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Friday, May 6, 2011

Easter and Everything Else

I wrote a post about names, but events changed what that was meant to be before I published it. I will still post it with the events that I will share here.

Easter. Easter is so different for me now. Last year, Phineas died on Good Friday. Two days later was Easter. A day that I have very little memory of really. I was in such a state of shock. It also happened to be General Conference for the Church. I did not watch. Many people said later that there were so many messages that seemed meant for us. I am still meaning to read all of the messages from that day, but I have not done it yet.

Though Easter came later this year, memories of the prior year were very strong. Spring took a few weeks longer to "spring" so to speak, so it looked similar outside. The daffodils, the trees just barely getting leaves. It was as though everything was coming full circle.

Easter. A time of remembering Christ's resurrection. A time of rebirth and renewal. And you know what, I did feel renewed. New life has come to our family. I felt so incredibly blessed. The beauty of the Connecticut spring was a blessing last year and is a blessing again this year. This Easter was on the 24th, thirteen months after Phineas's birth. The first time I didn't dread the date.

We had a beautiful day. Church where we visited with friends. An egg hunt in the drizzling rain and dinner with my sister. A walk along the lake. A lovely low key day. A day to remember and look forward.

That picture makes me laugh. The joy of photographing children.

And then, we were blindsided again. A few days later, Nate's uncle Jim passed away. After only a few weeks of knowing he had cancer at all, he succumbed to it. No one knew how quickly it would take his life. So it is I suppose. We are well versed in how things can go from being fine to not.

The night before his passing, I was washing dishes after the kids were asleep. I thought about life and death worried about Uncle Jim and who he might leave behind. I thought about my little boy and the purpose of his life. Why some lives are so short and others are not. When Nate got home, we discussed some of these things. Why some things happen, about death and life.

I feel like Phineas's life and death made me a better person. Would I go back if I could and change things to have him here? The answer is no. I would so love to have him here, toddling around and giving snuggles and laughs to us, learning to talk. But to gain one thing, others must be sacrificed. There is no way around it. I like the person I am becoming, as shattered and destroyed I was, I am slowly piecing together a new and better me. Because of Phineas.

I remember Jim as such a kind person. Someone who wanted everyone to feel welcome. I was overwhelmed by Nate's family when I first met them. Jim was one who was so friendly and straightforward. The way he cared for people is definitely well worth emulating. Nate tells me he was one of his favorite uncles (shh, don't tell!). A man truly missed.

You can never go back and change things, you can only remember and take the lessons life has taught us, cherish the gifts and memories others have given us, and move forward.

So long, Jim. x

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