Many thanks to Laura over at Angel Baby Names for doing Gracie's name.
Thanks to Tiffany over at Names on the Sidewalk for also doing Gracie's name.
Thanks for the Easter greeting from Michelle at Missing Juanito.
Many thanks also go to Misty at Heaven's Seashells for also doing several great photos of Gracie's name.
I hope that you all had relatively peaceful Easter weekend. Ours was relatively uneventful. Instead of going to our first Easter egg hunt, we visited Gracie's grave and released a few balloons. When we arrived at the cemetery, we were greeted by a pretty yellow flower, a ceramic Easter Bunny and a ceramic Easter basket (with ceramic eggs, of course) that my father and step-mom left there some time last week. We did a little spring clean up while we were there; some of the bulbs that we planted in the fall are finally starting to come up. I am excited to see those flowers in full bloom in a few weeks.
The last couple of weeks have held a few 'firsts' for me. On Friday the 26th, I went for my first massage since Gracie died. For the last 5-6 years, I have generally been an 'every 3-5 weeker' for massage. I was was unable to get to the one that I had scheduled in July, and I was simply not up for it in August and most of September. After that, all hell broke loose in my office and it was just impossible to schedule. I am pretty tight with my massage therapist, and have talked to her on a regular basis since August, but we have not really talked about Gracie until my appointment. The massage was as I expected, but I didn't do much for setting the atmosphere - we spent the whole hour talking about my dead baby and her recent divorce. I am SO ready for the day that Gracie's death isn't new to people.
My husband and I are registered for the March for Babies, which is another first for us. At this point, we will be walking with our parents and a family friend. We will also be joined by 'L,' who is the first-grade daughter of family friends. Because she was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy several years ago, she also visits me twice a week for physical therapy. She is a very smart young lady who does not miss a beat. She was very 'involved' in my pregnancy with Gracie, and regularly asked about Gracie's movement habits and what Gracie was going to be when she grew up. She was also rather affected by Gracie's death and asked more questions than most adults - sadly, her questions and comments have, for the part, been more appropriate and made more sense than the quesitons asked by many adults. After registering for the March for Babies, I posted a link to our team page on Facebook. Not too long after I posted, L sent me a message that she was going to bring me $10 for Gracie and perhaps do the 'walk-a-thon.' Sure enough, when she came for her next appointment, she handed over $10 from her Tooth Fairy jar and told me that she was going to do the walk with us on her scooter.
L and I have been fundraising allies for a couple of years, as I am a lock-up volunteer for the M.D.A.'s annual Lock-Up fundraiser. But I have been touched more by her generosity than anyone can imagine. Money is so precious to kids - I can remember losing a $5 bill at Yankee Stadium when I was about 10 or 12 and thinking that it was the end of the world. To have a 7 year old kid with a major disability voluntarily hand over $10 of her Tooth Fairy money (that she is saving for a trip to Disney) just absolutely floored me. I am pretty sure that I have never witnessed a purer, more innocent and selfless act in my life. I guess it just goes to prove that there is no way to ever really tell how far the reach of our babies really extends.
I have been missing Gracie a lot lately. I don't really say it out loud that often...I guess I don't really even 'say' it here that often. But I miss her more with each passing day. Some days I think I miss her so much that it just makes me crazier than I already am. I think that it is sometimes worse because of the goings on with Jellybean, and I wonder if that will ever change. I suspect that it won't.
I would like to officially welcome my wonderful friend Dawn to the blogosphere; stop in and read more about her son Brayden. I have been thinking of all of you over the last few days, as we moved through yet another holiday without our little ones, but I would like to send out the following thoughts as I close tonight.... Congratulations to Jamie on the arrival of her rainbow. Many non-trembling warm fuzzies headed over to Bree and little Nora with hopes that Nora stays put for several more weeks. Warm thoughts also to Tina as she approaches Sophia and Ellie's first birthday and inches closer and closer to meeting her rainbow. Also sending warm fuzzies to Heather and Kristin, who are in the early phases of 'chasing' their rainbows. Thinking of Margaret and wishing healing and peace for Julie and her family in the coming days and weeks.
Wishing you all a peaceful week...see you again in a week or two...or whenever I feel the need to purge again.