16th annual Remembrance Day

October 31, 2018

I started the drive hour and a half drive to Tyler listening to the "The Greatest Showman" soundtrack Saturday morning. 

When the song "From Now On" came on with and when the lyric: and we will come back home, played - the tears came. I thought of Heaven, and I thought of God, and I thought of coming back to my Heavenly Home, to be with him, and to be with my family on the other side - to be with my son, Rowan. 

I thought of the families who would be there that day at the Children's Park of Tyler. I thought of the young ones they have lost too soon. I thought of their pain and their hurt. And I thought of God. I thought of a day that will be rejoiced. I thought of a day that happiness won't be able to explain the feelings we experience that day. It will be a very, very joyous day. 

That is why the tears came. That is what I felt when I heard that line. 

We'll be back home.

Nearly 700 families attended the 16th annual Remembrance Day. The day was broken into two sessions, one at ten and one at two. It was divided up by alphabetical names. Park Founder Jennifer Carson spoke during the ceremony. She lost her son Braden, who passed away hours before being born in 1999. 

She spoke of walking into her grief, into the storm. She talked to not be afraid, and to trust in God. That we shouldn't blame him, and to know, that he is good. She spoke that we can experience joy in the midst of grief. She spoke about that as we move forward we won't leave our children behind, that they are always with us.
After the families listened to the ceremony, the names of their children were called out and they each were given an angel to hang on a tree. That was a very emotional experience. Many families expressed their grief with tears as they placed the angel on the tree, and many linked arms showing solitude in a quiet moment. 

After the angels were placed on the tree, families received a butterfly to release. Butterflies represent
 life. Many cultures associate the butterfly with our souls, according to gardenswithwings.com. The Christian religion sees the butterfly as a symbol of resurrection. Around the world, people view the butterfly as representing endurance, change, hope and life. It was a beautiful moment to witness the butterflies being released by the grieving families.

The week prior was rain nearly every day, but the sun parted and it was such a beautiful, clear day for the ceremony. I am so grateful I was able to attend the ceremonies and to capture the beautiful families. 

No matter what you're going through, no matter the stage where you are, there are people who have walked the same path that you have. You are never alone in this journey. 

Click here to learn more about the Children's Park of Tyler, and here are some photos of the Remembrance Day.

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