Today was a VERY busy day full of Peanut activities. First, Dadda and I hosted a small "open house" this afternoon for family and friends to come help us decorate your Peanut Tree. This evening we were scheduled to attend the St. Louis Worldwide Candle Lighting event along with other local families who are remembering and missing their children during this holiday season. In the midst of this season of commercials, Santa Claus, gluttony, parties, and giving with the expectation of receiving, days like today are so very important to Momma.
Decorating your tree was sad, happy, painful, joyful and impactful. The ornaments that now hang on your tree are full of love, stories, memories. As each person hung their ornament, they shared with Momma why they chose that image, that color, that symbol. I heard funny little remembrances and stories never shared before. And, I felt so very, very close to you. The tree is...beautiful. Heartbreakingly beautiful.
Later, we sped to the location of the St. Louis Candle Lighting service, only to find an empty, lonely parking lot. We had a whole string of cars with us - family members who wanted to celebrate your memory in a public way this evening. Dadda finally called the organizer who informed us we had bad information. Wrong location, no service. <sigh> The website was inaccurate. Of all things to screw up, this is not the ideal audience to mess with Organizer People. This event was the one and only event Momma has been looking forward to, the only event that felt really important, this whole holiday season. Dadda and I drove home in silence, with Momma gripping the steering wheel so hard my hands started to cramp up. When we got home, our own little Peanut Candle Ceremony took place, with our own private emotions.
As I moped around the house, feeling cheated, battered and bruised, Momma happened to glance over at your Peanut Tree. The lights twinkled and illuminated all your perfect, lovely ornaments. My heart swelled with love, and it hit me over the head like a ton of bricks. This is what is truly important. Time spent remembering you, sharing you, with those we love. Time spent honoring you with laughter and tears. Keeping you alive through stories.
So, tonight we light a Peanut Tree in your memory. We light a candle in your memory. And, in turn, your memory keeps the light of love and hope alive in our hearts.
Peanut, I miss you. Plain and simple. My heart longs for you desperately, and is so thankful for the memories. To the moon and back, 'Nut.