I sit on our flight to Hawaii and think about our beloved baby girl Mari who left us in July to go to heaven before her time. I know some people will say that it must have been her time because she is gone. In my heart, and my soul, and my mind it was not yet her time. Her time would have been after daddy and mommy were gone and not a day before.
Daddy and I are going to Hawaii today because of a dear, loving uncle of mine who gave to us hotel accommodations for a one bedroom condo for 11 days and 10 nights. He called us up about a month after she was gone and told me that he and my aunt had these accommodations and they would like to give us them. They both felt it would be good for us to get away together since we lost our only child. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts for what they have done for us.
It’s hard to probably imagine but we were not really looking forward to going once it was all said and done (yes, we know, HAWAII, they must be crazy!!) but in our minds it almost felt like such a high price to pay to be able to go. We would not be going if Mari was still here. I can’t imagine that we would have taken a family vacation with Mari entoe to Hawaii. It just would have been too hard. With her autism as severe as she had it made things incredibly difficult to almost next to impossible.
I asked Keith (my husband) why we never once took an actual family vacation together with the 3 of us while she was alive (and I think almost any can relate that visiting family does not count as a vacation, it is a visitation). The only other vacation that I have ever been on personally I found out I was pregnant with Mari two days before Keith and I, and his sister Amy left for Florida. He said that it just would have been too difficult. Visiting with family was hard; now let’s add an amusement park or something like that, yeah, just too hard. I really wish we had anyway though.
Keith and I are finally looking forward to getting away. There will be no family. There will be no friends. There are no work distractions. There are no school distractions. Just Keith and I together for 11 days and 10 nights. I think it will be perfect for us. We will be in Hawaii on Christmas and we will be coming back from Hawaii on December 29, which so happens would have been Mari’s 9th birthday.
On her birthday I came up with a neat idea. Since there obviously will not be a birthday party, I wanted to still come up with something to do on her birthday to remember her life by. I came up with the idea to have a “Celebration of Her Life” party instead. Obviously, no presents will be brought by the guests but we are going to make a trip out to her grave. Then we will come back to our house and we are still going to have cake and ice cream. We will have a time where everyone will recount a memory they have of Mari to share with everyone else. And then I will have a special surprise for everyone (can’t say now because it would ruin it for those that read my site and are coming). My hope and my dream is this will create a memory for people and to help everyone realize that it is still ok to talk about our beloved Mari.
An update to the special surprise. What I found were the special photo charm bracelets. I printed off several pictures of Mari that fit into these bracelets. I tried to find pictures of Mari with each person I was giving them too to make it personalized from them. There were 12 pictures, 6 charms, 1 picture on each side of the charm. Then there were several other charms I included as well. They were a big hit at her party.
Love your idea for a celebration of life party. Hope you and Keith have a wonderful time, you both deserve it! In my prayers~Denise(Raina’s mom)