The month of July can mean so many different things to so many different people. The first thing that comes to mind for most Americans is our Independence Day. On July 4, 1776, we truly became an independent nation. There have been many struggles, hardships, good times and excitement but it is on this day that we celebrate our independence as a nation for the freedoms that have been given to us.
For some this month is the end of Summer break as so many get ready to start a new school year whether it be college, high school, junior high, elementary school or even preschool. They celebrate the new year they are getting ready to embark on. They may not be excited to actually be going to school but it’s a time of growth and being around friends that makes them want to celebrate and have fun.
And then for some that have the privilege of celebrating another year of life as they have a birthday on one of the thirty-one day during this summer month. For some they can’t wait as they get older and look forward to being adults while others are adults and not so much celebrating getting older as much as they are just happy to be alive. Having another birthday is one more day year they’ve been alive on this earth.
And then there are those where celebrating doesn’t quite fit the bill. Instead it might bring you sadness as you remember. For me, July is a month that is the hardest of all the twelve months combined. July doesn’t designate happiness for me. But instead it is a time of remembrance as I remember the first 16 days in the month of July just four years ago.
Today, four years ago, I sat in a hospital room holding my daughter as she took her last breath of life on this earth while my husband sat beside me. We watched our die in front of us. Four years ago today we sat in a little bit nurses lounge and had to make a decision of how we would permanently let her go.
No one in their right mind dreams this will ever happen. We dream of high school and college graduations for our children as we celebrate with them. We dream of the day our child will stand beside the one he or she loves as they pledge his or her life the one he or she loves as they get married in front of all their friends and family. Those are times we celebrate as they are happy times.
But to celebrate losing a child seems unfathomable if you have never had to go through it. Our mind can’t really fathom this. And then one day it happens to you and you are in shock that it has. At the time, the blackness surrounds you as you can’t understand. However, as time continues to tick of second by second, the pain becomes less.
So July 16, 2008, was a day marked with sadness and despair. However, I can look back now (and yes I’m still sad, miss her so much and wish she were still here) and celebrate the life she had on this earth with us. Her life impacted people in way most could never imagine.
For example, she had a camp counselor/aid that took care of her while there two weeks before she got sick. This girl, this woman, had only known Mari for two weeks before she got sick. But because of Mari and the type of beautiful, wonderful little girl she was, she changed this girl’s life forever. She went onto to college and just graduated in May with her teaching degree in special education to children with autism. She starts her brand new job this coming school year. I mean, how awesome is that? How many people can say they have impacted someone’s life so much that they change the course their life is headed on and Mari didn’t even know she was doing it due to her autism?
Mari’s life is worth celebrating and remembering the miracle she was on this earth.
As her mom, I celebrate that I had the privilege of being her mom. She impacted my life in way I could have never imagined. The bottom line, God knew what he was doing. I can celebrate the fact that I am a believer and become of that choice I made to believe in Jesus dying on the cross for my sins that one day when I die I will be able to be with my angel again for the rest of eternity.
So please celebrate with me today her life. She was and will always be one beautiful little girl who has touched so many on this earth.