Thursday, August 13, 2009

Healing in Helium


After almost a week in Arizona, and two days in a car, Chup and I arrived back home with my brother Andrew, my baby and three extra children in tow. As we pulled up we were greeted by family who had decorated our house with balloons and cards.

The children were living in a dream. We were all living in a dream. We walked inside and I noticed our cupboards and refrigerator stuffed full of food and groceries. (Later I learned our our kitchen elf was none-other-than my brother-in-law Vance.) Claire and Jane picked out their bedroom downstairs, and we made Ollie's Buzz and Woody at home in the bedroom next to ours.

I had time for a short shower, and then we walked to the park for a balloon launch. Earlier in the week, a good blogger friend had sent me an email with this suggestion--a tribute to Stephanie's favorite birthday tradition. I welcomed the world to launch with us.

Going to the park was much like I imagined heaven to be like. There, on a grassy hillside were friends, family, neighbors and supporters. My mom's best friend Mary Ellen, my Aunt Janie, my childhood friends. I will never forget meeting the daughter of the woman whose yard the plane crashed into or long time readers of my sister's blog. Stress had killed my voice and I resorted to hugging as an expression of love and gratitude.

My friend May took The Chief and held him so I could greet hundreds of well wishers all holding brightly colored balloons. I watched Claire and Jane playing under pine trees with cousins and Oliver with my brother Matt, while Chup took photographs with his camera. The Marvels were feeding the crowd and people were in a mood of unity. In this dream like, heaven induced state I was dipped into a vat of love. It was all around me, inside me flowing in and out. I looked up to the blue sky and prayed that Stephanie was feeling it too.

We counted down to zero and let our balloons off into the sky. It felt symbolic of our prayers. Each balloon represented a plea to our Heavenly Father. A green balloon for Stephanie, a red balloon for Christian and a white balloon for Doug.

Later that night I checked my email, I was astounded to see that the world had joined us. Australia, Hawaii, Thailand, England, Germany, even Abu-Dobie. Thousands of prayers launched heavenward.

And heaven heard us.



Video of the balloon launch from Dave Henson of VidProUtah
(song "Out of the Woods" from Nickel Creek)