Wednesday, June 30, 2010
It was a peaceful day in June when we walked up to the fence that surrounds one end of the memorial. Things that people have left in memory and in honor of those killed, those injured and those forever changed by the bombing are tucked into the fence.
You see, these numbers don't just remind me of that fateful April day anymore...they mean a whole other set of dates. 9/02 was the date Shyla was stillborn. 9/01 the day before and 9/03 the day after. Looking back through these pictures gives me chills. We had no idea what those numbers were going to mean to us just a few months later. But here we are. We will be reflecting on 9/02 for the rest of our lives, just like that large pool in the middle of those two unmistakable gates.
But that's not where it stops.
This is one of the only photos taken of my whole family together. I am almost 5 months pregnant with Shyla here and we are standing under the SURVIVOR Tree. The tree that withstood the blast of the bomb now stands regally in the corner of the memorial. I love this tree. This is my favorite tree. It means so much more than I can put into words. One of God's creations stands tall as a reminder to survivors of the blast and survivors everywhere that we can survive and that God will protect us.
A lone pink daisy weaved through the fence that surrounds the grassy area where the children once played. It was getting dark and I just really wanted a photo of the one thing left there for the children. And now, a year later, it is the same flower that reminds me of my baby girl. That's Shyla's flower.
While we walked the grounds and looked at all the chairs representing those killed in the blast, the little chairs broke my heart. I just couldn't imagine the pain of loosing a child. The thought of just having this little chair to visit instead of one of my children made me kiss Ethan and hold my belly tight. I never thought I would be able to say that I could identify...even a little bit...to a parent whose child is represented here. But now I can.
The other side of the 9:03 gate reads, " We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever..." That's how I feel about this blogging community. We come here to remember our babies, to support those of us surviving and to reach out to those forever changed.
As we were leaving for the night, we stopped at the church across the street and sat on some benches and saw how the cross was lit in front of the gate.
It all goes back to the cross. No matter our pain. No matter what we are surviving, the cross is there. Keep looking to the cross friends.
He is there and He always will be.