No, I didn't skip part 2 of California, that was actually Norah and Josiah's Birthday party, I just did it out of order. You can go here, if you missed reading it. Ok onto part 3.
Celebration of Life for Carrisa and Darren
This was one of the main reasons for our trip to California.
My mom wanted a special celebration to put Carrisa and Darrens ashes in the Cemetary. We wanted to remember them, there life, the joy they brought. My sister Carrisa was gone instantly 6 months ago from a heart condition and My brother Darren died 14 years ago of an inoperable brain tumor (a story I will write about eventually), they were both cremated, so it felt fitting that they be buried together.
It is hard to explain what it is like losing a sibling..... let alone two.....There is no one on earth like your brother or sister, there is no bond like that of sibling, especially when we all shared the loss of a father. Sure, when were younger we may have fought over clothes, toys, attention, etc, but there was a love, a relationship that no one else could/can ever share, no spouse, no parent, no friend, it is a special sibling bond.
I wish you could have known my brother Darren. He was a servant, completely unselfish, he forever changed our youth group and those that knew him. He loved and served Jesus until his dying day, even when he could only blink his eyes. To watch someone suffer, a 20 year old, and still have incredible faith in the Lord, there is really no greater testimony. There were many people at this memorial just for him. To have people, 14 years after his passing, still come to celebrate his life just tells you the kind of person he was.
I love that his story still lives on 14 years later
Friends remembering Darren
Carrisa's death is still so fresh, sometimes it even feels like she is still here. She wanted so badly to live a life that emulated her brothers. I wish she could have seen and known that she did. Her love for the Lord and people was so evident. She had a contagious joy despite a difficult life. She touched so many hearts and lives, more than she will ever know. We shared such a wonderful bond of both being sisters and mommies. She loved her daughter Norah more than I have ever known a mother to love her child.
Remembering mommy Carrisa
We did a balloon release with notes attached to each balloon for Carrisa and Darren. It was a sweet moment, filled with life and hope in the midst of sadness.
Maya even wrote a note to uncle Darren and Aunt Carrisa......love her
Probably my favorite photo, Norah saying bye bye to mommy........
A place to remember
You may read this blog thinking I have it altogether. I don't. I have some very difficult, alone moments, wondering why half of my family is not on this earth anymore, why they were taken so soon, so many of them. I have hope though, hope that I will see them again someday, that we will be reunited as one family.
I really miss them though