I think back to 15 years ago today and my world was about to permanently change. Right now it’s 10:15 a.m., Alaskan time, but in the Chicago area it’s one fifteen in the afternoon. At this point, the doctor had started the Pitocin and I was about three hours into delivering Mariana. I was a little less than six hours away from giving birth to her. She took us from being a two to a three. Our little miracle was coming into the world. Little did we know that only eight-and-a-half short years later we’d be returning her to the Lord.
This month has been exceptionally hard for me. I keep hoping, and praying, that as time goes by it will get easier. Yet, for whatever reason it doesn’t, but at the same time it does. I know that may sound confusing, and it is. Now try to imagine what goes inside my head. It’s times like this that missing Mari is so acute.
We were at a Christmas party the other night for the Anchorage Recruiting Company. It was held at a Mexican restaurant on the second floor. Once you go upstairs, a surprising and impressive sight awaited you. The tables were all decorated for Christmas along with a beautiful Christmas tree. There was even a little dance floor. A really nice place.
Not too long after we arrive, maybe thirty
minutes or so, images of a Christmas party from not too long ago, or at least it felt that way, but it was actually close to ten years ago, Keith and I went to one for his recruiting company in Chicago. It was like we were in a big gym that had a wooden stage at the front. There were tons of us as the company was nice sized and had all the family members there.
Mari loved that wooden stage. She’d dance around it having the time of her life. She had no cares in the world. She was always free. To get a picture with Santa I had to be in it with her as she didn’t understand who the guy was in the big red suit, even at six or seven, due to her autism. However, I don’t think she cared either. Once we were done she went back to dance around on the stage. She always had the time of her life no matter where we were or what we did. She had a freedom most of us wish we could enjoy as she didn’t have a care in the world other than living in Mari’s world.
As I think of t Mari and how she would’ve turned 15 today, her spirit is missed. Her infectious laughter is absent. However, through it all, she is forever in my heart as well as many others, even if only through my words that you might know her.
If you have a memory of Mari and don’t mind sharing it, please put it in the comment form below. A dedication for her birthday. I’d love to read them. If you’ve been touched in any way by what you’ve read today, would you please be willing to share it? It means so much to me. Thank you.