We spent the weekend in Winthrop with the Cunningham family, at their annual reunion. If you've been reading here for a while, you may recall that I wrote about this event last year, here.
We drove over the mountains on Friday and returned Sunday night, and it was a good trip. Kids, parents, grandparents, in-laws and cousins all gathered for meals, a triathlon, mountain biking, swimming, river fun, games, campfire, etc. We shared cooking and cleanup duties, and kids of all ages played & had fun. It was very relaxing.
The 16th was Sunday, and it was good, for me, to be in the midst of the extended family, especially with Andrea and Mike. We received messages of love and remembrance from our family and friends, as well as you good-hearted bloggers. Text messages, blog comments, email, facebook, phone messages, cards: we appreciate them all. They give comfort.
A lovely message came from Angela & her family, who went to Katie's bench, with flowers, and took photos there. One of those images is above. Tyler and Zach have known Katie since they were tiny little boys; when their sister was being born, Tyler and Zach slept over at our house, in Katie's room. It means a great deal to me that they remember her with love. Thank you, sweet friends!
As for the three of us, it was a day like many others...bittersweet. Sweet with loving remembrances, and bitter with the pain of her absence. Tears were shed. Words of quiet comfort & love were shared. I tried not to relive the day, two years ago, when she passed. This year, it was just too hard to go through the memories, one by one, but some of them surfaced, of course. The hole that Katie has left in our lives is not smaller. It is just the same size and shape - Katie's shape - but we are learning to live with it.
Having my husband and son to love and care for, the blanket guild to work on, a book project in the research phase, kindness and understanding from good people, -- all of these things help me to continue to get up in the morning and put one foot in front of the other. I am thankful to have a purpose. I hope, and try, to keep looking to God to refresh me, but some days I don't do well at looking "up" - or outside of myself - and on those days, I tend to run out of energy.
God, please help me (and all who grieve) to look to You, to rest in Your love, to climb into Your lap, to hold Your hand. Amen.