So many good things…so many hard things. Today was one of those hard days. We were visiting the church of our good friends and attending the baptism of their sons. Baptisms are so very hard for me. It was beautiful sacrament. I had never witnessed a Catholic baptism before. I was doing my best to hold myself together and enjoy all that was promised by these parents. There were 5 children baptized today. As the Deacon was calling each name and baptizing the children, it hit me. The first child, a sweet, blond girl, is named Natalie. She was a little older than Natalie was when she was baptized. That was it for me. I focused on my girls and the boys that I was there for. I made it through, even took a few pictures for the family. I left the sanctuary and found a quiet corner. I hugged on Alie and let myself cry. It never stops. There is always the reminder, no matter what we are doing. After the sacrament and lunch with our friends, we ran up to the outlet malls just to look for a minute. We were very good, purchasing only 1 pair of sneakers for Emily. Of course, the GPS who I have affectionately named Lola brought us home near the park where our last family pictures were taken with Natalie. Shortly after we arrived home, Emily informed Bryan and me that she wanted to send her balloon to Natalie. Every time a balloon gets away outside we talk about how Natalie will get the balloon in heaven and get to enjoy it just as she has here. Today, she wanted to write on the balloon and tell Nat Nat that she loves her. I got out the sharpie and we all wrote messages to our girl then headed outside to send her the balloon. It was so very sweet, sad, perfect and perfectly difficult. Of course, we had the camera out. I never go anywhere without my camera! Yet another moment to remember…yet another moment that I wish had never happened.
I have had a few bad weeks. I honestly think I have been in a state of shock for about 18 months. Once month 19 started, I got mad. Angry, hurt, confused, I am hot! How could this happen? Why me, why us? Why? Just plain and simple…why? It seems as though everything that happens now can be traced back to Natalie’s accident. If Nat’s accident had not happened, then ________ would have. If she was still here, then _______. It is a big fill-in-the-blank puzzle. Each piece builds on how this has affected our lives. It has affected how I approach new situations like kindergarten for Emily. It has affected activities I allow my children to participate in. It has affected Bryan’s job and advancement opportunities. It has affected every aspect of our lives. There are good things that have come from this. We have Alie. Our marriage is strong, solid and alive. But the negative impact from this just keeps resurfacing. And I have found that I am angry. I think I have suppressed it so long that this has no where to go but out. So here it is.
But I am hoping that from this will come some shaping of my soul. I know that I am like clay and God is molding me with every turn. The potter is in control and He is pushing on me to form me just as He wants. I know it is softening my heart and helping me heal. There is growth for me in this turmoil.
“Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
Good night all,
Hillary, Bryan, Emily, Alie and especially our angel baby Nat-Nat who is so incredibly missed today and always