Except when it doesn't.
My husband and I have were both fighting a cold last week and neither of us was getting much quality sleep. More than one morning sweets overslept. Wednesday was one of those mornings. I had planned on going to mass and receive ashes, but instead I decided to visit my baby. I have been feeling a pull to visit him, to go to him. The Day of Ashes seemed like an appropriate day to fulfill this desire.
Wednesday turned out to be a very lovely day. It was warm and sunny, a nice change from the gray, rainy weather we've been having lately. My husband called me as I was preparing to leave the house, to tell me that the design for Michael's grave marker had been finalized and is now in the process of being made. There is nothing there now but a concrete stone with our family name and the year to mark his place. For some reason this makes me uncomfortable and a little sad. I think I'll be more at peace when his grave marker is finally in place.
On our way to the cemetery we stopped to buy some flowers, a symbol of our love and remembrance.
We did not stay long. It was simultaneously easier and more difficult to be there than I thought it would be. But I'm glad I went, I needed to be close to him again.
Afterwards we visited a park close by. We sat under the shade of this tree:
and enjoyed a simple picnic lunch of apple slices and peanut butter sandwiches:
Nathan always twirls his hair when he drinks:
and then we played:
The boys both love this contraption, which they call a spider-web:
While we were there I thanked God for the gift of that beautiful day. Even in the midst of my sadness and my pain I do know that I am blessed. I know that I am loved by our Heavenly Father.
Which brings me to this, I want to direct you to two places you can go to help those suffering from the devastation of the natural disasters in Japan. Having spent some time living in Japan as a girl, it is a country that will always hold a special place in my heart. From the blog of Catholic Relief Services:
Catholic Relief Service personnel throughout the Pacific are standing ready to assist those affected by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan early Friday morning.
“We know from 2004 the devastating impact that these tsunamis can have,” said Sean Callahan, CRS’ executive vice president for overseas operations. “As with all such disasters, CRS will help people recover from the emergency and stand with them as they recover in the months and years to come.”
Caritas Japan is beginning to assess the needs in that country where the tsunami has caused extensive damage. CRS has programs in the Philippines and Indonesia and works with Caritas Oceania that is active in numerous islands in the Pacific that might be affected. Central American countries where CRS works could also be in danger.
Both websites have links where you can donate towards the relief and aid efforts. We offer our prayers for the people of Japan and for those who may have family there. May God be with you and may his love bring you comfort in this time of great need.