Dear Aunt Kate, the letter began...
The day we talked on the phone, I went to work and as I was unlocking my bike to leave, God really directed my eyes straight to this item in the store window.
I told my roommate to hold on - that I needed to go put this on hold for my Aunt. I only had with me the three dollars I made in tips. I believe God lined it all up again when my roommate offered to lend me the money and had with her exactly how much it cost.
I was holding it so proudly and almost crying as I was paying for it. Then I really had tears in my eyes to hold back when the man at the store told me the plank was wood from Hurricane Sandy.
It helped me think about the beauty of how from devastation, Hope can come soaring in and "anchor the soul." I saw the imagery of a soul floating out to sea after the destruction of a hurricane, or for the metaphor - loss of a child - but hope anchors the soul back ashore when there's not much else that could have done that.
It is such a miracle that you are pregnant - I am just so amazed, it's hard to find words. Since you talk about Gavin loving the shore so much, I know he helped me find this plan of wood from Hurricane Sandy and the beauty of this message in Stone Harbor. I'm always praying for you, Aunt Kate... and Brian, Uncle Ed and Gavin.
With so much love,
I have the most incredible family - and each of my 17 nieces and nephews are thoughtful, compassionate and kind. This gift - and this letter (shared with permission!) - means so much to me. Honestly, I am not sure which I love more... the plank or the letter. I do know I will treasure them both forever. Julia has so many qualities that my Dad had - a deepness that belies her years... an incredible, almost poetic, letter writer... and a strong faith.
Today we were excited to meet up with Julia at her summer job in Stone Harbor!
She made delicious smoothies for us - a first for Brian AND Granny!
Then she walked with us around town as we meandered in and out of shops. I bought some cute things for Hope. Ed and I have a tradition of sorts - every time I've been pregnant we have bought the baby things from Stone Harbor. Many of the boys "guys" as we call them are from here. They are little blankies with animal heads made by Angel Dear. We are obsessed with them and the boys have quite a collection. Brian still sleeps with ALL of his. Today we got Hope the first three of her collection! The Pink Owl, The Striped Zebra and the Bunny. Brian got a kick out of seeing "girl guys" for his little sister!
Before we met up with Julia, we spent most of the day at the Cape May County Zoo (my favorite zoo ever).
It was a gorgeous day. One of the things I love about this zoo is it's mostly shaded and has beautiful boardwalk like walking paths through the exhibits. It's hard to believe that this zoo is FREE and only accepts donations!!
Brian had a great time. He got to feed some goats...
...and see some Giraffes from the perfect Giraffe height! On Daddy's shoulders!
And he loved checking out Mommy's favorite, the Zebras, with cool binoculars.
Another great day "down the shore" as us Philly folk say.