We had a box making a couple of nights ago where Sandy Harenberg who is the bereavement coordinator at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital attended. She experienced the loss of her daughter, Casey, 25 years ago. 25 years! Wow! I can't yet wrap my mind around grieving my daughter for that many years - although I know I will. She spoke for us that night and told us how each year has changed for her. Her eyes were full of tears as she told us, "this is 25 years you guys". "It's been 25 years and I am standing here crying". She went on to say that she doesn't cry every day, but that she is still very much effected by the life of her daughter. She says as a nurse that she must enter into the computer her patient's birthdates and that every time she enters a date of "1985" she remembers that it could be her daughter having a baby (or losing a baby). Those little reminders.
I told Sandy that I had just passed kindergarten. She's not only has passed that stage, but also her daughter being old enough to drive a car, graduate high school, get married and now old enough to have babies. Old enough for her to have grandbabies.
I'm amazed at the past 7 years. How they've flown by, but at times, stood still. I'm thankful for every moment of this experience that I've been able to have. It has been the hardest sweetest experience I have ever had and believe I probably ever will. My daughter has changed me and made me into who I am today. I'm thankful for the lessons I've learned and who she's helped me to become. I know I have so far to go, but am thankful for where I am. She's brought our family closer together. She's changed not only me, but my living children, my marriage and those who have been touched by her.
Before she came into my life, I was a different person. I feel stronger in knowing that I was able to overcome one of the most dificult experiences in my life. Throughout these past seven years I have felt loved from so many different people and places as I've shared my story. This love that I have been so blessed to feel is the same love that we as volunteers hope to include in each one of our boxes that we donate. Losing a child is such an extremely difficult thing to endur, but I hope that by receiving one of Lanee's Legacy's boxes that they not only feel loved by a fellow mother who has walked their same road, but feel uplifted in knowing that they are not alone as they do.
When I had DeLanee, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, wasn't yet in existence. I am thankful for the pictures I was able to get and for my mom who was smart enough to coax me into getting some of the ones that I did. I do wish I could have had a professional there to help me capture some of our moments together. I also had always wished for a video. Well, this year, I decided to give myself a birthday gift for DeLanee's special day by making my own. So, although, it's not professional, I'm thankful for every little thing I have.
I'm sharing it here today with you. Happy Birthday to DeLanee!