saints and angels

I am back home now.  Been an insanely long, exhausting week.  I thought being back home would bring me more peace and begin the healing.  In a way it has, but as I sit here this morning trying to get back into "the daily grind" I find myself still crying out.  Crying out for Mandi, crying out for Abi and Dee Dee (her sisters).  They have such a long, hard, uphill battle on the road ahead but we have to remember that we are surrounded by saints and angels to ease the pain.

I have not been able to kiss, hug and spoil Caden, the pups and Nick enough since the tragedy struck.  It was of the worst circumstances that I was brought to my small hometown - but it was comforting and peaceful.  It just happens to be one of those instances of a "small world" that brought my brother and sister in law together.  College sweethearts his wife came from a small farm town just 30 minutes north of the town we were born in and lived for the first 12-15 years of our lives.  Being that we have since moved cities multiple times we've not been back there in years.

On the third day of services we had a couple short hours of alone time back in town.  I took this time to pile Nick and Caden in the car and take a drive down memory lane.  I showed them the houses I grew up in, the candy shop I was treated in, the family video rental store, my friends' houses, the parks we played in, the library my mom treated me with when I was good.  The list goes on and on.  The most peaceful and serene of these spots was Troy City Park.  A park I spent many special days at.  The park where I learned tennis and volleyball from my parents.  The park we took school field trips to, had field days at, rode bikes at, ran up and down hills.  Other than one new jungle gym it was as if time had not touched it.  Every toy, ride and slide still in it's place.  A little worn and torn but for the most part still in the fantastic shape I remembered.  I pushed Caden on the swings, I ran up and down the hill with him, I watched him go down the very slide I squealed with delight on.  It was such an amazing experience sharing it with him.

I know that Mandi was staring down from heaven hugging us and smiling.  She shined brightly with the sun through the trees.  She was the breeze on our cheeks and the radiant light twinkling in the yellow trees.  Forever loved.

**All images taken on a Motorola DROID for Verizon.