Monday, September 17, 2007

A Visit to New England

Over the weekend we traveled to New England, Rhode Island specifically for our niece's 9th birthday. This was the first birthday without her Mom. I knew we had to be there and do something that would be so special it would occupy her thoughts instead of the huge void left by her Mom's absence. She had mentioned that her stepsister had an American Girl doll and so did one of her cousins and she thought they were wonderful. I made a vow to myself that she would have one. Not only did she get the doll but she got the beautiful metal bed, night table, an antique typewriter, phone and gooseneck lamp, carpet, pillows and several outfits. Some were obtained used but in mint condition. She was really surprised. We had her open the furniture first and the doll last. She carried the doll all over with her, took her to church and put the doll bed touching her own. For the first time since June, she slept alone in her room with her new pal, Kit. It was very touching as she leaned over to me and said "I've always wanted an American Girl doll." To see a smile on a child's face, a child who has been through so much this past year, really made my heart smile. My mother-in-law found it very difficult to have the party without her daughter there. It was hard for us to be there and seeing Jen's room with so much gone. There were more things there than I would have imagined. When I see certain things that I have given her such as the angel that holds a banner saying "My sister is laughter on the cloudiest day" it hits you hard. Like a sucker punch to the gut. We went to the cemetery and it seems surreal to us. There were notes from her long time friend, Fred. Fred arrived early that morning to blow up balloons with a helium tank he had purchased. That guy is okay. So now as I climb into my own bed, I get a visual of our little princess in her bed and Kit's bed touching hers. I get great comfort from that. Now the search will begin for a Christmas dress for Kit. I think I will be viewing the American Girl website quite a bit between now and then. Well, time for bed. I am beat and have a full work day tomorrow that will begin at 9 a.m. and end after six p.m.

I am thinking of our Jen and hoping that she can know that her baby girl had a nice birthday. While we tell her daughter that she will never be forgotten and we keep her memories alive with words and pictures, we are trying to also let her know that life goes on. Tragedy strikes, our hearts get broken but we pick up the pieces and we go on. Most people don't learn that lesson at such a young age but our girl knows that she is loved by many people. Somehow I think that will get her through. Goodnight angel.

No comments: