Monday, April 7, 2008

Sweet Memories

I almost don't want to post because I love opening this site and seeing that picture of Lillian blowing kisses. It's the screen saver on my phone and I just never get tired of looking into her big brown eyes.


This weekend was a precious time of memories and honoring our sweet girl. On Friday her Auntie M and I spent our lunch break visiting Lillian and leaving her flowers. Auntie M leaves a bottle of bubbles by Lillian's rock so she can send a few sailing into heaven when she visits. And of course we tossed a couple of rocks into the fountain.


On Saturday Jeff, Ian and I headed up to OHSU for the annual memorial service for children who have died in the prior year. 130 new angels in heaven. 130 names read aloud. 130 families with broken hearts. Although I wish none of us were there, it was such a blessing to see the six other families that we met along our cancer journey. Each brought pictures and special treasures to share so that we could remember their dear children. The year was brought full circle when I saw the doctor who so generously left the MRI after just 15 minutes to tell us about Lillian's tumor. (She could have waited the full 3 hours.) And Lillian's oncologist who held my hand and helped me give Lillian a final bath after she died. And our dear Chaplain who prayed with us throughout it all. I am forever grateful for the amazing care we received from these dear friends.



On Sunday, my incredible friends planted a flowering cherry tree at church in honor of Lillian. It's at home in a beautiful grassy alcove just across a bridge. God helped us as usual by softening the ground the day before but keeping the weather clear for the planting. Perfect. I kept Ian warm while my friends dug the whole, heaved the tree into place and firmly surrounded it with earth. It was a true team effort with the kids shovelling in some dirt and watering the tree. Watching my friends work so hard to give this tree the perfect place to grow made me feel so loved. I can't wait to see this special tree bloom in all it's glory and watch it's blossoms float in the air like snow.



Throughout this sadness, my little Ian brings joy. Our capacity to feel such opposed emotions simultaneously is awe inspiring. Joy and sorrow are not fire and water. One does not extinguish the other. They mingle together in a strange little dance periodically pushing one another into the spotlight. The joy of seeing Ian happily swinging creates a twinge of sorrow at the memory of his big sister doing the same thing just a short time ago. The sorrow of hearing Lillian's favorite songs bring the joy of sharing them with her little brother. Isn't it just like our awesome Creator to give us such dimension? Why would I expect anything different from the One who mixes water and sunshine into a beautiful rainbow?


I am so thankful to all of you for remembering Lillian in all the different ways. From sharing a story about her to planting a tree in her honor, your memories bring her so near to me. Thank you!

6 comments:

Anonymous April 7, 2008 at 6:15 PM  

Hi Lori-I wished I had been able to be at the memorial to say hello and meet Ian - I can't wait to read your book - Nurse Gretchen

Beth April 7, 2008 at 7:26 PM  

So beautifully said Lori! I too wanted to see an updated post, but didn't want Lillian's picture to moved down the blog for an update to arrive. Thanks for sharing how you and your friends were able to honor Lillian and all the other angels lost this past year. Take care.

Becci April 8, 2008 at 1:04 AM  

you should probably just post that pic of lillian like every other blog or so, so we can all open your blog and see her! planting the tree was a really great experience for me... and i'm so honored to have been a part of it.

emily April 8, 2008 at 12:08 PM  

What a beautiful update.
It sounds like this last week was a special one, even though it was painful. This past year I have been so thankful for Jesus, and all the comfort that can be found in Him. As you said, the joy mixes with the sorrow - I am so thankful for God's faithfulness to bring us joy in our pain, and sunshine in our rain. I am continually praying for you and as always, hope to meet you soon!
Love, Emily

Psalm 126:5-6 Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seeds for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Jennifer April 8, 2008 at 12:32 PM  

Dear Lori,
Thank you so much for making the time to come on Sunday. I can't tell you how joyful it was for my family to be able to plant that tree for you and Lillian. Your words here are so beautiful and perfect. I'm so thankful that you are my friend.

Anonymous April 8, 2008 at 11:27 PM  

Lori,

Your eternal love for Lillian comes through so profoundly in your words. The picture of Lillian "blowing kisses" is now on my Desktop. A wonderful way honor her sweet memory every day.

Your strength continues to inspire me and so many others whose little ones are in the fight of their lives. I hope you know how much of a blessing you are to us all.

Thank You.

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