What a day this day has been. If you would have asked me a year ago if I ever thought I would bury my daughter I would have laughed. It truly is amazing the plans God has for us from the beginning of time.
The day was perfect. All I wanted all along was for Vivi to have the celebration she deserved...afterall, she is a saint! For me, I have realized I hurt and feel empty and righ now purposeless without her. But there is so much joy and happiness because she is seeing God face to face in a way that none of us on earth ever will.
I have had many people tell me how strong I am, and let me be honest and say that it is not me by myself, it is a result of the prayers that have been said for us. The grace is outpouring in an abundance I could have never prepared for. I have a confession to make as well--I went through a lot of grieving this reality a few weeks ago when we had the talk with the doctors. I knew this is where I would be..that life without my daughter was going to be my reality. I couldn't look at Vivi without crying, all my thoughts were consumed with the sadness of her funeral and 'how will i ever move on?'. After pouring this all out to my mom and Rod, both made me see that I wasn't there and I needed to live in the moment and enjoy each minute I had with my girl. Thank God for that! I can say that every moment from there on out was a true blessing. In those two weeks, there was so much more joy and love I was then able to share with Vivian, with Rod, with my family. I have no regrets. I believe this is why I was able to see yesterday as such a celebration....Vivian's Celebration of Life. This does not exclude me from having my moments for forever, but I feel like I am so blessed to be in a healthy emotional space.
It was overwhleming to see the line of people that circled through the gathering space of the church to see Vivian. The stories of how and why people were there was unbelieveable. We had people that came who didn't know Rod or I, but found Vivi's blog and fell in love with her. I had friends I hadn't seen since high school come. Rod had past coworkers come. We had so much family, friends and friends of friends...it was amazing. I had one of my sister's friend's mom tell me that Vivian was the topic of a priest's( who we don't know) homily last week. What this child accomplished in 59 days is something some people couldn't accomplish in 100 years of life. For me, as her mom, to sit there and see all these people and just hear snippets of how she transformed the lives of so many was a humbling honor. Thank you, to all that were there and all who shared.
I know I have said this, but the day was perfect. The mass was so special--so alive. The ceremony at the grave site was what I imagine the entrance to Heaven to be like. People surrounding you, welcoming you back home...and although there were so many people there, I know it was a slight fraction of the welcome Vivi received. At moments it was strange because I knew Vivi was already in Heaven--I know her soul leapt into Mary's arms as she left her body... I could see it in the room at the hospital. But yesterday, I could almost see the image of God, and I saw Him welcoming her into His arms. I could see her smiling so brightly, and God just beaming, joy oozing out of Him as Vivian jumped up to give Him a big hug. She is so special to Him...and He is so special to her.
My Dearest Vivi,
Oh Baby Girl-words will never be able to begin to descibe the love my heart holds for you. In 59 short days, your sweet soul captured the hearts of all who fumbles onto your path. You, my sweet girl, are an inspiration adn light to each of us here, and to any that are not.
Being your mom is a joy that humbles me--why did God chose me to be the mother of such an amazing saint? Someday, I hope to see as you see, but until then, I am in complete awe.
I never wanted to be 'that mom' you know the one that thinks her child is so special--but I couldn't help it--you are so precious. It always made me feel better about this when after someone visited you they would tell me that they felt like a better person. There is something about you Vivi that drew people so close, encouraged people to be better.
My dear, in your short stay on this earth, you have taught me so much--you have taught me to love every moment...to cherish the little things that are so mundane we take for granted. I don't think I ever in my life have gotten so excited to change a diaper or clip nails or do laundry. You have taught me through your actions how to suffer with great grace. Never once did you back down or stop fighting as you lived your mission on earth. Every blow you took like a total champ--even as you left this world, I know your cries weren't because of pain, but saddness that those were our final moments as a family on this earth. You have taught me to love courageously, to give my all to God....even if it is my most precious treasure. You have taught me the importance of community, of gratitude, of patience and perserverence.
I will always smile when I remember your sweet little quirks--your lover for Mr. Lambie, how you would always look to see if Daddy or I were around, the image of you smiling in your sleep. I will always love your fiestiness--how you tried to pull out your tubem how even hand restraints wouldn't keep you from hitting people when they were doing an echo or ultrasound, how you always demanded to have your hands by your face, or on your face, or rubbing your werewolf ear or suspended in the air while you were sleeping, or gripping onto Daddy's finger.
My most precious moments were the ones when I got to hold you for the first times--the day after you were born, a few days after your surgery, and today. My heart will always long for you.
Viv, you did such a great job here. If our ultimate goal is to leave the wolrd better than we found it-you definitely did achieve the goal--what a victory.
Being your mom will always be an honor and a joy. A breath-taking experience of God's great love. I know heaven is a much happier place since you arrived.
My precious Vivian, thank you for being here. Thank you for choosing me to be your mommy. Thank you for making us a family. I will love you until forever.
St. Vivian, Pray for us!
I Love you Baby Girl,
Holding Vivian's body for the last time on this earth yesterday was not something I expected myself to do. It didn't look like her, even though she looked like a baby doll someone would pay big bucks for, my motherly instinct just took over. I couldn't stop myself from reaching for her...from wanting to squeeze her, and whisper in her ear one last time. She is a complete masterpiece...a gift that is nonrepeatable.
I tried to say thank you to all of you there yesterday, but I know I missed many. Please, please,please know that my heart bursts with gratitude for your love and support and prayers. All our lives are changed for the better after meeting, knowing or reading about Vivian. Rod and I are so proud of her, that she is a saint--please know she is willing and able to intercede for you, for your children...it is kinda now her job :) The love that she shared with me, I pray I am always able to share with those in my life...whether for a short time, or extended stay.
This is a closing of a chapter in Rod and my life. Today, we start another chapter that we don't know quite how to, what will happen or what we will do. There is a saddness, an excitement--we know we have made it through this together....that God is making us better because of it...that God must have something good in store for us. My aunt said yesterday "I do believe Vivian's Victory is just beginning". Yes...I do believe. This is just the beginning of the mission...God is here!