I have always felt like the days leading up to Trinity's Birthday are harder than the actual day. The anxiety, and fear leading up to that day is unimaginable. Unless you have had to live the experience no words can explain that feeling. I usually do not make plans, and this year my goal was to go with the flow and see how the day unfolded. We were supposed to have a family event for my SIL but at the last minute is was canceled. DH and my MIL had taken the day off and when the event was canceled they decided to still take the day off and spend the day with me. At 8pm Monday night I decided that staying home would just give me more time to think and relive the events of nine years ago. So I got online and started looking for something we could all do together that wouldn't break the bank. I walked into the living room and asked my MIL and DH if they wanted to head to the springs in the morning. Florida has some of the most amazing natural springs and the boys love them. Deleon Spring is a spring that is about 30 minutes away and has this awesome little restaurant in an old sugar mill where you can make you own pancakes on the table. So we set the plan in motion, packed a few bags, washed some towels, packed the cooler for the next day. Monday night I did not sleep much. My mind wouldn't allow it. On Tuesday, Trinity's Birthday I woke up from my restless nights sleep determined to get everyone out the door and enjoy the day. I was over tired but I wanted to boys to have a good day. We were blessed to also have my niece who is a year and a half younger than what Trinity should be. Sometimes having her in the middle of my two boys heals my heart. (She will even tell people that she helped heal my heart). We were out the door and headed to the springs, car full of kiddos.... laughing, giggling, fighting.... I'm thankful my MIL was with me as she was great about helping keep the peace as the kiddos got a little rowdy and she knew I was on edge. We got there and enjoyed breakfast at the pancake house.
The kids seemed to really enjoy it even though it was super hot. The Kiddo's we so ready to get into the water. The springs wasn't very crowded like they usually are now that the summer camps are done for the summer. The kids enjoyed snow cones and had a blast. Jax's loved the "cold beach" and enjoyed being a big kid jumping into the water from the edges. Jadon and my niece swam their little hearts out. While the kids were in the water I got a visitor when I stepped out of the water because I was feeling overwhelmed.
This sweet little butterfly landed just at my feet. As I got close to take a picture she didn't fly away. I was able to get within inches of her as she let me take her picture. I was on cloud nine. I sat and watched as this butterfly flew from puddle of water, puddle of water around the springs. All within a foot of me. I sat in watched for a long time, I'm sure people around me were thinking "has she never seen a butterfly before". Then after a while a young boy walked by he must have been about 6 or 7. He tried to kick her. My heart broke in two. I nicely asked him please don't kick her. I got a look from his mother like "who do you think you are". I had to walk away at that moment. To everyone around its *just* a butterfly. To me on that day it was a sign that my baby girl was with us. Shortly after that It started to get a little crowded and I decided for my sanity it was time to go. We packed up our things and headed home to shower so that we could do the rest of the things I had wanted to do.
After showers and a small nap we packed the kids back up to get flowers and head to the monument that we had Trinity's name engraved on. The monument was put up by the Florida TEARS Foundation and its called the Angel of Hope Monument. Its the one place I can go and place flowers for her.
After the trip to the monument we went and had dinner. At this point I was barely holding on. After dinner we did our usual Balloon release for the kids. My niece has never gotten to go with us and she was very excited to sign her balloon for her cousin. "Happy brthday love alicia" is how she wrote it. I was in tears at that moment. The boys both drew on their balloons as wall as my SIL and MIL. Derek and I were able to write a little message and we let them go. After we decided to have a small cake in remember the sweet girl who should have turned 9. I also received a beautiful wind chime with butterflies.
Yesterday was filled with so many emotions. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to spend the day with my boys, my niece, my husband, and MIL. I got so much love from family and friends. Lots of text messages, phone calls, FB post. I was sad to not hear from a few people but over all I felt love. My daughters life was remembered. That is the hardest thing when you are a loss parent. That everyone will forget her. But yesterday she was remembered.
Last night after everyone went to sleep I finally allowed myself to fall apart and cry. I allowed the wave to hit however it may and fell asleep with her blanket and molly bear. Today I have an emotional hangover. I love my daughter and miss her terribly. Sometimes it still overwhelming but I am more at peace with her passing. Just the milestones are hard sometimes. But because of my daughter I get these moments below. And how can not not feel 100% blessed.
I'm so glad you had such a beautiful day. I know that it couldn't have ended any other way, although I sure wish her birthday could end with her tucked in with a blanket and bear instead of you. Your love for Trinity comes through so strongly, as does your sorrow. You express beautifully how the complicated feelings of being so blessed and love mingle with the never-ending sorrow of loss.
I saw two single butterflies yesterday, of two different types, and I thought of you. I knew they weren't for me because it was just one at a time, so I could only think of Trinity. Many hugs. Real ones soon!!
I like how you described it emotional hangover. That sums it up...I'm glad you had a special day with your family. Sometimes you just need to surround yourself with those you love to get through the day. I know I can't sit a home if I do I would be an emotional mess that is why I always make sure to get out of the house. I love that Trinity visited. They always know when we need a visit and come by. and you had every right to tell that kid not to kick the butterfly. Even thought it has lots of meaning to you to everyone else it is still a living creature that you aren't cruel too. I have been thinking about you. hugs. Nicki
Samantha, hugs as you remember and honor Trinity. I love that you had a special family day. I'm sure it was memorable for your boys and niece too. The little visit from that gorgeous butterfly was totally your girl saying hello. Everything you do to make her day special is felt by so many. Love all of the photos:)
Love and hugs,
I hope that today finds you less emotionally hung over. This is a beautiful post and so very perfectly describes how I too feel on Josie's dates. I definitely have tears running down my face thinking about your visit from the beautiful butterfly. It is so amazing when we get those reminders that our little ones are with us, especially on days when we need it the most.
Love and Hugs
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