Monday, March 14, 2011 11:25 AM, CDT
We are doing pretty good. The key these days to that outcome is to stay busy, and that we are. Also, I know that the main reason we are doing as good as we are is because we are still being lifted up in prayer and we are so thankful.
Patrick and I both knew that the days between February 25th and March 21st were and are going to be the hardest for us to encounter yet. Each holiday and momentous occasion was felt deeply through out this last year of “firsts,” but we could still think back and attempt to enjoy the memories we had of living our lives with Sicily. February 25th marks the day we found out that all options had run out...the day Sicily's life was listed under the category of “terminal.” We had no idea how much time she had left and did our best to enjoy every last minute with her. We were given just short of one last month. It is hard to think back on those last days one year ago, so in an effort not to drown, I'm trying not to focus on them too much. It can be too painful at times!
The kids are on spring break and we have lots of “busy-ness” planned. I'm really looking forward to our time together. I have to smile with God's timing. The thought that He let Sicily survive long enough to last through spring break last year so her siblings and other family and friends could see her and spend one last time with her brings me to tears. It was such a gift. And then to have spring break this year to be able to be with my kids for a quantity of quality time before we endure her “angelversary” is yet another beautiful gift from Him.
Speaking of Sicily's “angelversary,” (thank you to my friend, Shannon, for sharing this title with me as it is so befitting and she knows very well the importance of the meaning)... Father Joe offered to celebrate mass at Sicily's grave site next Monday, March 21st in Wellington, Kansas and we graciously took him up on it. We will be heading up north just for the day and plan on gathering at the cemetery (Sumner Memorial Gardens) around 4:30ish. I want to be back home by late evening so I can sit in the rocking chair I last held Sicily in when the clock reads 10:45pm. Anyone and everyone is welcome to join us on Monday, whether you are Catholic or not...whether you personally knew this little angel or just let her into your heart, we sincerely invite you! Our motto has always been, “The more the merrier!” We also don't want anyone to feel obligated as we know this won't fit into everyone's schedule, but in case it does, we could use all the hugs we can get! ; )
I still have so much I need to write about, but haven't sat down long enough to focus and gather my thoughts. I promise I will in due time. So much of this grief journey has been emotionally draining, as should be expected, but it's been a mental process, as well. I have longed for the day when we could say we survived the first year. I just feel like I will gain a sense of accomplishment, as silly as that sounds. I am realistic to accept that each holiday and special occasion will still find me with a lingering sadness, but having endured a full year before, I know I will continue to feel more happiness and I will let my reflections of our precious little girl fill me with gratitude, joy and thankfulness that she was a part of our lives for as long as she was. She was truly a gift and I will treasure what God gave to me because of her!
I will try to confirm our plans later in the week and attempt to give directions to the cemetery in Wellington. It might be a safer bet to map quest as I am not known for accurate directions! ; )
One last thing...we had high hopes that Sicily's grave stone would be placed by March 21st, but we are still patiently waiting for that to happen. I guess if it's meant to be, it will be. I don't know why but I just really wanted it there by this momentous date. God keeps trying to teach me lessons of letting go when things are not in my control. It's a tough lesson to learn and I haven't grasped it yet, but I continue to try!
Everyone have a safe and blessed week!
“Thy will be done!”