Gosh, it sure takes time to recover from a trip even if it's only 3 days long. But I won't keep you waiting any longer.... here is a quick overview of the weekend and a few of the (nearly 200) photos I took.
I arrived at the airport at 5:30 AM on Friday after a sleepless night. The line was so long. It took forever to get through. I didn't even get a chance to sit from the time I got there til the time we boarded the plane at 6:40. I almost missed the plane because I went to the bathroom. I had a stop-over in Chicago, which was less than 20 min between the time I got off the plane and time to board the next one so again it was a quick run to the bathroom then in line to get on the plane. The only reason I had time to do that was because the plane was delayed by 5 minutes. Finally arrived in St. Louis around 11:00 AM
The plane ride in.
Went to see The Angel of Hope with a fellow SHARE mommy. It meant so much to me to finally see the statue in person. The statue is of an angel who represents hope for bereaved parents. If you haven't read "The Christmas Box" by Richard Paul Evans, you really should. See my review of the book HERE)
with the Angel of Hope.
Went out for dinner with several SHARE mommies (and a couple daddies too). Four out of the 5 children that were there are Rainbow Babies (babies born after a loss). More than half of these people that were at the dinner have been people whom I have been chatting with for over 4 years. They have been there for me practically from the start of my grief. I'm so thankful for this chance to meet them in person.
out for supper with SHARE sistas.
Went to the SHARE Walk for Remembrance and Hope. Thankfully I got a ride there with a SHARE mommy and her family. Met up with a few other SHARE sistas there too. It was a very beautiful day. I had to laugh though, because everyone else was being sissy and complaining about how cold they were and I was warm and in fact, at times, I was fanning myself to cool off. They should come visit me in Canada, where it really IS cold. Over all, though, it was a beautiful ceremony. They read out the babies names, which was bittersweet because there were too many names. That only meant there were that many losses. I was happy to find a sign language interpreter standing near the stage so I was able to "hear" everything. It was especially nice when my daughter's name was read. A woman sang a beautiful song, which the interpreter signed. I tried to capture it in photos but it doesn't really do it justice. It was only too late when I thought that I could've set my camera to videotape it. After that, we went for a walk. People were finishing the walk as others were starting, the line was that long. I've heard there was well over 1000 people there.
my balloon for babybear.
Later that day I walked around the area near the hotel because the girl I was supposed to hang out with got sick.
A couple blocks away from the hotel I found two wild swans. I spent almost half an hour just sitting there watching them and taking photos.
with the swans...
One of the SHARE mommies took me to see the Arch before I had to catch my plane.
and yes, I went all the way to the top! Afterwards, we went for a quick bite to eat and then I had to go home.
On the way home, another connection in Chicago. But by the time I got to Chicago, I was sick! My lay-over this time was nearly 2 hours. I really wanted to get a Chicago Style pizza IN Chicago but my stomach was hurting too bad and I spent most of the time there in the bathroom. Fun, eh? Bought some tums at the airport. $3.00 for this tiny little thing. But it helped. Even though I was still not feeling great by the time I got home nearly 2 hours later, I was at least feeling a little better.
Even though I had a nice trip, met some wonderful people, there is still nothing like coming home. By the time I got home, my dog had already been dropped off and was waiting for me. I was greeted with lots of hugs and kisses and a couple looks on her face that said "How-Dare-You-Leave-Me-thank-god-you're-back!" Within 10 minutes of my arriving home she plopped down and promptly fell asleep for the night.
Things I learned about flying on my trip:
Just because you're allowed to take stuff with you doesn't mean you're allowed to bring the same thing back. (They allowed me to take my body wash there and then said it was too big when I came back so the confiscated it. booooo)
I wore the same outfit on the way in (with exception of underwear and socks!). On the way in, nothing, but on the way back they made me take off my sweater. (I had a tank top under it).
(And because I was sick, this just all upset me and I started to cry! But I kept it together long enough so they wouldn't call security on me or something, cuz that would be just my luck too, haha!)
Everything is so gosh-darn expensive. (I knew that but now I KNOW it.)
Do not rely on cell phone alerts you set up. I had mine set up and the gates alerts were wrong! They were also late in coming to my cell phone. They should have been telling me my plane was on time, etc. but they weren't sent until I was already on the plane and the cell phone was shut off as per regulations, so I didn't even get the alerts until I was already at my designations.
All in all, I'm glad I went. I hope I get to go again in the future, as well as to other locations to meet other SHARE sistas. Hopefully they all still like me now that they've met me in person!
Hope you've enjoyed my little whirlwind trip in photos.
- I am a bereaved mother and wife. I began this blog to help me look for the "good things" in life after my daughter, "Babybear", died in July 2005. Three years later, her daddy, my husband, "Bear", died in November 2008. (You'll find a link to their stories on my blog) And now, as difficult as it is, I continue to look for the good things in my life as I learn my new normal with my pup, "Furrybear", at my side. And the angels on my shoulder...