It’s taken me sometime to share this… As I have so many thoughts and moments of wanting to scream. But after today’s attack in Orlando… I feel that I should share this even more. As I believe LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL and should be cherished. I also believe our Lord always has a way of turning sorrow into a beautiful thing.
You see back in April my Husband received a phone call learning of a loved ones passing. As I learned and saw my Husbands reaction to this life event I made sure my Husband knew we his family were there for him. That no matter what we would be by his side. So as a family we woke up that following Saturday morning we headed for Mississippi.
We packed ourselves (Hubby, Me, 4 Year Old Son, & 9 Year Old Daughter) in our Jeep with all our supplies and made an adventure out of our trip. Making sure to smile along the way and take in the sights. And even though many might think that’s just nuts to try and make beauty out of death… We The Shaw Family see it as a wonderful thing. We don’t want our babies to fear death or life for that matter. So we made sure to embrace this chapter in our lives with an open heart.
We had finally made it to Mississippi around 2:00am Sunday morning thinking our family would be stuffed in to a small hotel room and searching for a way for our children to be children. But we were greeted with LOVE, FAMILY, AND A PLACE TO CALL A ‘HOME-AWAY-FROM-HOME!’ Learning that on our way to Mississippi that part of my Husband’s family had opened their doors for our family to be welcomed in to.
I will admit I was a little hesitant to spend time in a home and with a family I had never met or heard of for that matter. Fearing that the energy my children hold would be to much for this family we have just met. But to my surprise the moment we pulled up we were greeted with open arms and hugs being wrapped around us all. We found that in that moment we had family around us. NOT just people calling us family… But family who treated us with love who had openly called us ‘their’ family.
I found myself grateful for such warmth and love. Seeing how my children were welcomed and treated as their own. Free to smile and giggle in a time of such sorrow. As we could see our new family treated life as something to be celebrated too, such as we do.
Over the few days that we found ourselves in Mississippi Mike and I realized how much more our family had grown. That even in all the craziness and sorrow our children were walking away with more love, more Aunties and Uncles, another Nana, and so many more family member to call home.
While there I captured a few moments, I captured their land, their home, and even moments of weakness and love. We sat and listened to stories of their loved ones. Hearing the giggles from those who had lost so much but who had found peace in their memories. These are things my family will never forget or take for granted… As we understand the beauty of life.
Now I’m sure by now you are wondering why I haven’t shared names, or those who have lost the soul they loved so dearly, I am sure you question a few things along the way. But I wanted to respect these families in their moments of sorrow. And I wanted to respect their stories too.
But I also share it this way… Because in a moment of NOT knowing names and the reason for which our hearts traveled from Virginia Beach to Mississippi… It is in those moments you the reader may be able to relate more. Seeing and understanding a side of life just a little different. Because after all, we all have been there or will find ourselves there one day too. And yes some may think I am nuts for NOT sharing names but for sharing faces and images. But sometimes that is the way a story must be told.
Just know… That these souls, stories, homes, and images all have a reason for living and being loved. And Our Lord made sure to expand my children’s family. And it is something I will be forever grateful for. And I for one can’t wait till I am blessed to be back in this Mississippi family.
And I for one can’t wait to see the adventures my children will be set on along the way with our new addition of family members.
So hold your loved ones close. And never for one moment take for granted the love you have for one another. Cherish the good with the bad and embrace it all. ❤
One must have JAVA to start a LONG trip! I LOVE MY BARISTAS !!! ❤
Cell phone picture of my son being silly and dancing while his sister looked on like he was nuts. After all one must let out energy when on a road trip, lol.
The view from our families front porch in Mississippi. ❤
My Husband with his sister Morgan.
***I SHARED THIS IMAGE ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE AWHILE BACK. SO I WANTED TO SHARE THE STORY HERE TOO***
“Going through images I took while in Mississippi a few weeks back… And I found these images I captured of my son being silly at the funeral (the reason for our trip there) that Sunday. I remember asking Michael to quiet down because he was to loud. I wasn’t sure how the other family members would react. And I didn’t want to be disrespectful. And as I was asking him to calm down my son stopped and said, “It’s okay Mama. They wants us to smile and dance.” I happen to giggle a little and asked him who he was talking about. Quick as anything my son says, “Them! They are happy we are here. They were sad Mama. Now they are happy.” I had no clue what my son was talking about. And I’m NOT one to say he was speaking about the dead, or just those around us. But as I was looking though these images today… My son saw me and started to talk about Mississippi and the big house we stayed in. And went on to tell me how ‘those people’ at the graveyard were dancing too. How the little baby was happy and dancing too.
You see the thing is… There was NO BABY there. There was no other children but my two. I guess my son saw more then we could… And he was celebrating life!
I share this because I found it sweet that in a moment of such sadness and grief my son saw life, celebration, and wanted to be happy. I knew he understood people were sad, maybe he didn’t fully understand why, but I have to agree… Life should be celebrated. No matter the reasons we gather in groups… Whether for parties, birth, family, or even death. LIFE SHOULD BE CELEBRATED!”
My son wanted every grace to have something. So he was on a mission to place a flower, pine cone, or something with every soul that was placed there. 😦
My Daughter lost in thought. She was full of emotions.
Our families beautiful home.
Moments of being a child.
Being silly with his Dada…
Our family laughing together and telling stories.
I had caught my little beauty dancing in the light. She is so sweet! ❤
Finding comfort in the simple things. ❤
My kids loved the pig on the diving board, lol.
We found our family staying an extra day due to the storm that had rolled on in. Our new family wanted us to be safe and asked us to stay until the storm had passed. Allowing our family to grow more in love and sharing of stories together.
iPhone picture… Of my Hubby and our son playing legos we had picked up during the day. After all an extra day with family calls for a day of shopping and exploring the area. ❤
My babies passed out cold! lol.
Not happy to be leaving our family… But thankful for the memories! ❤
Oh yes, coffee and Mommy gummies for the long ride home, lol.
Heading back to Virginia Beach… We made the best of a sad moment. 😦 ❤