roses in the ocean


**I don’t often re-read what I write. But tonight I did. And this posting is a mutant writing. With makes it a perfect depiction of what its like in my head. Where nothing seems to fit together or make sense coming from one person.. And I am trying and failing not to freak out but all of my pictures are getting distorted as I upload them from my “good camera” luckily I snapped a few to text to Daddy with my phone.. So my apologies for lack of pictures. **

Jennifer loved the beach. So very much. We live so close to it. But I almost never took her.

because I always had a baby or was pregnant.. or .. well really


Its because I counted on time to do it later. I really wish I had taken her more often. Tony left on Sunday so its just been me and the kids. And I asked them if they wanted to do something this week in honor of sissy. Both boys immediately said the beach.


It was my first inclination too. So today we went. My friend Bree shared with me that on her daughters first .. what do I call it??.. Some people say heaven-versary. But I don’t quite like that.. Angel-versary. .. But again not quite right for me. . There is too much happy with those terms.. Not enough starkness. And thats what February 12th is for me.

stark. cold. dark.

I know it wasn’t for her. I know it wasn’t for me either. That day I last touched her was the warmest I have ever felt. The barrier between heaven and earth so thin I could reach through.. and feel it. .

I will be forever grateful for that. The gift of my soul taking over. It allowed me to talk to her without words.. It allowed me to feel where she was going. So comforting I handed her over..

I know it. I know that I felt it.. but I can’t remember it. Its like words on paper now. Like the best pages of my favorite book. I remember that it happened.. and how it felt but its all cerebral. I know I am not meant to feel it.. Until its my time. ..

And after she was gone. It was so .. so..

stark. dark.cold.

Like I looked around the room and didn’t recognize it anymore. And that’s what the 12th is for me now. Her birthday I try to remember her life and celebrate her. But the 12th.


It’s a time I just want to remember she died. That she used to be here.. and now she isn’t. A time to honor and feel anger over her unimaginable suffering. And that’s what I want others around me to do too. I want her agony then and mine now to be honored and selfishly I want other people to hurt too. ..

It’s nothing pleasant. So I guess I can just say its the anniversary of the day my daughter died – back to the story I was sharing about my friend and that date for her – she shared with me that they threw roses in the ocean for her daughter. So I offered that to my kids.

She has been sending so many signs.. so so many. I don't often share them.. they are personal. But here is one.
She has been sending so many signs.. so so many. I don’t often share them.. they are personal. But here is one.

Jonathan loved it. Jumped on it right away. Nicholas wasn’t as hot on it and still really wanted to send her a balloon. So we did both.

I connected to throwing the flowers to her. Watching them roll and tumble in the waves. Watching them come back to us.. and get pulled out deeper again. Until they disappeared.

.. but that doesn’t mean they are gone. We talked about that. Since we can’t see the flowers anymore what does that mean? Are they gone? Or just out of view? It was a good lesson for my kids.. and me.

This is how I imagined her today.. Unbelievable this light was slowly snuffed out 3 months after this picture.
This is how I imagined her today.. Unbelievable this light was slowly snuffed out 3 months after this picture.

Jonathan never goes in the water. Never. But today he was drawn towards it. And loved it. He had so much fun for the first time ever playing and splashing in the ocean.


She would have loved to have watched that. To have seen him laughing and smiling in her favorite place.

The boys then went together. And I missed her so desperately while equally desperately enjoying watching their friendship deepen.

Jennifer should have been there.. more than words written in sand. More than in our hearts and looking down on us. She should have been calling to me hair spraying all around. ..

.. but shit. Today wouldn’t have happened with her still here.

I watched them today. A day I didn’t take time for granted. A day that I said today we go to the beach.

And I admitted to myself ..

If she was here that never would have happened. The true price of today .. my 6 year olds headstone. 

Never a price worth paying. But days like today I absorb it. I enjoy them and I don’t count forward to time yet to come but rather invest in the right now. The time that was never promised but is mercifully given.

Today we went to the beach.. For them because of her.. And for her because of them.

oh sissy miss

how i wish

for both.


todays time

and you.


..until there is a cure..


10 Responses to “roses in the ocean”

  1. these words are so real and poignant. so glad you went to the beach with the kids. thinking of you and Jennifer this week more than ever…

  2. We share February, we share losing our first born daughters, we share the immense sadness and immense joy all at the same time…. the beach, the ocean, the memories. Thinking of you today and always will remember Jennifer too <3

  3. Libby, I am always amazed at the loving, meaningful, yet heartbreaking posts you write. Your thoughts seem to come from a higher source, as if Jennifer or the Holy Spirit are speaking through your words. God Bless your beautiful family. I am a supporter of Unravel Pediatric Cancer and truly believe you are making a real difference in the lives of our children. 💞 … until there is a cure… 😔

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