So, I had this idea. You know those ideas that you can’t get out of your head? Those ideas that consume you to the point of what was determination, but turns into obsession? Yeah, well unfortunately I get those kind of ideas A LOT. Some ideas do actually happen and some I have to just calm myself down and be patient. That’s hard, for me at least. Remember in my previous blog I said my husband brings the perfect balance to my ongoing sweet ideas? This would be one of them.
I realize when I go through sad, mad or painful moments I tend to want to run. To run far away and hope I can escape the pain. My escape place is the “Beach.” Well I wish I could say I literally go to the beach, but I mean in my mind I take a trip to the beach. I imagine the waves crashing against the rocks making their way up to the shore as my feet soak into the sand and as I look out I see flocks of birds chirping as they fly away. Then I get lost in how big the ocean is and it doesn’t matter how far you look all you see is water and a sky so big, I never get tired with how beautiful creation is. It’s my resting place.
I knew we were approaching the one year mark and all I wanted to do was escape. I didn’t want to be anywhere near familiar territory. All I could imagine was watching my girls running and laughing because that’s all I imagined Annabelle doing in Heaven. So, where could my girls run and laugh? Yup, “the beach” but not just the beach why not “Disneyland” too. Ha. Sounds like a great idea! Well, I forgot to mention my husband is in his first year of building a business debt free (I'll save this story for another blog). So, if you can imagine with me this was not the best idea or timing to bring this up. If there are any entrepreneur's out there reading this you know what I'm talking about. However, if you know me I at least have to give it a shot. So here we are stashing away any bit of cash we could get our hands on and then wouldn't you know a radio station started advertising “A Trip to Disneyland” so yeah guess what I did. I was one of those crazy callers, listening to the radio 24/7, checking their Facebook page for any hints to when they were giving away Disney tickets. I had their phone number programed into my phone and ready to call. Sooner or later February 15th was creeping up on me and the beach and Disneyland seemed so far away. It hit me. I realized I had become obsessed about something that I wasn't even excited about anymore. I thought back to when I held Annabelle and all the feelings flooded my heart. In a moment of pain something so beautiful happened. I finally understood and felt the joy of simplicity. Time stood still and nothing mattered except embracing the moment that was right in front of me and being present in the now. I had forgotten about that moment and was letting what society calls “the happiest place on earth” become what I thought could be my happiest place on earth. If you've ever been to Disneyland there ain't nothing simple about it.
Without pouring one more ounce of effort into that idea I threw it out the window. I know the beach and Disneyland will happen but it will happen at the right time for us. This time there was something else we needed to do as a family. We needed to take a Hike and not just in my mind but literally. So we did. We packed up some snacks and headed toward Superstition Mountains. It was an overcast day, the most beautiful day we could have ever picked out to go hiking. Now, with an almost 4yr old and 6yr old the hike started off pretty exciting...
Cadence wasn't just walking she was running and yes laughing too. Mylee on the other hand, our very girly girl who loves to be clean, was trying to find her safe place in all this dirt and cactus everywhere (I have to add that the 1st time we took a trip to the beach with Mylee she sat in a tent the whole time with paper towels trying to get all the sand off of her) so this was nothing new for us. She eventually perked up but as time went on things slowed down a bit. Both girls started to loose their interest and they were asking “why are we doing this again?” and there goes my mind “great, see Disney would have been perfect, what were we thinking?” But then the sweetest thing happened. Out of nowhere beyond all the dirt and cactus we could see green and a field of lavender flowers. I stopped and said “look it's Annabelle's birth stone color.” Not even a minute after I said that Cadence came running over and starts picking the flowers.
We had a long way to go until we reached our destination but we took a moment and all stopped. Makes me tear up just thinking about how beautiful this moment was. In the middle of no where there we stood over looking the valley and it took me back to my escape place “the beach.” the same feelings I get when I'm standing in the ocean is what flooded my mind standing on top of that mountain watching my girls play in a small field of lavender flowers. It was like we all took in a breath of fresh air and from that point on we embraced the moment right in front of us. We hiked and found a place just for us to sit and enjoy. We talked about all kinds of stuff. But the best conversation was when Mylee and Cadence would randomly make comments like “Annabelle is playing in heaven right now. Oh now, she's taking a nap, Oh now she's laughing” hearing them talk about Annabelle was so precious and it reminded us why we did this. It was quiet, peaceful and absolutely beautiful.
It was the 1st day from the day I held Annabelle in my arms that I truly felt like I was present in what was happening right now in my life. We went and visited Annabelle at her grave sight later that day and I sat there in awe. I spent that last year feeling like I was always missing out of something. I had wished over and over again that I could hold her one more time or know her the way I know my girls. All I wanted was to be with her and all that is so normal when you are grieving. I didn't know any different. Someone once told me “there will be a day when you have to say goodbye to her” and I thought that is what was happening but instead I didn't say goodbye to her. I said “Thank you Annabelle for giving us the most precious gift to hold on to, mommy will never say goodbye.” Even though I don't have her to physically hold or to tuck in at night I still have her just in a different way. One little life changed our life, it was unplanned and unexpected and that's what was so beautiful. I wasn't expecting those lavender flowers and those unexpected moments I never want to pass up.
What is it in your life that maybe you said goodbye to, but you know it's still there? Trust me, I know the feelings are real and if I were to have said goodbye I would have passed up those Lavender flowers and told myself “just forget about everything and move on.” But I realized something and I want you to realize this too. Its okay to go back and remember the field that was once so painful. Allow yourself to walk through that field and tend to the soil. You might be surprised at what starts to grow. On February 15, 2015 even though I didn't say goodbye to Annabelle I did say goodbye to grief. I found the beauty from the pain. Beautiful moments take place everyday of our lives. They may not be where you think you will find them, but they are there. Where is your Field full of Lavender flowers?