Monday, March 14, 2011

A Recap: Part IV

Sunday afternoon, it was time for us to make the 2 hour drive from LA to San Diego for the purpose of which we were all in California: to attend Travis' Celebration of Life service. All of us knew that was where we were going and we all knew why we were going, but none of us wanted to dwell on it or spend too much time thinking about it beforehand. As you can imagine, as we pulled into the parking lot at that beautiful park on that amazingly sunny Sunday afternoon, it hit us all like a ton of bricks.

We proceeded to head towards the gathering place and had the joy and privilege of meeting Nicole and Roger for the first time. I'm not sure Nicole registered who exactly we were: me from SC, Jenny from MI, Stacey from AZ and of course, Amy and Sara from LA (who she had already met before).

The service was in a word: AMAZING. Such beautiful stories were shared about such a beautiful, vibrant, funny and adorable little angel who was taken from this world oh so very soon. It was obvious the love that was felt for Travis by everyone who was there, including people (like myself) who had never had the privilege of meeting the little guy in person! I was amazed that Travis' surgeon not only attended the Celebration, but also shared a few words about that fateful day when Travis went home to be with Jesus. It was heartbreaking to feel those feelings about such a devastating loss, and to know that I could just as easily be in Nicole and Rogers' shoes in the blink of an eye. Such is the life with a heart baby. There are no guarantees, and it truly is more than likely that we as parents will outlive our special children. It's a devastating and morbid thought to ponder but sadly, it's our reality. And it hurts more than anyone can understand.

After the beautiful service, we headed outside for a balloon release.

Travis' Celebration of Life service. This place was packed, folks, with standing room only
What an amazing testament to an amazing little man!
Bodie "represented" all of our little heart kiddos by kissing and releasing a balloon for Travis.
Letting the balloon go!
Bye-bye, balloon!
Fly high, balloons! Tell that sweet boy in Heaven how much his family and friends miss his beautiful smile!

The balloon release was followed by a delicious lunch provided by some dear friends of the family. It was so wonderful to spend time together with these amazing people, enjoying a yummy meal on the comfort of a blanket spread out in the park on a sunny afternoon, sharing and talking about the sweet life of Travis DiCarlo. It was difficult to say our good-byes to Nicole, knowing we all wished we could spend so much more time with her, and not knowing how long it would be before we had another chance to get together again (for a more enjoyable purpose than saying goodbye to one of our own). We hugged tightly and headed on our way back to LA. The sky grew cloudy and overcast as we left San Diego, and I had no doubt that Travis had a word with the Big Guy Himself and asked him to keep the sun shining over his loved ones in San Diego.

Travis, you will forever be in our hearts and minds and your family will always be lifted up in prayer as they learn how to navigate this world without you. You were a blessing and an amazing fighter and will be truly missed by all of us who were touched by your life and smile.

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