Sunday, July 29, 2012

Natalie's 7th Birthday

Today would have been Natalie's 7th birthday. I was doing OK in the days leading up to it. I thought I was getting to a better place in my grief. But, today has been really rough. I can't seem to stop crying. I killed a few hours watching a Harry Potter movie double feature with the kids. Gabriel slept on my lap through much of it, which was such a wonderful gift. There's nothing a mother loves more than cradling her sleeping child. But, we can't watch Harry Potter all day and as soon as the movie ended, I started to cry again. After a few minutes to myself rocking in the glider up in what used to be Natalie's room (now Gabriel's), I got the sudden urge to tidy up her garden. Talk about therapeutic! Clipping deadheads off the butterfly bush was so peaceful and pulling up pesky weeds and making it more beautiful really helped. A little white butterfly came along as I was trimming. Very nice! Tonight we will have dinner and a special butterfly-shaped cake. I'll post some pictures later.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Blueberry Time!

With the warm spring, rain in May, and sun in June, it's a bumper crop of blueberries this year - and they're ready weeks earlier than normal. We have gone picking twice already: last Friday with just me and the kids and Sunday with Chris, too. What a joy to see Gabriel gorging himself on these delicious, healthy little gems, which of course, were Natalie's favorite! We stuffed ourselves the first day at Gianetti's in Franklin, MA and only brought home 3 1/2 lbs. We went to Harmony Farms on Sunday, where we picked nearly 16 lbs to build up our winter supply. The berries were sweet and enormous (as Chris said, they were BOUS's "Berries of Unusual Size" in homage to one of our favorite movies, The Princess Bride - which gave me a good chuckle.) At times, I picked as fast as I could, emptying clusters of berries into my bucket. Other times, I carefully selected the berries I wanted to eat with loving thoughts of Natalie, my blueberry girl. "This one's for you, sweet girl," I'd think to myself as I popped it into my mouth.

I took a bowl of blueberries to The Compassionate Friends meeting on Monday night and was greeted so warmly with several people coming up to me saying, "I knew you were here before I even saw you because Natalie's blueberries are here!" Everyone referred to them as "Natalie's blueberries," which made me feel really good. I told the story of how she would eat them, one by one and hum with joy after each one. I think of her humming and it makes me happy and sad both at the same time. I've already started looking for a blueberry recipe to make on her birthday this year. Maybe I won't be so paralyzed as last year. It will be what it will be.