Check out our '80's rocker daughter!
Well, next Tuesday is the day. October 11. One year later. Oh man, I just SHUDDERED typing the date. P.S. My dad died on October 22 (1997). I was working in the hospital today, and had conversations in rounds about patients that were dying. I had to hear the very conversations that were probably being had about Bella and us a year ago. Not everyone I work with at the hospital knows about Bella, so it is weird.
I think I am staying home next Tuesday. I just can't imagine being at the hospital. I can make up the day, so why put myself through the extra pain? Instead, we're planning a little ritual at our local park to mark the occasion with a balloon release in the late afternoon. Ali wants to release a butterfly balloon, and we'll release regular balloons.
If you would be willing to write a (short) comment to Bella about what difference she has made in your life, I'd like to read those at the balloon release. I know that our dear friend Courtney is struggling with the purpose of baby Tripp's life and suffering, and it is only through the outpouring of you all in the blogosphere that renews our faith that these EB angels are here to reach many and bring them (back) to God.
Speaking of God, I've been admittedly pretty quiet about God for a long time as you may have noticed. I've tried going back to church, and it is so unbelievably painful, I haven't been able to summon the courage on a regular basis at all. We've even gone to different churches to try to trick the grief process and it hasn't helped! Grr....
God and I have a good thing going, actually. He knows I'm still licking my wounds and my pride. He knows I still love Him with all my heart, but that my heart is healing slowly. I am comforted that He gives me the space to be mad, sad, distant. I know He can handle it. I know He's not going anywhere, and neither am I. He also knows that I am hard at work on the ground trying to do good work to honor Bella to the degree I can physically do it. I'm healing. I could tell tonight when giving Ali her bath. I can remember sitting in the bathroom with Ali giving her a bath in the past and being CRUSHED mentally and emotionally sitting there. I could tell tonight that the physical pain in my head that had been there once before was not there tonight.
In another tender moment tonight, I gave Ali her first ukulele lesson! It was so cute. We ended up sitting on her floor singing "Down By the Bay"both strumming our ukes! There was genuine fun and joy being expressed by both of us. It was a nice moment, and I was grateful to notice it as it was happening, and not miss out.
That's the thing about being present; today I was present to pain, but also to joy. The pain did not come from the present, but rather from the past, whereas the joy came from the present. I am grateful to have experienced that present moment. I am grateful to still have all of you in our lives.