Today has been a good day. We were home most of the morning trying to decide what we wanted to do. We're late in the season, but we decided to go strawberry picking. There's a farm not too far from us, and you pick your own berries. The girls and I went earlier last year, and the berries were bigger and more plentiful. We were still able to pick four gallons today, but the berries were smaller. Even though they are smaller, they are still sweet and full of flavor. Emma Grace stayed VERY close by as I was washing and cutting them. She would say, "Just one more!" Last year we made jam. This year, I decided we would wash and freeze them for smoothies and to thaw and eat throughout the year (or however long they last!).
I really am writing to share what happened last night. I would make it a Wednesday's Walk memory (because I will NEVER forget it and it will always be a memory near and dear to my heart), but I can't wait until Wednesday to write about it!
My mother-in-law (mil) and father-in-law (fil) have three living grandchildren, all girls. They were looking forward to a grandson, especially since they have two sons of their own. When Grady died, they came to the hospital. They didn't hold him but were visibly upset and grieving his death. At Grady's service, my poor fil was so upset that he couldn't even speak when he lit his candle.
They were in a play this week in the small town where they live. The play was about World War II and the rations. The name of the play was "Gas, Sugar, Nylons and Chocolate Bars". We took the girls last night, courtesy of the four VIP tickets my mil and fil gave us. It was very entertaining, and the girls seemed to enjoy it. There was some adult humor that I don't think they understood, but there were lots of kids and some singing which they liked. My mil forgot her lines in her first scene, but she played it off really well and was her typical funny self!
Throughout the play, butterflies were "flown" around to represent the "spirit" of someone who had died. (They were fake butterflies attached to long wire-type sticks and someone would gently wave them in the air) At the end of the play, the cast gathered in the center of the room/stage area, singing the old hymn, "Sweet By and By", while waving lots of butterflies in the air. I was already emotional because of the butterflies and what they represented (of course, I was thinking of Grady) and the hymn reminded me of my grandmother who died six months after my dad.
When the song was over, people in the play started calling out names of people followed by the words "I remember you". I thought they were calling out names of people from their small town who had died in WWII.
And then I heard it...
My mil's voice....
"Grady Thomas -----, I remember you".
Friends, I LOST IT!!!
Yes, I did the ugly cry in public! Bent over in my chair with my head in my hands, shoulders shaking, sobbing. Literally sobbing! I couldn't help it. It took me a long time to compose myself. I know everyone around me thought I had lost it (and I had!) , but I just couldn't help it. Even Gib had tears in his eyes.
My mil could not have done anything more special to honor my baby boy. She was afraid she had hurt me, but I told her the exact opposite was true.
That's really all I want. I can't have my baby here with me - that's what I REALLY want. But since I can't have him...I really want him simply to be remembered.
This also touched my heart for a different reason. My husband's brother and his wife in Colorado are expecting their second child in August. And they're having a boy. I want the very best for their family. I want their baby boy to be born alive, healthy and well. I haven't been as involved in this pregnancy as I was with their first because I just simply can't do it. It's where I am right now. I hope they understand...
But I've really struggled on a different level...not just because they're having a baby...but because I'm so afraid Grady will be forgotten and replaced by this new baby boy in their family. I'm so afraid Grady will be forgotten and not recognized as the first grandson. Maybe he didn't live outside of me, but HE LIVED! He had a heartbeat. He moved all the time. He hiccuped all the time. He kicked me all the time. He lived, and he mattered!
My mil's words and actions last night gave me a small glimpse of hope that Grady will not be forgotten. He may not be recognized as their first grandson, but he will not be forgotten.
It gave me hope that he will be remembered.
He was remembered last night...
I hope he will be remembered forever!
That really is all I want...