loose. We ended up having to wait in the parking garage for a while, listening to the radio to know when it would be safe to get on the road.
What a miracle! We thanked Heavenly Father for holding back the rain until after that special event.
But the really amazing thing was this:
I realized that earlier I had been praying for the sake of the new babylost parents, and not so much for me! I couldn't stand the thought of those recently bereaved moms and dads, with that awful rawness of grief that I remember all too well, missing out on this special chance to have their children recognized and remembered. I would have been disappointed, but okay if this time we couldn't release the balloons!
Now that is a miracle!
Thinking back on the past two October 31st's and November 1st's. . . . there was a sort of panicky desperation to those days. . . .I wanted to avoid any reminders of what had happened on those days in 2007.
This year it is different. I still have no intention of celebrating Halloween. I think that will always be too painful (which is too bad, because Rosebud would be awfully cute in a little costume. :) As we approach those days of significance again, I am amazed and grateful at what I feel now, three years later. It is more of a peaceful longing sort of feeling, rather than fear or depression.
How grateful I am that the grief has indeed lost its sharpness. It is not unbearably heavy anymore, although its bittersweet pang still comes daily.
It will be okay.
Thank You, dear Heavenly Father, for bringing me through three years' Time .