Monday, February 4, 2013


Well it happened.  February 3 came and went in just as much of a flash as our last 12 months have gone.  As a mother, babies will always seem to grow up right before our very eyes.  Although different in my case, I still find it hard to believe that one year ago Charlotte was born.  To celebrate the occasion, we spent the day honoring her in our own way...and it was perfect.

My mother gifted us with a mass intention on Sunday which could not have been more appropriate.  We also carried the gifts, a first for our family and with honors, as I like to say.  The Knights of Columbus were at mass and lead us with their "pirate" swords.  Patrick Jr. was adamant about carrying the Host, so we walked slowly while Mommy helped with a guiding hand.  As we got close to the altar, Father famously said "take your time" as our little man proudly took the last steps with the Host. I couldn't help but smile then...or after we received communion as my child cried, "commmmmunion!"  He just doesn't understand waiting 4 or 5 more years!

Following mass, we met at Sparkman Hillcrest to release balloons and just be.  After having seen first hand what a hit blowing bubbles continues to be, I knew that my counselor would be right again - releasing balloons would be so too.  In true Charlotte style, and in the mix of the pink and white balloons, one got away early.  But it was the red one and the one which signified the anniversary of her 1st birthday.  (A FANTASTIC idea I borrowed from an inspiring blogger, Katie's Keepers.)  We watched it float away and then released the rest, slowly at first and then all at once.  I loved watching the group stay together and later, "meet up" with the red one.  And with genuine excitement I heard ourselves call out as we watched them work their magic in the sky.  One stayed behind, as it had caught itself in the tree, but I'd like to think that it lingered to stay with Charlotte before it too floated up to Heaven, despite P's best efforts in rescuing it.  

He cried when I told him it was time to leave saying, "I don't want to leave!" It's as if the Lord knows my heart or something.  He explains to us that Charlotte lives "with Heaven and God" and I adore that, just as I love how he so proudly wears her memory as he carries her in his heart and mind.  I love...that my son knew my daughter, however brief of a moment.  

A favorite memory is having kissed a balloon to send to our Charlotte in Heaven.  There's something to be said about a 2 and half year old's heart that makes your own a humble one.  Once we convinced Patrick to leave Lullaby Land (a little cake talk will do that to a toddler) we headed to La Duni and ate outside on again, the most perfect day.  Just like Charlotte's famous trip outside to the Butterfly Garden and later for her funeral reception, her birthday anniversary day was no different.  The weather sat at the perfect temperature while the sun kept us warm and the breeze kept us cool.  Another gentle reminder that He is always in the details.  Take for example our cake.  It was decorated to resemble roses, like our Sweet Charlotte Rose.  Or the toast we made with a bottle of rose champagne, as we had after her funeral.  Much like waiting in His plan, greatness happens even when we don't expect it, for instance, feeling our newest baby move yesterday. Make no mistake, as it was her, and she made herself be known before the sun had even a chance to wake. 

It was a day of days and I'm so glad to have to honored our girl.  And even though our hearts still ache for her, I can joyfully celebrate the goodness that is her and the graciousness that is Him.  As we drove home, it was noticed by my mother that the lone balloon caught in the trees had freed itself.  It too had made its way to Heaven.

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