I had a pretty big blessing come my way today.
Today, I should have been heading out on a flight to Winnipeg to participate in Landon's Legacy Retreat for bereaved mothers. But, about a month and a half ago I succumbed to my pregnancy fears and withdrew from the retreat. Afraid to fly pregnant. Afraid to be so far from home pregnant. Afraid to be so far from a major city pregnant.
I've spent the last few days pretty annoyed with myself for "letting fear win." I watched other moms I've become friends with excitedly and nervously pack their bags, board their own flights, and arrive in Manitoba to meet the equally as excited and nervous moms from many places around the world: Canada, US, Mexico, and even South Africa! I couldn't help but feel like I was missing out. Missing out on the chance continue to grow these friendships I've made. Missing out on time away with nothing but Ryan to think about.
Yet, the truth is, it's harder and harder to think only about Ryan these days. Even as I type this, I continuously pause to put a hand to my belly, hoping to feel a kick from this new and growing little life inside of me.
But that doesn't mean I can't still find ways to celebrate my first born. And so we were lucky that today, on what could have been just a very sad, and mopey kind of day, wishing I was a province away meeting incredible women I've come to love and rely on, we were blessed with the good fortune of being able to attend a beautiful celebration for our boy and so many other special babies.
The PAIL Network hosted their 20th Annual Butterfly Release and Family Picnic today. It was such a special time. But unlike some of the other memorial events I have attended in the past 8 months, this one was filled with joy. There were, of course, tears. And hearts are always heavy at these kinds of events. But I was honestly struck by the celebration in the air. The happiness. The hopefulness. There were children playing -- brothers and sisters who have angels watching over them. And parents meeting and supporting one another. I even had the good luck to meet a mom I've been in contact with online since Ryan died. Our babies have the power to make such beautiful memories happen, and the ability to bring us together when we need it most.
Even though there's rain outside, and sometimes things don't always go as planned, I feel really blessed today.