When Callie passed away, John and I had to make the most heart-wrenching decisions. I can’t even begin to describe what it feels like to contemplate things like burial vs. cremation when it comes to your baby. We felt sick, drained, tortured. What was the right thing to do? Unfortunately, there wasn’t a “right” thing to do…no rules, no instruction manual, no guide for the path we were walking. Ultimately, after discussing it with our pastor, we decided to have Callie cremated and buried her ashes in the prayer garden at church, which we later redesigned in her memory. We marked her resting place with a rock with the inscription, “Sunshine Angel”, because it was just too cruel to see her name and short life written in stone on a grave.
As time has gone on, John and I have gone on a roller coaster of emotions when thinking back on these decisions. A lot of times, we wish we could go back and change our minds. We miss her and wish we could be close to her again. But we know that no matter what we would have decided, the outcome would still be the same.
She is in heaven.
On Earth, her soul dances in the sunlight on wings of yellow butterflies, or floats to the ground on the back of a feather, or pops up when you least expect it in a million different forms. I see her all the time everywhere I go. But I know she truly resides in heaven.
Yet even with this knowledge, I began feeling empty when I looked at the spot where she was buried in the garden. That part of me that had not wanted to see her little name in stone began longing for just that. I needed to see it. And I needed others to see it too. She mattered, she was here, she was loved, and she will never be forgotten.
We put Callie’s new marker in the garden last month. Just this past Sunday, we visited her after church and after watching John and I put a kiss on the stone, Charlotte bent down and touched her big sister’s rock just as sweet as could be. I’m not sure she will ever understand just how meaningful that was for us but it was a beautiful moment that I wanted to share with you.
This summer is going faster than the blink of an eye. I’ve loved every sweet moment of being home with Charlotte. She is so active and fun and her smile lights up a room. This month for Kindness for Callie, the theme is “children”. I’ve always had a soft spot for kids, but even more so after becoming a mom. I hope that you can find a way this month to do a little act of kindness to brighten a deserving child’s day!