An anniversary marks the date on which an event happened. An anniversary is celebrated. The tenth year wedding anniversary is celebrated with diamonds. A child who turns ten celebrates with a party that they are finally in the double digits. Anniversaries are thought of as celebrations, but how do you celebrate the tenth anniversary of your child’s death? January 17, 2022 marks ten years since our Gracie left this earth. Ten years of missing our blue eyed baby girl. Ten years since I’ve seen and held Gracie. I think about Gracie all the time. A few months ago I knew her tenth year angelversary was coming. I put it in the back of my mind because in order to get through each day I need to remember Gracie’s good times, Gracie’s love, her laughter, her smiles and her silly antics. If I focus too much on how long she’s been gone or the deterioration of my little girls body or the days, hours and minutes that led up to her death….I am overwhelmed with emotions, from sadness and anxiety to helplessness and fear. So because I put this in the back of my mind we had nothing planned for the tenth year anniversary of Gracie’s passing. My family learned a long time ago ( on Gracie’s 1st angelversary) that we need to keep busy, we need to do something as a family to honor and remember our Gracie. We need to be positive as we remember our sweet Gracie. We are so thankful to our friends at the Brave Will Foundation who taught us this as they lost their little boy from cancer and went through the same emotions and questions of how or what to do on the angelversary of a child’s death.
But here we were four days before the weekend of her angelversary with nothing to do. Geoff had some ideas, but they all fell through as they needed to be planned well in advance. Somehow, just three days before the weekend everything fell into place. It never dawned on us to go back to the same place we celebrated Gracie’s first angelversary. I think maybe our little angel had something to do with how everything worked out. A conversation with Debbie at RMH led to an amazing weekend at the beautiful Krantz Cottage where we were surrounded by love, comfort and lots of laughs. Ten years later we returned to the indoor water park for a few hours of fun, had a wonderful dinner at the Adirondack Pub and Brewery, got a sneak peak of the ice castles, fireworks, a late night bowling, lazer tag, arcade trip, followed by a whole day of skiing at West Mountain. We kept busy as the sadness of why we celebrated was there, but it was definitely overcome by the chance to make some amazing memories.
Our little memory making adventure ended with a trip back home late last night to beat the snowstorm headed our way. On our way home I realized that Gracie left this world 10 years ago in the wee hours of the morning as the snow fell from the sky. Funny how ten years later another snowstorm has us back in the same place, in the comfort of our home as a family remembering our sweet girl.
Ten years later and I’m still not sure if were navigating this journey of grief correctly or not. Losing you hurts just as much today as it did ten years ago, but to hear your sister and brother talk about you warms our hearts and puts a smile on our faces. Your brother talks about you often and loves to be part of the foundation events. He remembers the short time he had with you and wishes he had more. Your sister insists that you and Papa and Marilyn are cardinal birds that visit us everyday (Thanks, Nana- lol) and so wishes she could have met you! I think maybe you left that slinky in the cottage this weekend for her to play with. As for your father and I we miss you like crazy and we work like crazy to keep your memory alive by helping other families like ours. We love you to the moon and back baby girl and can’t wait for the day to see and hold you again.
Until We Meet Again
We think about you always
We talk about you still
You have never been forgotten
And you never will
We hold you close within our hearts
And there you will remain
To walk and guide us through our lives
Until we meet again.