Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ups and Downs

What a couple of days.
We had a wonderful weekend. On Saturday, my mom , the kids and I went to the 2nd annual Peoria Buddy Walk to help raise awareness for people with Down syndrome. This year, as a fundraiser, families could get "buddy bands" saying "I'm ________Buddy." One family that we have come to know asked if they could be "Olivia's buddy" this year. We were honored and excited to get some buddy bands in the mail last week saying "I'm Olivia's Buddy." How awesome. We were only able to stay at the Buddy Walk for a short period of time. It was too hard. All those beautiful babies, kids, and adults sparked the emptiness in my heart. It was so awesome to see the accomplishments of so many of the kids, but just made us miss Livvy a whole lot.
So, on to the scenic drive. It was chilly, very muddy, and misting a bit. We still had a good time and made a few purchases, though. The rest of the weekend was spent working around the house and we actually got a lot done. Things are progressing nicely...
Today was a great, great day. I went up to the PICU for a visit. They had Olivia's calendar picture from last year blown up and framed. It's hanging right outside of the room where she spent a whole lot of time. It was so, so good to see everyone. It's amazing how much I miss them. For 2 1/2 years, I spent entire days (both good and bad) and even some nights with those nurses and doctors. I consider a lot of them my closest friends. It was just really good to see them. And the picture of Olivia...gorgeous!
To add to all of that excitement-I went out to visit Livvy tonight and her headstone is up. Her absolutely, unbelievably, perfect in every way, beautiful headstone. I was so overwhelmed by the perfection of it that I actually started laughing and telling Olivia how awesome it was. This is going to sound really strange, but the feeling I got was similar to what I felt when Olivia started crawling and feeding herself. Or when the big kids started walking, talking, or riding their bikes. It was just a great feeling-a monumental one. One that needed to be documented! I'm hoping to go out tomorrow and take a picture of it (hopefully that's not too weird) and I'll be sure to post it so you can see it too. It's just perfect.


Judy said...

Oh I want to see the headstone! I'm sure it's beautiful and I'm so, so glad that it is perfect and that you found JOY in that!
I'm sure the picture of Olivia at the hospital is beautiful! What a wonderful way to honor her. You have been so blessed with such a wonderful, caring group of doctors and nurses. I'm sure you do miss them! Please let them know how thankful we all are for them.

The Hawkinson Gang said...

I can't wait to see it! Perfect huh....hmmmm, isn't it funny how the word PERFECT creeps up again. I want to see pics soon!

Peoria Peepers said...

How neat about the calendar picture, and the headstone. Ron and I will have to stop and see it soon!

Anonymous said...

What a touching blog entry - gave me goosebumps and tears. Sorry I missed seeing you yesterday. I do love the picture - her beautiful smile and the sparkle in her eyes has given so much to the unit. You would not believe how many times people walk by, stop and take a second look, and then smile at her picture. Thank you for allowing us to share her beauty. Hope to see you guys soon.

Anonymous said...

Dear Chattertons,
What a beautiful post Julie! I have tears typing this, but just wanted you to know that a day doesn't go by that I pray for you and your entire family as you continue on in your journey.
I also wanted to tell you that I babysit a little girl named Olivia! So, each day I look at her and I see your precious Olivia! Tell your mom hi and give her a hug for me!
Jen Weber

Anonymous said...

Your words make everything fresh again. I admire your faith and love to continue to share with your family of friends.
Thank you-Miss you

Ann Neavor