We braved our first weekend away with the little ones and I’ve survived to blog about it.
The kids had a great time and aside from the car ride there… okay and the car ride home, everything went smoothly.
The weekend was the first time in years my entire extended family was together in one place.
It was so good to see everyone but bittersweet for me as so much of life is these days.
The last time we attended a family reunion I was happily pregnant with triplets and had found out we were having two girls and a boy. We announced what we were having to the whole family and were greeted cheers and I think you should name one after me‘s.
It was a magical time in our lives and returning to the same place reminds me of what different people we are now and how much life has changed.
We have five amazing children but one will never be at the famous family reunion, or go kayaking in the lake with her Daddy and uncles, or climb from bed to bed to bed with her siblings, talking her Mommy’s ears off because sleeping in a cabin is just beyond exciting when you are two.
And hardest of all? I will never hear “my whole family” without feeling a twinge of pain because Hadley will always be missing and, for me, our family will never be whole. Words like “everyone” and “all of us” carry so much more significance for me now because I long for the completeness they bring.
When I see the latest version of our huge family picture I will laugh with everyone else at the amazing feat of getting our crazy bunch in one shot but my eyes will find a spot where my little daughter should be standing and then the picture will blur with tears. I will remind myself though, that she was there because I brought her.
Her memory was packed carefully for the trip, right inside my heart.
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