She was there. I had expected her to be watching that day, a day she had looked so forward to in life, but I wasn't prepared to see her. Amid the late afternoon sunlight, on that beautiful lawn as Eric and Larissa recited their vows, Krissy was there. Just before the candles were lit in honor of those lost, Krissy, Aunt Louisa and Larissa's father, she showed us that she was still here with us and watching on this most wonderful day. A butterfly, beautiful and graceful, fluttered directly before us and then sailed away to take shelter in the shade. Every one of us saw it and immediately knew, this was Krissy making her presence known and blessing this day for her beloved cousins. I still can't properly describe the affect this had on me. Equal parts joy, sorrow and longing coursed through me at that moment but more than anything I was so thankful she gave us this sign that she is watching over all of us.
Those five days in Michigan for Eric and Larissa's wedding were a welcome distraction from the past few months of turmoil. We had an amazing stay with the Evenhouses, their hospitality was so incredible. I truly felt at ease there and had not had a chance to really relax my mind and body until then. I still feel a little bad that we had nice rooms and beds while the bride and groom were sleeping in campers and floors, but everything seemed to work out just fine.
The kids also seemed to let their hair down a bit and really enjoy this trip. From their first airplane ride, to their first swim in Lake Michigan, to dancing and laughing at the reception, it was such a blessing to see both girls get a chance to be kids again. I really enjoyed watching them playing with such abandon. I even dragged this white pasty body into the water with them and only paid for it with a mild sunburn.
I feel like I should say thank you to Eric and Richie's father, (Uncle) Rich, for taking the time to talk with me and really making me feel welcome with his family and for also being a mentor to me as I continue to struggle with Krissy's loss. Uncle Rich was married to Krissy's Aunt Louisa, who was also lost to cancer far too young, and was left with two young boys and an uncertain future ahead of him. Everything seemed to turn out just fine and it gives me hope for my own journey. He's an amazing man, with two amazing sons, and an inspiration to me whether he knows it or not. He's also damn funny, I can absolutely see where the boys get their sense of humor from. Uncle Rich, thank you.
The highlight of the weekend was obviously the wedding. Eric and Larissa are just two outstanding people, obviously crazy about each other, and obviously perfect for each other. The ceremony was touching, the setting was breathtaking, and the reception was a blast. I've got plenty of incriminating pictures to prove it too.
I was so happy when I learned Eric proposed to her after Krissy's benefit auction this past January and Krissy was ecstatic. She wanted so badly to make it to this wedding. I felt I carried her with me, imagining her out on the dance floor or laughing so hard as she always did around the boys. I made sure I drank in every detail and enjoyed as much as I could, so I could live this for the both of us. I turns out I didn't have to try to so hard. It turns out she was with us after all.