In the early months after we lost Hadley, during those foggy seconds of awakening, I would realize my life all over again. The air in the room would be sucked away and my feet would feel too heavy to lift out of bed.
Each and every morning at 6 a.m.
I would then go through my day in a haze of grief and wonder how the rest of the world was spinning…
how other people were chatting and shopping and remembering to do things like eat dinner and put gas in the car.
I wondered if my feet would ever feel lighter, if my vision would ever stop glazing over.
Four and a half years later, I am strong enough to walk without a thought.
My view is as present as it can be with a piece of my heart gone.
We walked for the March of Dimes this past weekend and I was there.
I soaked up my kids and the confidence and inches they have grown.
I hugged our friends and family and wished I had written them each a personal thank you for coming… my feelings come out much better on paper.
I marveled at our luck with the weather and wanted my husband closer every time we drifted apart.
I was there, for every moment.
As we reached The Memory Garden, I saw my daughter’s name, planted among flowers and messages that had already begun collecting there. I thanked God that big sunglasses partially block the Ugly Cry and waited for my husband and kids to come close so we could craft messages of our own.
While I attempted to refrain from heaving sobs over my daughter’s name, life went on. Runners pushed past, strollers bumped through, someone interrupted my space to ask for a water bottle for her dog and those early feelings rushed back.
I am alone. My daughter has died. The rest of the world is still turning and I am standing still.
But then I looked up and all I could see was our team, a sea of family and friends waiting for us. They all stood back, giving our little family space, but they were there. Stopping the world with us. To remember.
When I was ready to walk again, my husband took my hand and we continued on, one step at a time, each easier than the next, surrounded by our team. A team whose reach is far greater than just one day or one moment and who would do anything to help our family reach the finish line.
I will never be able to put into words how grateful I am to all of you.
Those who donated or walked or sent words of encouragement or took two seconds to think of us on Sunday. We walked with the strength of all of you whether you were there or not.
You have made this path so much easier to travel.
Linking up with Shell and PYHO
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