Today is Candace's 12th birthday. She passed away on Valentine's Day 2007.
This is one of the few family pictures we have with all of us in it together. I remember it was hard to get Zach to sit still to take these pictures. In fact, we told him he only had to do 3 pictures and you can see his right hand counting down. I remember Shaylin struggling to choose between her 2nd grade class Valentine's Day party or staying with her baby sister for what she knew could be her last moments. I remember Hailey being so enamored with her baby sister, she loved the feeling of putting her finger in the hole of the pacifier and feeling Candace's little mouth sucking on the pacifier. These are a few of the precious memories for me and are accompanied with so many wide-ranging emotions including joy, sorrow, happiness, heartache, celebrating life, embracing death, peace, anxiousness, faith, uncertainty, love, and the incredible gift of comfort given through the Holy Ghost. As I reflect back on this day, I am given so much peace knowing that we will hold our Candace again and we will be reunited as a complete family again. I'm so thankful for our Savior, Jesus Christ, and his atoning sacrifice that makes it possible for all of us to be reunited with those loved ones we have lost. Happy Birthday Candace!
Go balloons, you can do it!
Zach trying to "help" the balloons along.
The boys chased them all the way down the field. One never took flight from the field and the boys brought it back to the car. We watched the others sort of floating. We followed the balloons down SeaBreeze. One came down on the road and another came down by the clubhouse. The other 3 actually made it up, up and away! Of course the kids wanted to know who's balloons made it and who's didn't. Shaylin, Zach, and Ethan's balloons made it up, up and away!
We've had some extremely rainy weather the past couple of weeks, but on the evening of (Candace's birthday), the rain stopped and these beautiful pink clouds formed. The picture makes them look orange, but they were pink as could be. We love our pink for Candace, right?
Later on Wednesday, I was even able to release a balloon for Candace's birthday! That's one tradition that my family does every year is release pink balloons together. I'm so grateful I was able to even find a balloon (courtesy of Valentine's Day) to continue that tradition! :)