On Friday we had the privilege of remembering sweet Elisha, one year since he passed away.
It was a night filled with laughter and tears, hope for the future and remembrance of that little life that touched so many.
I was bracing myself for it all day. I applied my waterproof mascara and had my pockets stocked with tissues.
But it was surprising.
It was hopeful.
There is joy in knowing that Elisha can breathe freely and not struggle. He can run and move and play.
He is being loved on by our Heavenly Father, just waiting for us to join him.
So much hope and peace surrounds that little guy.
It always surprises me.
After a short thanks and remembrance by the parents and then a quick scripture reading by the pastor, all the kids released orange balloons in honor of Elisha.
Orange was his color.
And while tears were being wiped away, faces were smiling as they watched those bright orange balloons drift towards the heavens.
Because really, it was kind of a celebration.
Elisha has been in Heaven one whole year.
I am sure he is celebrating there.
And thinking about Elisha celebrating in Heaven makes me smile.
But I will tell you one thing.
You hold your babies closer and kisses their sweet faces when you stand around a baby cemetery. It was truly bittersweet. I heard my kids and their friends running and laughing in the field behind us, while I stood there, among tiny grave markers with toy cars, stuffed animals and dates that were much, much too close together.
Life is far too precious and far too short to miss out on those moments.
Because even in grief and heartache, there is SO much to be thankful for.