I'm sure you've all heard about what happened yesterday in our hometown during our homecoming parade. It's, sadly, something we will never be able to forget, and it's something that will replay in our minds every year as we sit, watching the bands and floats and old cars, but it will never be the same. It will never feel the same.
I think I must have opened this photo up on my phone at least 30 times during the game, in between endless texts asking if we were okay from loved ones and friends all over the country.
As I snuggled with my baby, all full of excitement and fun for the parade, hundreds of mothers were, too. How many of us have a photo just like this in their phones, capturing the happy day?
And yet, minutes later, dozens of those photos became more precious than words can describe.
3 mothers, whatever age they may be, lost their babies immediately, a fourth, shortly after. Dozens had no idea one way or the other.
No one knew if this could be the last photo of themselves with their baby. The last time they'd smile that way. The last time they snuggled up together in the cool morning with donuts and hot cocoa. Giggles, candy, kisses, little pistol fingers in the air.
It very well could have been us.
It very well could have been you.
It could have been anybody.
Just going out to a family fun event,
and leaving without part of your family.
We have our nephews this weekend, and I am so thankful we are all together, all safe. I'm so thankful that God placed all the first responders, police, military personnel and medically trained citizens in the parade that day so the injured were cared for as quickly as possible. I'm thankful that Emma's best friend had crossed that very street only SECONDS before the car came careening through, and thankful that we will have answers from the driver in time.
Prayer circles were all around the stadium.
The "walk" was silent this time, and when we got into the stadium, the flag was lowered half mast, there was a moment of silence, and planes did a flyover. It was a strange feel this game. Somber, but beautiful.
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