Friday, June 24, 2011

Yesterday was the day of Penny's birth. Jamie had told me he would much rather celebrate the day she was born and her beautiful life than honor the day that she passed away.
So, my sweet niece and nephew came up with the idea for the kids to attach a picture or a letter to a balloon and release the balloons into the air at 7:23 EST, the time of Penny's birth. While I was at work, the girls worked on their notes and when I came home there on the table was each's girls note, individually decorated and sealed up with care. The first sign of trouble came when I asked the girls what they did and Isabelle informed me that she and Macie had put actual pennies in their letters. I told them we may have to lose the pennies if we wanted the balloons to actually fly, but we would see.

Macie and Isabelle came with me to the party store to pick out their balloons. Macie picked a smiley face balloon and Isabelle picked a lavender balloon. I picked out a lime green balloon with polka-dots for Tori and bought two extra just in case. We got the balloons safely home and inside the house. I went outside to get something out of the van and I heard a big pop. The girls assured me they did not touch it, it just popped. Down to 4. We attached our letters and got them ready to go.

We had a BBQ with some college kids happening at the house, so around 6:20 central time we snuck away to the front yard to release the balloons. I had attached two balloons to Isabelle's card, hoping the extra helium would carry the pennies. On the way out the door, one popped- down to three.

The initial plan was to go to the wide open soccer field down the street from us, but it was soccer mania down there, so we just decided to stay in our front yard. Tori said a sweet prayer thanking God for her Aunt Penny and then we told them to let them go.

Isabelle's went right to the ground- time to lose the penny and try again. It still didn't work, so we unattached the letter and then let the balloon go. One balloon up in the air.

I took off Macie's note because it seemed it was going to follow the same course as Isabelle's balloon. Macie let hers go. It got stuck in the tree. Thankfully, a gust of wind released it from the branch and off it went. Two balloons up in the air.

Tori let hers go and the balloon took off with the letter attached. Perfect. But, a gust of wind took it right into the other tree in our yard, and it was not going anywhere. We watched the other two balloons disappear into the sky and then I looked to see the tears welling in Tori's eyes as her balloon and letter just hung there in the tree. This was not quite the picturesque take off I had been envisioning. Jamie and I knew there was no way that Tori was not releasing a balloon into the air; time to get creative. So, with a swiffer mop, two jump ropes, a brief stint of me standing on top of the van, and some sheer determination we finally got the balloon loose. It started to take off only to get stuck again in the tree, way too high for me to reach this time. I intended to go get another balloon at the store, when a gust of wind took it away into the atmosphere. Finally, three balloons up in the air.

We told the girls the Aunt Penny would have found the whole scene quite comical. She operated well in chaos and always found a reason to smile. We think of her often and are so thankful for the life that we were able to share with her.

A little side note: When Tori's balloon finally released, Isabelle came over to tell me she had prayed that Tori's would release without popping. And it did. God is good. :)


kasey said...

That is a awesome way to keep Penny's memory alive! Brought tears to my eyes. So glad God gave us memories to hold on to our loved ones until we can see them again! Glad you were prepared with the extra balloons! :)

Richardson Family said...

The whole time I'm reading this I'm thinking, I know Penny is up there laughing hysterically. Such a nice gesture, hope you guys are well.

Life with Kaishon said...

I read this on my phone and tried to comment when you posted. I just love the way you did this. Kaish and I prayed for her family and all of you last week on her birthday. I wish I could say something better than I am sorry for your loss. I really am. So, so sorry.