"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm,
and carry them close to his heart, and shall gently lead those that are with young." Isaiah 40:11

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rachel's Birthday

Thank-you to everyone who joined us on the 21st to honor sweet Rachel - whether you were with us at the park or with us in spirit. So many of you wore pink or yellow on that day! Thank-you for supporting us on a day that held such a mixture of feelings and memories.
In one of the Family Suites
We started the day with a visit to the Rotary Flames House. It felt strange to walk into that building again - as though it were our home from another lifetime - but it seemed so right and good to be there too. We visited with the staff for a bit. Oh, it was GOOD to hear other people remininsce about our girl - so healing for our hearts. They reminded us of things I had forgotten. How Rachel always wanted her soother upside down - and if you forgot she would promptly turn it around. They talked about her mischievious personality, and her smiles.  How bravely she lived her life.

oh how thankful we are for these people who loved our little girl......

After walking through the room where we first stayed - a few days after Rachel was born....we went to the sundeck area.  We brought two balloons - one pink and one yellow. We wrote messages on them for Rachel - telling her how much we missed her and loved her and how we are looking forward to being together again someday.  And then Ethan and Abigail let them go.  Ethan thought it was cool that they were going on a journey....and then how cool it was that his was faster than Abigail's;) I don't think I really understood the whole practice of letting balloons go until a few years ago. We were at the funeral service for our friend's son. And there was something about how those balloons drew our attention away from the ground, the pain and loss of now - to the sky. It felt very meaningful to do it on Monday as well.

I have to tell you one more thing that happened on her birthday.  We planted a flowering crab apple tree last year - a gift from Dave's mom, in honor of Rachel. We had heard that sometimes they don't flower the first year after transplanting but we cared for it lovingly and watched to see what it would do.  The whole week before her birthday we watched the buds growing...and the first buds began flowering right ON her birthday!!! Isn't that so beautiful?? 
This is what I posted on FB: Thank-you God for bringing so much beauty into our lives through Rachel and for comforting and encouraging us today!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rachel's Birthday May 21, 2012

We realize that Rachel's birthday lands on the long weekend - Victoria Day Monday, but for those of you that are around (and in Calgary), we would love for you to join us as we honor and remember our precious little girl. 

I will be bringing cupcakes (Big thanks to Rebecca Purnell for helping me ice them!) and some snacks. Originally I thought we would bring snacks for everyone but it might be a large group. So....I'm changing it to a "Snack Potluck".  Please bring whatever you want, just no tree nuts please. Thank-you!

We'll aim to light some candles and sing "Happy Birthday" around 3:30 pm but if you come later and still want to sing again, i'm sure we could do that too:)
Please bring your own bag dinner, drinks etc...if you are staying around over supper. We will meet by the playground area, but we may need to relocate within the park if it's super busy that day....This will be a come and go event. Bring bikes for the kids, lawnchairs for yourselves etc...

Where: Prairie Winds Park, Calgary Alberta
Time: 3:00pm - 7:00pm
*Look for us near the main entrance playground! (near the waterpark - which is not open yet...)

*And please let me know if you are coming, so we know how many cupcakes to make! Thanks:)

In honor of Rachel, we were thinking it might be neat for everyone to wear pink (if you have something that's pink!) or yellow (that's the color Ethan said reminded him of Rachel) If you don't have anything that color, don't worry about it and come anyway!

If the weather is lousy, we will have to cancel. Maybe we'll relocate to our house. We will probably still be in the middle of some house renos so we'll see.....but stay tuned. I'll update this the closer we get to the day.

I'm sorry - I realize many of you are not in Calgary and wouldn't be able to come anyway but i'm sending this invite out to everyone because I didn't want to miss anyone here. Also, I thought there might be some people who might want to remember our little girl from afar by wearing pink or yellow on that day! I would love to hear about it if you are:)

Thank-you for your friendship!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

That was Weird #2!

A few days ago, I was standing outside Ethan's school waiting for his class to file out. I had a nasty cold, it was a cold day and I was really looking forward to getting home.  So all that to say, I guess I wasn't at my sharpest.....when another mom tried to strike up a conversation with me. We had met before - at a Abigail's preschool and have chatted a few times briefly. She told me she had gone to my house, that she had rung the doorbell - checked the back yard etc... in hopes of visiting with me. (I was a bit surprised - not sure how she knew where I lived?) I asked when this was. She said, "right after we talked about my daughter." (none of this is ringing a bell for me at all) She said that I had told her that I lost my daughter.

"I lost my daughter?" (I was so confused...I know this is weird but I could not make the connection from this to Rachel. I thought she was talking about Abigail)

What followed was a very strange conversation, where she began trying to convince me that I had indeed told her that my daughter was lost - and me denying it!

"When was this again?"

"I don't remember that."

"I didn't lose my daughter..."

Finally....FINALLY....it clued in - and I realized that she meant Rachel.

I said..."OHHH!!! You mean that my daughter died! I didn't lose her. She died."

Poor lady. She probably thought I had lost my mind.....

But that conversation got me thinking about the language we use to talk about death.  So often we use expressions like "she lost her child." instead of just saying "her child died." Why is that? I can't say that I have been too concerned by it before.  I have used this expression myself - many times, actually. I'm not saying that it is always wrong to use it. And I am not going to analyze this woman's reasons for using the word 'lost'.  I am saying though that sometimes it can just be plain confusing (!).  I obviously didn't forget that Rachel died....