Pictures and more about the walk!
I can't believe two weeks have passed already since we went to the Atlanta Walk to Remember.
It was truly a special day.
I was blessed and honored to have those with me who attended. My preschool friends and co-workers: Robin (and her husband, Britt, and two children, Rob and Maddie), Kendra, Lori, LaRae, and Stephanie. My long-time high school friend April, her brother Jacob, his wife Heather and their son Owen. My NICU nurse friend, Lori, who was also there in honor and memory of her nephew, Ethan. And one family member, Aunt Barbara, who made these beautiful bears.
The ceremony started with a couple of speakers, including an OB-GYN and parents who had written letters or read poems in honor of their babies. There were songs, too. One was "Time After Time". The other one, called "Stand Back Up" struck a cord deep within me.
There are days that I don't want to stand up. Not as many as there used to be, but still some. I made a conscious choice after Grady died to stand back up and keep going, like so many of you reading this. I didn't realize this until I just googled it, but Sugarland actually sings it! One of my favorite groups! Do I hear Christmas present somewhere in there??? HA! To listen to it, click here. (Don't forget to pause the music at the bottom of this page first)
It was nice to be surrounded by a tent full of others faced with the same struggle, but were obviously "back up"...
We took a short, symbolic walk around the business park and gathered for a balloon release. When we first arrived, we all wrote a message to our babies on a butterfly-shaped piece of paper. We held on to them and tied them to our balloons. As they sang another song, we released our purple balloons into the wind of a beautiful blue sky.
A man came up to me, don't know why, and handed me a clump of about five or six balloons. With tears in my eyes as I released them, I told Gib they were for my friends' babies who had died too...
Since it was the fifth anniversary of the walk, they had live butterflies to release. We were standing pretty close to the lady when she tossed them out of the box. She told us to leave them alone and to give them time to gain their strength to fly.
But there was one butterfly on the grass in front of me that just couldn't get up. I carefully lifted it up onto my finger. It stayed a few minutes before finally taking flight.
Then Emma Grace came to me with a butterfly on her head. I promise you that butterfly was there for at least ten minutes before leaving!
Then Jessica came with one on her shirt, right near her heart. It stayed a while too. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of that one, but here is another that took-a-liking to her.
I felt Grady's presence so completely that day. It was a great and beautiful way to honor and remember him.
A big thank you to those of you who made the effort and took the time to be with me, Gib, Jessica and Emma Grace on that special day! It means more than you'll ever know!
(I had more pictures that Lori took, but Blogger is having difficulties now uploading pictures, and I'm too impatient to wait! Time to move on with my day...)