Because it was just that. Beautiful. It was sunny and the sky was completely cloudless and a vibrant, stunning shade of blue. And the air was warm. I'd worried about freezing in my sleeveless dress, but the sunlight --and about 200 hugs-- provided all the warmth I needed.
I went out last night with two of my best friends in the world; one flew up from Los Angeles and the other lives nearby, though we don't see one another nearly often enough given her proximity. We started off at Starbucks, but it was overrun with noisy, boisterous teens so we headed over to the cafe in a nearby bookstore instead. We just sat there for a few hours (until they kicked us out, actually) laughing and talking and sipping tea (them) and coffee (me). I love those girls. And I miss them. And it was so restorative to see them again. We live in the present, all of us, but it's special to be able to visit the past now and again, back when things weren't quite so complicated.
Then today, I got up and put on the dress I bought for Logan's celebration a few weeks ago -- a blue floral sleeveless number. I could almost hear an echo in my head as I looked at myself in the mirror. It was Logan's voice, chirping you look beautiful, mommy just as he did many times in the past. I could almost see him standing outside my closet, his blue eyes staring up at me in what can only be termed adoration and the corners of his lips turned up to form a smile. I miss all of that. I miss hearing him tell me I look beautiful. It never really mattered what I was wearing or if I'd brushed my hair or if I'd put on make-up. He always took the time to say I looked pretty. And today was no different, if only in my mind.
The service went off without a hitch and was lovely. As soon as we have it uploaded, I'll post the video tribute Adam made (with a little help from me) to YouTube so anyone who wasn't able to attend can view it. Our pastor handled the day perfectly, and the songs and scriptures chosen were a hit. Isaac even got in on the action, joining Sarah and Megan on stage to demonstrate the hand motions to 'Deep and Wide'. I decided, at the last second, to say a few words to the crowd. I didn't have anything planned, so I spoke what was in my heart. And I hope I conveyed the depth of my gratitude to those present. If I'm honest about it, as I looked out at the sea of roughly 300 faces watching me, I noticed how grim most of them seemed and my first inclination was to say 'cheer up, y'all. This is a party!' But of course I didn't do that.
I think my real moment of shock came when I realized that Pastor Mike had used my own words as the Message, so to speak. I only have vague memories of the conversation, but he shared that shortly after Logan passed, I got a phone call from my brother. He said that at one point during said call, I uttered six words: He's alive. He's just not here. I think I said the words and then didn't think much about it, but now, as I reflect and remember and ponder, I realize that there is indeed great power in those words. And I'm glad that I said them, even if they didn't really sink in at the time. Because that's what I believe. I don't understand why some kids recover and others don't. I don't understand why Logan didn't get better and come home to grow up with us. But what really matters is that he's alive in a new and amazing way. (See? I told you you'd see amazing things if you stuck with me.) And that his legacy in this world will live on, in the form of people having fun with their kids, appreciating their families in a newer and deeper way, and taking the time to enjoy things like sunny days, dancing and silliness. Given how broken this world is, I can't ask for more than that, can I?
Post-service, we headed outside to the courtyard area for lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, Costco cheese pizza, salad, blueberries and snap peas. And of course, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting! My heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone who brought a cake. They were absolutely amazing. I didn't manage to get photos of all of them, so if you brought one and took a photo of it but haven't yet posted it to my Facebook wall or emailed me (firstname.lastname@example.org), I'd love a copy of the image file. I tried to talk to as many people as I could, and wow, there were lots of people to talk with. I wish I could've spoken with everyone there. I was disappointed to miss Philippa and Dr. T, who were there but left early, but was very pleased to see Molly, the hem/onc NP. Logan loved her very much and we were so glad that she made it. If you were there and I missed you, my apologies are with you. I was sad to miss the CHO folks because we don't have a reason to see them again, and they were very important people to us for 18 months. I'd been looking forward to hugging them, and telling them in person how very much we appreciated everything they did, even though things didn't go as we'd prayed they'd go.
Anyway, it was incredible to see so many people from so many stations in our lives, and we were extremely gratified to have a large number of children show up. The Cars-themed bounce house and playground were big hits, and I think everyone had a good time.
I did. It's funny. I don't know how I thought I'd feel, but I felt absolutely surrounded with love and care. And I felt that somehow, Logan was there with us.
This entry has dragged on far longer than I'd planned when I started typing an hour ago. But I have an anecdote from today that I'd like to share before I go. As the party was winding down, Megan, a high school student and great friend of Logan's and our family as a whole, came up to me. She asked if I'd heard about 'the uniforms', and I was stymied. There's a high school next door to the church where the celebration was held. There was a ball game going on, and the visiting team was from James Logan High School. I smiled for a second, thinking about the irony, but there was more. She went on to say that usually, their jerseys say 'James Logan'. But not today. Today, they simply read 'Logan'. She went over to ask if they'd gotten new jerseys, and the person she spoke with said 'no, we're just trying these out today'. Just today. Pretty cool, huh? I thought so. A God-wink.
Anyway, I'm tired, and though I have nightowl inclinations and I have much more I could write about, there's much for me to process, so I'm off to bed. Blessings to you.