“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Our family acknowledges the blessings others offered on our journey.
Someone loaded praise songs onto my ipod.
Someone scraped the gunk from our microwave.
Someone organized her funeral with dignity.
Someone built a box to store some memories.
Someone bought groceries.
Someone wrote a song for the memorial service.
Someone brought my boys new crayons and coloring books.
Someone asked her grandmother to sew a bonnet for Kelsey.
Someone returned the flowery crib sheets and quilt to the store.
Someone hugged me, looked me in the eye, and assured me it was okay that I didn’t know how to pray.
Other mommies who knew the sting journeyed with me.
People cooked meals.
People sent cards.
People gave donations.
People said her name.
And now, people are reading her story.
Some good friends gave us a pink dogwood tree as a memorial. What a thoughtful, touching gift. As the weather began to warm, we gathered the strength to go into the backyard to plant it. My husband dug the hole and I watched, contemplating holes and dirt and burial. The wind whipped through the boys’ hair as they ran in circles around us. All the while I had a mental battle as to whether at that moment I was the strongest or weakest I had ever been. I wanted to believe that I was strong because I had survived, but the weakness in me felt as if I could be carried away by the wind in an instant.
We observed the tree as it grew and began to bud. It was in full view from my laundry room window. Daily as I washed and folded, I watched its progress. Life. And then, after about five months, it slowly began to die. It withered and dried until it stood merely as a stick. No more green leaves. No more promise of the pink blossoms in the springtime. No more life.
The stick remained for a while. We just couldn’t bear to take it from the ground. And then we saw it. How in the world? Where did it come from? A pink flower bloomed beside the tree. A beautiful pink petunia, eventually joined by others, grew and offered hope.
Hope in the midst of heartache.
Life in spite of death.
*This post is part of the series, "Kelsey's Story." The series begins with the post titled, "Marge." Thanks for reading.