2012: Wow! I am amazed at life. It goes by so slowly at times and then it zooms by in a heart beat! I never know when this phenomenon will occur. This year has zoomed by. So much has happened. We bought property in Virginia, for the future! We put our home on the market and it sold in 5 days! We packed up all of our stuff and moved to a Virginia apartment. We found a builder and started building a home. We shopped around for a new church and found a great fellowship. Sean flies to California and returns an engaged man! Incredible how life’s blessings happen all around us!
In the meantime there have been other milestones. July 1 was the fifth anniversary of Tonia’s death and her going home to Heaven! I have been overwhelmed by that number. Five years without her presence here on earth but also five years closer to when I will see her again. Five years are a lifetime when the changes affect you in such an unexpected manner. I have been forever changed. Forever blessed by God’s love. Forever altered in my heart. Five years…
When we moved to Virginia, I had one request. I wanted to travel back to Pittsburgh at least one time each year, specifically at the end of August, to visit Tonia’s grave. Her birthday is August 29th. This visit is my way of honoring her life and remembering her. In between visits, I am planning on putting in a beautiful memorial rock garden in a sheltered corner of our new property. It will have a bench and a carved rock and all of the rocks I have been gathering up as our home is being built. Every “new” rock I find is my way of capturing a prayer and a memory. They are physical reminders of the gifts that God has given us in the past and into the future. They are memories wrapped up in a physical home. I can’t wait to place them in the garden but I have to find the perfect place first.
Last weekend was our first visit back to Pittsburgh to specifically go to the cemetery. It was such a bittersweet day. In May I had planted various new plants hoping they would live and thrive. Since we hadn’t been back there since they were planted I had no idea if they were alive or not. We took a new bag of mulch, our gardening tools and 3 gallons of water with us. When we arrived I was absolutely overjoyed to see that several of the plants had survived! Rick and I began cleaning up the area when the sweetest thing happened!
Back tracking a moment: Tonia loves, loves, loves animals. She would even save spiders from being killed! She was such a softy for every stray animal and every wild animal she could find.
So back to our visit to the cemetery. Rick was cleaning up a pile of dead grass behind the headstone. As he lifted it up I saw him jump back in surprise. I thought it was a bunch of bees but then we began to see baby bunnies hopping away in all directions! The pile of dead grass was actually a nest. I caught one of the bunnies in my gloved hands and returned it to the nest but it very quickly hopped away. One bunny remained huddled into the hole right by the headstone. We quickly finished cleaning up and putting the new mulch down. The baby bunny stayed there the entire time!
Baby Bunnies; I never imagined what joy I would receive from seeing bunnies at a cemetery. For me it was just a confirmation of God’s love for me. He showed me sweet new animal life just where Tonia would have wanted them to be, Right by her! Rick and I both commented that we could hear her sitting quietly calling the bunnies to come to her. It was a precious moment.
Happy Birthday my sweet girl! I love you so very, very much!