Yesterday was impossibly hard but incredibly beautiful. As much as Kevin & I tried to prepare ourselves & our hearts for the day, the reality is that there’s nothing you can ever do to ready yourself for the moment you must face, head on, the loss of your child. But my oh my, was it ever perfect and beautiful. Diana, the Chaplain at Loyola who took such incredible care of us in the hospital, did such a wonderful job memorializing Hallie. Her words brought us so much comfort and we will hold on to them forever. Honor Hallie she did.
During the service, everyone wrote a message remembering Hallie on a piece of ribbon and attached it to this wreath. The tears falling from my face while writing this are proof of how amazing, how needed this gift was! I think one thing I am personally really struggling with is having only footprints & handprints to remember Hallie by when she saved my life. I longed for something tangible, something meaningful and this wreath perfectly fulfilled that hole in my heart. One day we will read all the notes, but for now, we are just so thankful for this.
I will share a portion of what I wrote. I have a very long road ahead of me in trying to understand, or if not understand, at least come to terms with why it had to be my life over Hallie’s life. We just can’t get why cancer wasn’t enough, why did we have to lose our daughter too? Why! Why am I spared and she isn’t? On Friday, a dear family friend sent my mom a verse that when she read it to me, I felt for the first time some type of hope. The verse was Esther 4:14 and it reads, “Perhaps this is the moment for which you were created.” It doesn’t ease the pain, but it gives me perspective and it gives me incredible purpose to not just carry on but to fight. Esther 4:14, sweet Hallie!
After the service, we enjoyed lunch at Salernos. Get the Conrad’s & Hart’s together and you can always find laughter, even in the hardest of moments. We have 15 immediate family members between the two of us, 15! How lucky we are as that amounts to an incredible amount of love and support, every ounce of which we need. I have these moments of pure awe for our families. They have lost like us, they too know the hard fight ahead that we have to go through and yet they are working every moment of every day to make sure we are supported and our every need is met. We are constantly reminded of how lucky we are to have the families we do. And they aren’t so bad to look at either!
To all of you, our continued army of support, thank you for all your thoughts and prayers for yesterday specifically. I keep saying it but boy do I mean it, the outpouring of love carried us through the day.
All so impossible but so beautiful. And we are so thankful. ❤️ We love you forever & always Hallie.