Today was a very special day for two reasons.
After a few months of anticipation, we finally had Gavin's memorial garden planted today. It has been a crazy summer - with drowning rains and high heat that stalled the project. But today was the day. We used a local landscaper that we love - Blue Tree Landscaping - and they did a phenomenal job helping us memorialize our sweet boy.
Friends of Ed's from work sent us this beautiful stone bench after Gavin died and we couldn't wait to prominently place it in the garden. The quote couldn't be more appropriate.
Brian and I couldn't wait for the landscapers to be through and both of us raced out there with our cameras. He has his own little camera that he got from Santa last year and he has some surprisingly good photos on there! Now, if I could just find the USB cable that came with it so I could prove it!
When I told Brian that this was "Gavin's Memorial Garden" - a place where we could enjoy butterflies that will be attracted to the Butterfly Bushes... or see the Hydrangeas that will remind us of Gavin's beautiful funeral services... or the bench where we could sit and think about him... Brian was not impressed. And he told me so.
"Mommy - I can think about Gavin everywhere. I don't need to sit HERE, silly!"
I guess he is listening when we tell him these things.
The one bummer of the garden is that the actual Hydrangeas from Gavin's funeral didn't make it. Two died inside the house - and two died after Ed planted them. We had really wanted them to be part of the garden... two were going to go around the bench and the other two Ed planted outside the playroom window that Gavin loved to look out of so much. Instead, we transplanted a HUGE Hydrangea bush that we had in the middle of BOTH playroom windows.
In the grand scheme of life, it's not a big deal at all. But you know how it is when you have an emotional attachment to a plan. The truth is, in a year or two I will forget that I cared about the plants and I'll realize how lucky we are to have such a beautiful garden with dancing butterflies and a lovely bench. I can't wait to be frustrated when I need to retrieve Hope's little doll stroller from the flower bed.
Speaking of Hope!
This morning was my 20 week ultrasound. The great news is - she looked perfect. They checked her everywhere and I am never unimpressed with technology. How in the world can they check her palate? It's so fascinating to me that they even know what they're looking at. She even made a point to show me her labia to prove that she is, indeed, a she - but I'll spare you that photo. I left with only two photos, which was the big disappointment. (I'm used to getting a long strip with multiple views, but oh well - priorities!)
Unfortunately, Ed couldn't make the ultrasound - but he got photos texted to him immediately as soon as I left. Thanks to Miss Sara for making Brian's DAY and hanging out with them while I was at the hospital this morning. I was smart to choose her as Hope's Godmother for a variety of reasons - but one of the smartest is that it ensures she's stuck in our lives forever! I love that girl. And I know Hope will, too.
Here is Miss Hope's beautiful profile...
...and here's a fuzzy shot of the soles of her feet.
It is still a very challenging task to grieve one child fiercely while feeling joy for one on the way. I'm doing the best I can.