Wednesday, July 25, 2007

No weeds in my garden today

You're getting a two-fer today, though I wish it didn't have to be. I hate to spoil the joyous mood set in the other post. But just as there is black with white and dark with light, sometimes the storm clouds gather and rain on the parade.

The Playfriends have been listening to me talk about this for about a week now. Last Thursday an online friend from Michelle Buonfiglio's Romance by the Blog took her daughters to the beach near their home in Williamsburg. Five-year-old Hannah was caught in a riptide and drowned. Her memorial service was Monday afternoon at 2:00 PM Central time and if we celebrated Hannah's homegoing in any way, her mom Rachael had asked us all to blog about what we did.

Up front let me just say that any of you who own stock in Kleenex should see a sizeable increase in your dividends this quarter because I've cried since I heard about Hannah. I'd never visited Rachael's blog before but I've poured over this testament to a mother's love for her children and her sincerest efforts to keep her daughter's memory alive.

Hannah loved to dress up. She loved to explore the great big world she lived in. And at age five she'd already discovered the power of the diva inside all of us. So it was only natural that her mom would ask those who attended her memorial service to dress in their "Fancy Hannah" clothes and come attired in boas, sequins, tiaras and fairy wings.

But what about those of us who could only be there in spirit? I pulled a tiara from atop my bookcase to wear at two o'clock. I wasn't sure what else to do. I don't have many sequins; I have no boas or fairy wings. But when I went outside Monday morning to check my gardens, I discovered a beautiful red rose blooming as well as a single lily in my lily bed. Lilies were Hannah's favorite flower. I snipped the lily and the rose, added a few sprigs of purple fan flowers and some rosemary from the herb garden and then discovered that the recent rains have revived my gerbera daisies I added two of them to the bunch.

Instead of focusing on the bermuda grass that's hell-bent on taking over my flower beds, I focused on the flowers. I looked for the beauty and saw it in abundance. And as I was doing that, I noticed my birdbath just full of bathing beauties.

At two o'clock, I put on my tiara, looked at my bouquet and said a prayer that God would wrap this family in His loving arms and help them travel through this sorrowful time in their lives. I pray their love and faith will keep them strong. Rachael is all about motherhood. I pray she finds solace in the memories of Hannah and continued joy in the life of her other daughter Lily. Rachael has a tremendous online network of people supporting her and whether her husband knows it or not, we're supporting him as well.

I've never met Rachael or her family, but she's as dear a friend as if she lived next door. And her loss is as tragic as if it were a member of my own family. And in a way it is. Online "friendships" are often the butt of jokes or the subject of much doubt, but in the face of this tragedy, I've seen a remarkably strong and mighty sisterhood swoop down and look after one of their own.

Rest in peace, Fancy Hannah. We'll never forget you.

Have you hugged your family and counted your blessings lately?


Nini said...

Okay....i've gone through 4 tissues...what a way to wake up.

Hannah seemed like a very special child and as i believe in reincarnation, her light will be back again, illuminating another child.

Dressing up in a tiara, putting flowers on the table, a precious gift anyone would appreciate.

I've been b*tching about my DS lately. He's 18 going on 25, minus the maturity that comes with age. Today i think i'm going to just hug him.


MaryKate said...

Gorgeous, Marilyn.

Hannah's passing has brought several impacts to me: I'm trying very hard to appreciate those I love more; I've discovered what an amazing group of women have come together at RBtB; and I'm learned to adopt Hannah's wonder at everything in the natural world.

You'll notice I didn't mention the diva thing. I'm already deeply in touch with my inner diva. :o)

Playground Monitor said...

Nini, both my boys went through the "hell years" -- from the onset of puberty until about age 21. I just wanted to sell them to a pack of gypsies. Then at aorund 21 they became human again and a delight to be around. Matter of fact, I'm looking forward to having lunch with #2 son weekend after next when I make the trek to North Carolina for a family reunion. He can't attend the reunion cause he has to work, but we're having lunch on Sunday as I drive through his area. Hug your son and hang in there.


Jess T said...

I found you through RachD's site.

Hannah certainly has changed my outlook on a lot of things. I've also tried to take the time to stop and marvel at the little things. Yesterday, my daughter (2) and I watched an ant on a sidewalk. She wanted to take it home. :)

I'd like to visit your site more. It seems interesting.

BTW-I LOVE the story about Charlie! That is fantastic.

Instigator said...

I've cried often over the last few days for this family. My heart just breaks for them.

And I've hugged both my girls and spent some quality time with them that I might have otherwise missed. I listened instead of brushing their ramblings aside. I stopped for a few minutes and watched as they smiled and played. I said yes when I might have said no. That, I think, is Hannah's gift. The reminder that life is too short and that each moment should be explored and savored.


Julie in Ohio said...

This is beautiful.
That tiara alone would've had Hannah's approval. And the flowers are beautiful.

Angel said...

Oh Lord... I just had to cry again.

I think one thing so devastating to me is how quickly this happened. One day, you are just planning to take the kids to the beach. By nightfall, you are facing every parents worst nightmare. As all of us have kids in our lives around that age, the nightmare hits a little too close to home.

My prayer is that God will see Rachel and her family through the times ahead. Long after everyone has gone on with their lives, they'll have to deal with the daily reminders that their little one has gone on. There will be good days and bad days, and I can only pray they will continue to receive the support they need throughout the years ahead.

Remember our prayers are with you Rachel, Brien, and Lily!


Tara said...

This is so heartbreaking. What a beautiful girl. My sincere condolences to the family.

rachd said...

Marilyn, Hannah most certainly would have approved of how you chose to celebrate her life, the flowers and tiara especially! :o)

I've been so overwhelmed by the outpouring of friendship and love from all my cyber-friends. To anyone who has ever ridiculed these relationships, HAH!

Thank you for your beautiful post about my beautiful little Monkey!

ev said...

Play- daughter is 22 and I still want to sell her to a travelling band of gypsies- overseas.

And keeping her passport.

but I haven't done it.


It can only get better, right?



Stacy~ said...

What an eloquent post Marilyn. I feel blessed to know such talented and compassionated people, even if I've never met most of the Bellas face-to-face. I guess that teaches me that blessings are sometimes found in unusual places, but that doesn't make them any less special. And have good friends is always a blessing.