This is a post I did a couple years ago, and folks asked me to make it a bit of an Easter tradition, and I'm happy to do so & I'm also flattered that anyone has asked me to.
My family and I also want to take this time to make an announcement. We have been working on developing a non-profit organization that will help families who have to travel to be with sick children in the hospital. We're calling it The Little Red Wagon Fund in Natalie's memory, as she LOVED going for rides in her wagon around the hospital floor. We are still cutting through the lovely red tape at the IRS to get our 501(c)3 status, but once that's finished, we will make a formal announcement.
written in 2014:
Happy Easter everyone,
I debated whether or not to write this, but I felt an obligation to do so. For me, the following describes what Easter is, and for many, the hope it brings. I write this not only to explain what Easter means to many of us, but also to honor our daughter's memory. I haven't said or written much about this in the 6 months since our daughter passed away, and I feel I should.
As many of you know, our daughter Natalie passed away in October when she was 28 months old. She had a small left ventricle, and underwent 3 open heart surgeries, a dozen catheter procedures, and many other things a child shouldn't have to endure. You can check out our blog by clicking on this link if you want to see more about her journey, we kept it throughout her journey. Our friend put this video together for us last year, she just used images we had posted for family and friends on our blog and facebook. Natalie was a beautiful girl with an amazing spirit, and she touched many lives in her short time with us here on earth.
For us, as believers, Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. The importance of the resurrection is that we can have eternal life, and someday be reunited with our loved ones, like Natalie. We believe that there is something much better after we leave this earthly body, and that we can once again hold Natalie and laugh and play with her again. We draw comfort in the fact that she is in a place much better than we can imagine, without pain and with a perfect body. Today, we aren't mourning, we're rejoicing in the fact that someday we will meet again.
Again, happy Easter everyone. I hope you all enjoy time with your families, and I hope reading this helped in some way. I also hope you all are eating something special today, I know I'm smoking a brisket, I was up early getting the coals fired up & getting the meat on so it can smoke for the 12 hours it takes to do it right. I'll post pics on the open thread tomorrow.
EDIT FOR 2016: This year I'm smoking a turkey breast, but I'll still post pics on the open thread tomorrow.
Edit for 2017: This year, I'm smoking a prime rib for Saturday, we're going to my brother's on Sunday. Expect pics on the open thread on Monday.