Momma, Dadda and The Pickle packed our bags and hit the road yesterday for our annual trip to Big Cedar Lodge. Family vacation. Last year this was The Saddest Vacation Ever. And now, it is one full of new joy and laughter thanks to your brother. But, still, your absence looms large.
The Lodge has week of Labor Day celebrations and games targeted to kids, and you would just be at the age where all this activity would be terrific fun. Three years old. Ice cream socials on the lawn, fishing competitions, boat and pony rides, put-put golf...all things we planned to do with you. It's why we chose this week - for you. And now, it will be for your little brother.
I went back and read my letter to you from this day last year. Peanut Vacation - Without Peanut (8-26-11) We were almost six months pregnant last August, and were struggling to find hope while grappling with the quiet and emptiness. Dadda and I were so worried this vacation was a terrible idea, but then we got here and it was like magic. We felt you everywhere. In everything. Every activity. Every sunset. It was during this week that Momma's heart truly started to heal.
Now we are going to share this place - its magic, the stories of your visit when you were just about to turn one, the memories - with The Pickle. Being here, relaxing and having fun, is bittersweet. Dadda and I discussed last night how the loss of you has motivated us to live life with more meaning. With appreciation. With the knowledge it could all disappear in a moment. This brings to mind a quote:
"Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors."
Dadda and I strive to live with grace. Because of you. For you. Peanut, in life and loss you truly make us better. In this way, you live on. In our hearts, minds, actions, and interactions. Your Peanut Effect.
I can feel you, surrounding us in this beautiful place. It makes missing you a little less sharp. Sending you love, joy, appreciation, tinged with sorrow. To the mooooooooon and back!
|Peanut's first taste of McDonald's during the drive to Big Cedar.|