Mid-Summer Recap

It’s been a busy few weeks for our little family … we spent 4th of July on the Cape with Pat’s family, and had a great weekend.  The weather was beautiful, and we enjoyed some much needed time at the beach with Bailey.  Despite our best efforts to get her in the water, she is still petrified!  She she never fails to make us smile though, and that is good enough for us.

We also planted a hydrangea tree Brienna’s memory.  The tree was a gift from Judi’s coworkers and will no doubt be beautiful …

After another weekend on the Cape to celebrate Aunt Mo being in town, Pat and I headed to Washington DC, while Bailey enjoyed some time with her buddy Maggie at my parents house.  Pat was asked to speak at a conference on social media in government, so we decided to take advantage of the great location and I tagged along.  We were able to take in all the sights, as well as meet up with one of our friends from PC.  It was nice to get away for a few days, but we’re happy to be home.

While Pat was attending the conference, I took advantage of the nice (hot) weather and ran along the Potomac River.  It’s a very beautiful trail and I thought of Brienna the entire time … beautiful things tend to remind me of her … also, in the past, I never would have ventured off on my own … but she has taught me that life is short, and to take full advantage of the time we’re given.  I am so thankful to her for that gift.

I also visited Arlington National Cemetery, where my maternal great-grandfather is buried.  If you’ve been to ANC, you know it’s HUGE.  My aunt Patty visited a few months before, so I was very lucky and already had the location of his grave.  I had been there once before when I was about 10, but it meant quite a bit more this time around.  It is such a remarkable place … there is so much history and I’m proud that “the Colonel” is buried there.  My nephew Quinn has quite the namesake!  And no, there is no relation to the Quinn’s on Pat’s side of the family – we hope anyway!!

We returned home to celebrate my parent’s 34th wedding anniversary, and will celebrate the Marr’s 33rd anniversary next weekend – quite an accomplishment and we’re very proud of our parents!

We are so thankful to everyone for helping us keep Brienna’s memory alive. She will never be forgotten by us, and it’s comforting that so many others still think of her.  It’s hard to believe that almost seven weeks have passed.  Not a day goes by that we don’t ache for her.  She is such a treasured part of our lives.  We are so thankful to have each other, as well as the continued love and prayers of our families and friends … thank you all so much.

We hope to have some new pictures to share soon!!

Brienna’s Garden

I’m sitting here in the same spot where I wrote most of my other posts on this blog … Toot was in my belly, constantly kicking away and reminding me that she was safe and cozy.  How I miss those little kicks … It is nearly impossible to believe that an entire month has passed since our precious Brienna Marie was born.  One month since we held her in our arms, rocked her and kissed her perfect button nose.  One month since we smelled her sweet smell and marveled at the fact that we had created this perfect little being.

It has not been an easy month, but we are so blessed to have the support of our families and friends.  We have received so many beautiful cards and things to remember Brienna by.  My brother and sister-in-law gave us a pink rose bush called “Sweetness” to plant in Brienna’s honor.  Jenny wrote this poem for us as well.  We are excited for the rose bush to bloom, and know that it will be beautiful, just like Brienna:

Meant to live in heaven, not on earth
She showed us what life is worth.
Blessed your lives for just a while
But never ceased to make you smile.
And though she’s gone far too soon
She’ll live on in all you do.
In love and laughter, in every day
She’ll be revealed in little ways.
So may this rose bloom and grow
Brienna’s spirit, for all to know.

We finally had a break in the rain and were able to plant the rose bush this weekend.  My friend Sarah had given us a beautiful garden stone as well, and we created a little space in our backyard that is now Brienna’s garden:

The garden stone contains the last verse of the poem on Brienna’s prayer card.  Sarah had sent me this poem earlier in our pregnancy, and we fell in love with it.  The bottom of the stone is inscribed with, “Always Remembered, Brienna Marie”.

While time has passed, the ache we feel for Brienna has not lessened.  The uncertainty and worry we felt during our pregnancy pales in comparison to the grief we now feel.  We’d give anything to turn the clock back and hold our little girl in our arms again.  We know that is sadly not possible, and take comfort in the fact that Brienna is now safe in God’s arms.  We are so proud of Brienna and are inspired by the number of lives she has touched.  She was truly the greatest gift we have ever received and we are honored to be her parents.

Thank you again for your continued support, encouragement and love.  We are so thankful to each and every one of you.  We’ll leave you with one of our favorite pictures of Brienna’s feet.  Her second and third toes are webbed, just like her daddy’s and it makes us smile every time we see them.  We love and miss our daughter more than words can say.

Laurie and Patrick