Two months ago Jason and I went to Muskoka for a weekend getaway. I was feeling extremely low, hopeless, anxious you name it. We had taken a few small trips over the past year and ½ since our beautiful Emersyn passed away but none of those trips we really wanted to go on and none of those trips were any fun. However, this small getaway up north was my idea and something in my heart was telling me to go to nature, unwind and just get away so that is what we did over the August long weekend. As we were driving up I was a bit anxious as I was worried that when we got there we would stay in the hotel room ordering room service too sad and tired to go anywhere. That had been our usual routine when going away since Emersyn passed away. But when we arrived for our morning boat tour I actually felt like doing something, for once I was not being nudged, encouraged or coaxed into wanting to do something other than staying home.
As we boarded our boat we were overwhelmed by all of the families with small children laughing and playing near us. It was almost too much to handle. As we were in line about to step on our boat we were deep in conversation about our number one favourite topic, Emersyn. We talked about how much she would have loved the boat and watching all of the people. We even thought about how we would have navigated the boat with all of her equipment that she would have needed like her suction machine, feeding pump, bi-pap etc... We also talked about her being there without SMA and what she would have been doing. Our hearts were aching but just as we were about to step on the boat the most beautiful electric blue dragonfly hovered right between Jason and I as if to say, “hey mom and dad I’m here and this is what I am getting up to.” We held up the line as we drank in the obvious and beautiful gift from our brilliant girl. I told Jason how I knew we were meant to be there that weekend and I thought the blue dragonfly was a sign that I was right. Little did we know that Emersyn’s grand finale, sign of the summer to make sure mommy and daddy knew she was still ‘alive’ in spirit was yet to come.
The next morning I talked Jay into going paddle boating, again I could not believe I initiated ‘doing something’. A small leaf had grown on my little tree of abilities, for that weekend anyway. I was and still am learning ‘me’ all over again. Jason reluctantly agreed to do the paddle boats since all of the sea-do’s and jet skis were rented! The paddle boats had been sitting there, untouched all morning however when we walked down to rent one all four of them were being used. Strange since not a single person had used them so far for the two days that we had been there.
The girl at the marina told us to come back in an hour and we could use one then. Relieved that the slowest boats on earth were not available at that time Jason suggested that we go on a little hike in the nearby trails which were right across from our hotel in Gravenhurst. It was hot and I was kind of bummed that my nostalgic idea to putt around on the paddle boats was on hold, so I wasn’t too hyped about hiking but I followed Jason on our little excursion. Man I’m glad I did.
We walked for about 10 minutes and came across a small hill that Jason decided to climb much faster than me of course. When he arrived at the top the look on his face was priceless.....he said “Mel you have to see this, you won’t believe it, wow”. Keep in mind that Jason has been very doubtful of what we think are signs from Emersyn but he will tell you that this was real evidence, proof of life stuff that no one could make up or deny. There at the top of the hill was a beautiful trail that led to a gorgeous arch way that read “Path of Memories.....We have a Dream.... Our Children Remembered Forever”. The magical trail led to a breath taking gazebo that hung over Lake Muskoka called the “Children’s Memorial” where on the slats of the Gazebo above us were hundreds of plaques dedicated to children who have passed away. So there we were, two bereaved parents loving, missing, thinking and talking about our daughter on a little hike while waiting for these paddle boats that had mysteriously ALL been signed out at just the right time and we come across a Children’s Memorial in the woods. WOW is all we could think, speechless, laughing, crying - the works we were stunned. Just as Jason went to take a picture of me in this memorial that we never knew existed but ended up being a 10 minute walk from our hotel room, we noticed that there were two hand carved butterfly’s on the sign of the memorial and one of them was bright electric blue just like the dragonfly that came to play with us before we boarded the boat.
Today, Thursday September 16th 2010 is our beautiful daughter Emersyn’s 2nd birthday. Our little diva full of light and love wants everyone to know that she is always with us and she is getting very good at being a Professional Angel now. Emersyn is the wind in your hair, she is the sun on your face when you are driving on a beautiful day, she is the butterfly’s that we see all of the time that we never saw before, she is the hope in your heart at your lowest point when you wonder why you are even standing, and she is the bright blue dragonfly in Muskoka who nudged us on to the boat when we needed it. We also have a feeling she had a hand in those paddle boats being booked for that hour so we could see the most beautiful and precious gift when we needed it most, the Children’s Memorial which also read “you left footprints on our hearts and we will never be the same”.
Emersyn my love we will never be the same, we are your parents and we love you and miss you every minute of every day. We are not moving on we are just moving barely, with you in our heavy hearts trying to make you as proud of us as we are of you. You are such a clever little girl sending us those signs when we needed them most and now that you are getting to be an experienced Angel we seem to be seeing more and more of those signs as the days and weeks gone on. We would trade all of these signs for one more minute with you my precious child. Nothing will ever equate to losing you but in the mean time my beautiful birthday girl we will take whatever we can get of YOU and be grateful for it until we can be with you again and dance a million dances to make up for all of the birthdays without you in our arms. Happy Birthday frogga you are our world, our joy and our everything and we thank-you for teaching us and loving us every day.
Love you always and forever,
Mommy and Daddy xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
There are a few ways that you can help to honour Emersyn on her 2nd birthday and make a difference in the lives of children affected by SMA and here is how:
1) Go to www.curesma.ca and make a donation to Families of SMA Canada to help find a CURE
2) Go to www.voteforsma.com and VOTE for the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation in the Jimmie Johnson Helmet of Hope Contest as they are tied for first place to win $20,000 towards a CURE for SMA. Please take a quick minute to VOTE once a day every day until September 29th and please tell all of your friends to VOTE to help them win! Facebook is a great way to promote this contest.
3) Buy a ticket or donate a prize for the live/silent auction for the 2010 Angel Gala for SMA. For details about this upcoming event please go to www.angelgala.com
4) Please tell all of your friends and their friends friends about SMA and here are the facts and why we need your help:
*SMA is the number one genetic killer of children under the age of 2
*1 in 40 people carry this killer gene and don’t even know it
*1 in 6,000 babies is born with SMA
*SMA systematically destroys all of the muscles in the body including the muscles used for sitting, crawling, swallowing and breathing
*There is NO TREATMENT and NO CURE but with your help there is HOPE
In honour of our daughter Emersyn who should have been here to celebrate her 2nd birthday with her family, in honour of all children who have passed away and in honour of those who are still here living with SMA please please please continue to help us find a CURE for SMA!
Thank-you from the bottom of our hearts,
Melanie, Jason and our birthday angel Emersyn Klomp