Just a thought… Serendipity will not happen to you. It will happen because of you. [Alexis Ohanian]
Three years ago today was our daughter’s last day on this earth and it’s one for which we will forever be grateful: a day spent celebrating her first Mother’s Day with her sweet little son and her kind and loving husband.
Of course, so very much has changed since that day and, as I stressed in yesterday’s journal, our challenge – our life’s work now – is to find the positive in every day that we are given. This week, our tiny part of the universe helped to make that task just a little easier. Such beautiful timing!
I told you a few weeks back about the serene pond and park that are but a few minutes’ drive from our home. We’ll often park along the oceanside, Rob and I, and walk Molly down towards the town of Sidney by the Sea and stop at Iroquois Park. It’s a little spot that features a memorial and is named for the S.S. Iroquois, a ferry that sank nearby in April 1911, taking with her 21 men, women and children. It is a place of beauty and a place of remembering tragedy.
Part of what I love about the area, with its little pond, waterfall, ducks and trees, is that it reminds me of a special day, a special spot in France. It’s a place maintained so beautifully in the style that its resident Claude Monet loved so well and shared with the world through his paintings. We took a picture in the spring of 2005 of that very spot in Giverny. How lucky we were that it turned out this well!
As I told you here, recently we reached out via a phone call to inquire as to whether we could purchase or sponsor a bench in that little park. (Seeing as there is none, I thought it might make sense.) We received word a short time later that it wasn’t going to be possible; there were other areas that were earmarked for benches in the Sidney area before Iroquois Park.
I was disappointed, as you can imagine, but I didn’t give up. Knowing full well what a long shot this would be, I wrote back and explained why the area meant so much to Rob and to me, and gave them a little background as to the significance of a bench in our daughter’s memory. Of course, I noted, every bench is dedicated in the memory of someone who has passed and who meant a lot to those who sponsored it; we get that. But, still, I thought it was worth a try.
And guess what? I’ve received a follow-up email saying that the folks at the Parks department had taken a closer look at the Iroquois Pond site and believe there are some spots that would be desirable for a bench. They asked us to note where we might like one, and get back to them!
Today, we’ll be dropping off our application, our cheque and our preferred spots, although, to be quite truthful, any place there would be just lovely and we are grateful. We pondered what to put on the plaque. I could write paragraphs, to be honest, but that might be uncomfortable for people’s backs! So I’ll settle for a book to tell our story, and a plaque to say these words, if they’ll allow:
The last line refers to the song that I play when I go there (or go to any park) just to be with Lauren; it’s the old song made popular by The Mamas and The Papas that she sang with her high school band. We also played it at her memorials.
The song is special for another reason: I learned it to sing with our band Generations when we did our first gig on a cruise. I was nervous, standing there with my bare-stockinged feet planted about two feet apart on the stage while the small ship pitched and rolled on rough seas. As we began the song, I realized I had blanked out on the lyrics. I just looked down to the front row of the theatre and there was seven-year-old Lauren, mouthing the words to help me.
I suppose that’s what she’s doing still. As we navigate the choppy waters, she’s still there willing us onward, giving me the words, helping where she can.
Enjoy this day.