Passage of Time

Today marks the anniversary of Ryker Leif’s birth and death.  To be honest I wasn’t really sure how I’d feel today.  There are certainly less tears shed as time has passed.  They still come on occasion but less frequently.  I thought perhaps the day would pass as every other day has with the acknowledgement that there is still grief but the sharp pain of it has passed to a dull ache.  But truthfully the past week has brought different waves of sorrow.  I have seen countless pregnant bellies, newborn babies, and toddlers.  I’m not sure if perhaps I’m uber aware of them at this moment in time or if the Spring has truly brought about so much new-ness of life.  Whatever the case I feel acutely aware of the should have beens.

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The day is looming and no amount of stalling will halt it…Next week will mark 6 months since we said goodbye to a precious little boy and let a piece of our hearts go with him.  I speak from a different place than his mommy and daddy but we still share the sorrow and grief of missing him deeply, feeling his absence in the most remarkable way and never knowing when his memory will surface. Continue reading


Ryker's HandIn times of deep sorrow it would seem a wonderful blessing if the tears that fall could speak the words of our heart.  Alas that is not the case and we are left to use mere words to share the moments, thoughts, and memories to explain the pain that settles in the soul.  Today if my tears could speak they would ask questions.  Why?  Why now?  Why at all?  Why this?  The list of “why” questions would be abundant, seemingly never ending.  But in the quiet lack of response our minds grasp that the questions will remain unanswered, that the anguish and loneliness will settle deep in our souls and be a companion for a time.

I share a tiny piece of this story.  The loss of sweet, sweet dreams and a lifetime of “if onlys”.  The bigger story and deeper pain, the reality of lives forever altered and joys ripped away is borne by two individuals that I love deeply.  One who shares the bond of family ties and the other who chose that bond out of love and commitment.  Joel and Meghan have graced the pages of this blog before.  They exchanged their wedding vows on our 11th wedding anniversary and watching their life together take shape has been wonderful.  In so many ways all the things they have planned have come together so flawlessly.  May 20th will be etched on our minds as a day that flawless became flawed.

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So it’s taken me a bit to get this post up but I wanted to make sure I covered it here on my blog as it will always be a day to remember for a variety of reason! Some reasons I will gladly share here and others will be for the memory of those in attendance only.

Although I thought it a bit odd at first to have such a late wedding, in the end I thoroughly enjoyed having my day and then heading out for an evening of celebration. I didn’t feel that I missed much in only sharing in Joel and Meghan’s time through the night because we spent so much time together as family in the days preceding the wedding.

The days leading up to the wedding left much to be desired, weather-wise. It was overcast pretty much all three or four days before and many intermittent sprinkles. Needless to say we were all a bit nervous about what Saturday would bring us but God is good, all the time! We awoke to a beautifully, stunning sunny summer day…a day so warm and balmy that I managed to sport a sunburn on my left shoulder after sitting outside for a couple of hours in the afternoon watching Sam play baseball.

Around 3:30 I headed to Amber’s house to meet-up with my sisters who were going to “beautify” me. Although I’ve never felt like I missed out on having sisters I did enjoy this opportunity and it made me realize that as adults we can now enjoy something we didn’t have as children. Trish is the only one who had sisters growing up but for Meghan, Amber and I this is a new adventure and I think one we are all eagerly anticipating. After spending an hour curling hair, putting on make-up, accesorizing, and changing clothes we all headed to family pictures.

As is the case with most extended family photos it was a little chaotic. We were trying to photograph two separate families in a rather short period of time. We managed to get what we wanted though and after seeing some of the teasers from their actual wedding photos I’m pretty sure it will be impressive. Above are a few candid photos before the wedding.

The photographer got some good shots of our family, the gigantic mass of people that it is. A shot or two Joel, Meghan, mom and dad, the siblings and their spouses and one of the nieces and nephews with the bride and groom. We laughed at that one because we told them this was their future and neither of them looked super impressed but both of them are so good with the kids and I know they’ll make great parents one day.

After that we headed to the ceremony which was so beautiful. The grass was dry, the sun was beginning to set but as the summer days stretch out the sunset lasted so long. We watched as my mom did an amazing job of performing the ceremony and got through with only a tremble in her voice. I cried, of course, but only a few times and none of it was all out sobbing. Just the tears of joy that my little brother was committing his life to one of the greatest joys one can have. They released two white pigeons (symbolic of doves that find one mate for their entire lives) and then a whole group of pigeons that all flew in pattern over the ceremony site.

Then we headed back to the barn for the rather lively reception. It was a party to say the least but I enjoyed the fact that my children were extremely well behaved, they headed home to my good friend Christa around 10:30 and I was free to enjoy the rest of the evening with my husband. I danced, I chatted, I enjoyed people watching, I just appreciated the fact that this would be last time in a very long time that I would be celebrating a wedding with my family. We have some to look forward to with cousins, of course, but most likely the next ones that we will all anticipate with great joy will be one of the grandkids.

Although that was a lot to write it only encapsulates a mere moment in the many memories that will forever remain in our hearts. Stories will be shared, laughter enjoyed when we look back on this day. And as Sam has so emphatically stated to many people, “Joelie is FINALLY married”!

Here is a link to the site for a few teasers of Joel and Meghan’s professional shots.

In an effort to make this last wedding really special mom and I decided to take an adventure with Lanae to the spa. We got all ready (I took Lanae’s frog robe with us) and headed out on Wednesday evening. The women who were assigned the task of making us “beautiful” led us into a quiet, private room where my mom and I were treated to a foot soak and message while Lanae had her nails and toes filed and polished. She sat completely still the whole time and even allowed her nails to dry for a good 10-15 minutes. My mom and I were able to get our toes completely done without too much effort on our part of keeping Lanae occupied. It was definitely a nice treat.
Fast-forward to Thursday evening…I spent the evening at Joel and Meghan’s wedding venue tying beautiful sashes on chairs and setting up the reception barn. The evening was complete with laughter, fun, a bloody bird, which was followed by a moment of tension or two (which I’ll let Joel and Meghan share when the wedding is over and they can laugh about it) and family.

Friday afternoon was filled with food prep as I headed over to my parents place in the afternoon and helped mom, dad, Trish and Amber put together all the decorations and food for a rehearsal dinner of 40+ guests. It was a pleasure to serve Meghan and Joel in this way and I can honestly say I would do that again in a heartbeat. The kids all enjoyed the festivities and were very well behaved (all five of them). They got a bit of attention but for the most part entertained themselves.

At 7:00pm we welcomed all the guests into mom and dad’s home and let the party start. It was great evening that didn’t get too out of hand (as most Neufeld parties do). The police showed up once, just to check out what was happening because someone told them a big party was going on, but they left shortly after because there really was nothing to see. All in all a successful night and a great way to begin the celebration.