Every year, the hospital puts on a Memorial Walk to pay tribute to babies that have passed away. It's at a local park and open to friends and family. We just got the invitation last week, but the timing could not be better for us. Today is one month exactly since we were in the hospital and the first time our families were together since they were sitting in the hospital waiting room. It was bittersweet to all be together, but very healing as well.
There was not that much sun out today, but it was dry and for anyone in the tri-state area this week, they know what a big deal that was! It was a little chilly and a more than a little muddy, but we were able to be outside and let the kids roam free.
While there was no real "walk", there were basketball courts and swings and jungle gyms and more than enough to keep everyone busy and happy. Hamburgers and hot dogs were on the grill and lots of people brought food to share. We estimated about 10-12 families were in attendance. Not sure what stage they were all in - some had kids of their own, at least one woman there was visibly pregnant, and some were probably like Gary and me with parents and siblings and a few of our closest friends to stand by our side.
A tree planting ceremony was a part of today's festivities. Paper and pencils were given out to the crowd so that whomever wanted to, could write a note or draw a picture to be planted along with the tree. Poems were read and people reflected. It was not an easy thing to get through, but we did it. Another milestone. I watched as our loved ones scribbled away on lots of notes for our daughter. And to my little friend Katie who will be 7 years old next month, I saw the picture you made for Allie and she would have loved it.
Below is a picture of Gary and me - Gary designed these shirts for us to wear as a way to honor our baby. The design is that of an Aleph - the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet. You will see a curly cue cat tail one one side as she will always be our Allie Cat and a heart in the other side as she is now and will always be such a big part of our hearts.
We plan to go back to the park in a few weeks and check up on her tree and make sure it's thriving. I have a hunch that it will be.