Friday, July 29, 2011

saying goodnight

Cullen Steiner Veals

Planning a memorial service for your baby SUCKS. No one should ever have to do it.

Sitting in the funeral home yesterday was SO SURREAL. I kept saying to myself, this isn't real, I'm NOT here. Jimmy and I arrived early to set up....setting up the alter for my baby boy....ugh. There was a beautiful plant from the kids' pediatrician's office, a cute blue and white floral arrangement from the Salisbury PD, an adorable yellow and white arrangement from a good friend of my moms and a stunning floral arrangement from one of my best friends and her family. The tears flowed. We brought this statue of a mother and father holding their baby, pictures from the day Cullen had passed done by our new friend, and of course the Robin doll I found on amazon. After all, Cullen will always be Robin from the crime fighting duo.

As 1:30 rolled around people started to show up....needless to say I've been living in Salisbury for just about 9 years now, I have a few really close friends. But I had NO IDEA how many people cared SO MUCH about my husband and I. And yesterday at the Memorial Service for Cullen I was shown exactly the love people had. We believe there were over 60 people that showed up, and we know more would have liked to. All these people there to support Jim and I and the special few that actually got to "meet" Cullen. I can't express into words to convey how OVERWHELMING it have THAT many people was so so so special.

The service began, and to be honest, I didn't know what to expect. We decided on a few songs, songs that would make us smile, Beautiful Boy by John Lennon, Over the rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole and Here comes the sun by the Beetles and just one poem I wanted to read....

“These are my footprints, so perfect and so small. These tiny footprints, never touched the ground at all.
Not one tiny footprint, for now I have my wings. These tiny footprints were meant for other things.
You will hear my tiny footprints, in the patter of the rain. Gentle drops like angels tears, of joy and not from pain.
You will see my tiny footprints, in each butterflies' lazy dance. I'll let you know I'm with you, if you give me just a chance.
You will see my tiny footprints, in the rustle of the leaves. I will whisper names into the wind, and call each one that grieves.
Most of all, these tiny footprints, are found in mommy's heart, cause even though I'm gone now, we'll never truly part." - Unknown

I couldn't be more happy with the service. Pastor Johnson, who is also Stella's vice principle, was amazing. Psalm 23 and his explanation of it truly was beautiful.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want 
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 
he refreshes my soul. 
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. 

We learned that we aren't saying goodbye to Cullen.....We are saying Goodnight. Because we will see him one day again. I like thinking that way.....

After the service more of our friends came to give their condolences. Again, SO overwhelming with all those who came. Several people came back to the was really nice. Seeing most of our friends for the first time was something Jimmy and I were afraid of. Can't really say why, but we are SO glad we finally did see them. I guess we were finally ready.

It's back to "normal," my mom left this morning, she was here for 5 weeks. I'm SO glad she was here. She wasn't just here for me, but for Jimmy and the girls. My family needed her just as much as I did.

I can only speak for myself, but I'm ready to feel normal. I'm ready. Not to move on, but to just BE again.
It's the girls' last day of YMCA camp week they have Vacation Bible School....Jimmy and I are going to have 2 hrs each evening to ourselves with Grady. It'll be really nice.'s back to the grind. I better go defrost something for dinner! It's a NEW DAY.