This day was unlike any other for many of us, but especially Chris and I. As the day began, we both couldn't help but notice how beautiful God made this day, the day we celebrated our son's life and all that he brought to us here on earth. The flowers were beautiful, blue delphinia and white roses with greenery mixed in, lay upon his dark wooden casket. Some white delphinia, gathered together to form a cross, was also placed behind his casket. Many more flowers stood at the front of the Sanctuary as we greeted our guests and accepted their heartfelt condolences. The sun beautifully shown through the trees and bounced off the fluffy white clouds in the sky. We also felt the warmth from the sun as we walked behind Ryan, as Matt and Kim carried him. It was a warm 80 some degrees with a coolness in the wind that washed over our faces and blew our hair. The air was fresh as is Ryan's life in Heaven.
After the burial ceremony, we invited our parents to participate with us in a ceremonial dove release. Ryan's four Grandparents released 3 doves, signifying the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In a separate basket was the 4th dove, Chris, Charlotte and I released together, signifying Ryan. The last dove circled above us all many times and then finally flew so high up into the sky that we could no longer see "him". As our guests departed to join us for a family dinner at the church, Chris and I lingered by Ryan's grave for our final moments with him. As we knelt beside him, we knew that we were saying goodbye, only to say hello again someday.
As we left the church, following the family dinner, we were again admiring the beauty of the day. We decided to get the camera out to take some pictures for the first time today.
The flowers we selected from Ryan's arrangement on top of his casket, now pressed in our family Bible.
Charlotte's smile is a wonderful gift.