Monday, July 28, 2008

Golden Birthday

Today Lexi would have turned 28...her Golden Birthday. My mom, Chels and her kids, and Harrison and I went to visit her grave and share with the kids some of our favorite memories of her. We told them how she used to dress up her Oxygen tank in an old sweatshirt and her GAP baseball cap and how beautiful her long fingers were. We told Lauren how much Lexi loved her American Girl Kirsten Doll that she now gets to play with. We laughed about how she would do her PeeWee Herman dance on the tip of her toes and how she was a little boy crazy. We even sang her favorite Sound of Music song!

I laid my cheek down against the top of Harrison's head and again thanked Lexi silently for the lessons she taught me. My memories of her and how she lived her life still influence me every day. My hope that she is pleased with the way I am living my life puts things in perspective for me and helps me remember what is important.

Most of the time I can reflect without feeling that sadness. I know what I believe and how much hope that gives me but sometimes I just can't help it and the desperate longing comes quickly and feels as fresh as it did that first day without her. On those rare occasions, I let the tears flow, honoring them and welcoming the release they offer. This happened on the road trip I took recently with my mom to Utah. A special song triggered the emotions and my mom just looked at me and said, "I know, it's okay," and let me cry for the next ten minutes. Afterwards, I feel like I have to apologize to Lex and explain that I know she is with me and that I am okay but then I feel foolish because I know she knows and understands more than I can imagine.

Although I feel peace about Lexi's passing, it's hard sometimes to not visualize what life would be like if Lexi were still here physically with us. I think about how we might be having our babies at the same time and how Harrison would love his aunt Lex. There is never a family gathering that I don't think about her and hope she is looking down on us and smiling at our JOY and looking forward to our amazing family reunion.

Happy Golden Birthday Lexi, your birth and incredible life were a gift to everyone who was blessed to know you. Our eternal bond is one of the greatest gifts of my life and something that keeps me going when life feels hard.


jess said...

i was thinking about you guys yesterday. love you!!!

Christine said...

Sharlie thank you for posting such a heart filled, strong and yet so volunerable post. Everytime I see a penny on the ground I'm reminded of Lexi and of the sweet story your mom shared with me in San Fransisco. You carry her strength and sweet spirit to everyone you meet. Thank you for that!

Much Love...

Grandma Syd said...

Thank you for posting one of my all time favorite photos of Lexi. When I think of heaven, I think of her. Thanks for sharing.

Somer Love said...

Happy Birthday Lex!

Shar I know that Lex is looking down and she is more than pleased with the way you are living your life. You are so amazing and you are an inspiration to so many I am so glad you are my Cysta I love you with all my heart!


Holly said...

I love seeing pictures of Lexi, and love your tribute to her for her golden birthday! Happy Birthday Lexi!!!

Freddy and Mandy said...

Lexi was an angel to me from the beginning. I love your heart felt thoughts on her. She was a beautiful girl and I know she will love that "family reunion" someday!

Jenny Livingston said...

I was just browsing and ended up linking here through Somer's blog. I was floored when I realized: I think I know you! My maiden name is Carmody... Shannan and Teresa are my sisters.
This post brought tears to my eyes because 1)it is so heartfelt and touching and 2)I can totally relate.
I'm so glad I accidentally stumbled over here today!