Thursday, October 29, 2009
The Pumpkin Patch
Today I took Lexi and Ava to the pumpkin patch for the first time without Hailey. We went with some of Lexi's little girlfriends from school and their moms. I'm not going to lie and say it was easy. The first thing I saw when we got out of the car were the little ponies that walk in a circle for the kids to ride. I literally felt like someone punched me in the stomach and knocked the wind out of me. That was Hailey's favorite ride of all time!!! She LOVED to ride horses! I have several pictures of me standing next to her on that ride last year. (One of these days I'll post some pictures of all the times she got to ride a horse. There are actually quite a few! I just have trouble right now looking at them.)
Anyways, I looked over at Lexi and watched her innocent little face light up with excitement as she found her friends. I was then instantly reminded of why I was there. Going to the pumpkin patch wasn't about me...it was about her! So I mustered up a smile, slapped it on my face and continued on.
As I walked around hearing Faith Hill blast out of the speakers, I felt so alone. Yes, there were people everywhere, but the loneliness still consumed me. I saw Hailey on every ride with her big toothy grin and loud giggle. I saw her pick out every pumpkin, feed every animal, run to every ride, and ask for every snack she saw. It was just so incomplete without her there. (By the way, just for the record, I actually love Faith Hill, but I have to admit that her music can feel very sad at times.)
Every time the emptiness seemed to consume me and I'd feel weak, I would look at my precious little Lexi and watch her smiling and laughing with her friends. It would remind me of how much she needed this...how much she deserved this. Hailey would have wanted this for her sister. I also have to point out that I had some great friends there too, who were very supportive by the way. Thank you ladies!
I took a bunch of pictures of Lexi and Ava, however they were all individual ones. I just couldn't find the strength yet to take a picture of the two of them together without Hailey. That thought literally made me feel nauseated. I'm just grateful that Lexi never brought up the issue or requested a picture with her sister...otherwise, I would have had to face that pain much sooner than I felt ready for. We're actually planning on going back on Saturday with Sean, my parents and my sister, so I definitely plan to get a picture of them together then. I'll have our little monkey with us and also my family there to carry me through it. I am going to make myself take the picture though because its important and necessary to have one of them together there.
As I'm typing this, I'm realizing now what a big deal something so simple as a picture of my children has become. Yikes!
While Lexi was on a ride with her friends I decided to walk over to the snack bar and get something for Ava. I was the only one at the counter and after I paid I turned around to walk away. There to my left, at the end of the counter, sat a dime and a penny side by side!!! (Pennies are my grandma's sign!) I was so excited that I ended up taking a picture of them. Then after the picture, you better believe that I stole them!!!! I had such a smile on my face as I imagined Hailey and my grandma standing there side by side just like that dime and penny. I could just hear them telling me that they were there and Hailey was happy and it was okay to enjoy my girls. Weird as it may sound, that experience was a beautiful, miraculous moment. I mean, what are the odds?
We ended up buying a foil pumpkin balloon and an ear of Indian corn (Lexi picked it out) to take over to Hailey's place. (Someone already left her a pumpkin...Thank you!). So, all in all, the event ended on a positive note, as most do because of the love my little girl has for her family and the way she hangs around and shows it to us.
I am so blessed.