Yesterday morning, around 8:00am, I ended up at Urgent Care, a throat swab confirming what I already knew: strep throat. I was achy and feverish and miserable, and David was out of town to be with his grandma.
A neighbor stayed with the girls while I got meds and a steroid shot at urgent care. One of my best friends from college saved me by picking up the girls around 9:30am and taking them to her house all day. Much to my relief, my parents cancelled their dinner plans and drove up so they were here when Jamie brought the girls back.
Nothing about this weekend has gone as planned. I was supposed to do some deep cleaning, put up some Christmas decorations, and David would be back in time for us to go to dinner before the vigil.
Instead, I canceled our babysitter for tonight, and I've barely moved off the couch.
When I mentioned to my friend Keleen how wretched I felt about missing the ceremony tonight, she suggested I rally the troops (you are my troops). Some of you have been walking on this journey for longer than I have, many people reading this miss Eliza with us, and who among us hasn't been touched with loss? These dark and quiet sorrows can feel like an even heavier burden in a season of glittering lights.
So if you're reading this today, on what should be Eliza's fifth birthday but instead marks the date of our fifth year without her, I would be filled with gratitude and appreciation if you'd light a candle in her memory around 7pm tonight. It will be our own kind of vigil, and my hope is that even if I don't see those flickering lights myself, I'll still know they are there. I'll be able to envision them as whispers of a longing that lasts forever and beacons of a love that is stronger than death.
Thank you for abiding with us.