Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tiny Pumpkins

Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures that we've been enjoying in South Dakota, I can see the tell-tale signs of Fall all around me. The trees are covered with vivid red and orange leaves, Halloween candy and costumes have taken over the stores, there is football on TV every Saturday and Sunday. Usually I love Fall, but this year the change of seasons finds me feeling empty and apathetic...

Last year we were enjoying Fall with Charlotte-- picking out her Halloween costume, cheering on the Huskers and Packers, taking trips to the local apple orchard so we could make homemade applesauce. This year I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to do or how I'm supposed to feel. It's just not right.

Last October I read this blog post written by a fellow heart/angel mom, Kristine Brite-McCormick that depicted her similar struggle with this time of year. The post, appropriately titled "Smashing Pumpkins," described the dreams that she had of trips to the pumpkin patch with her daughter Cora...dreams that never had the chance to come to fruition as Cora was taken from her much to soon as a result of an undiagnosed heart defect. As I read Kristine's words my eyes welled up with tears.  A year ago couldn't even begin to imagine what she was feeling, but my heart ached for her none-the-less.

I read Kristine's post right away in the morning, and needless to say I wasn't very productive the rest of the day. I just couldn't stop thinking about Cora and her mom.  My wheels were turning and as soon as my work day was over was on a mission.  I picked up Charlotte from daycare and immediately set out to find the closest place that sold pumpkins.  Cora needed a pumpkin...

I'm not sure what I thought I was going to accomplish with this pumpkin. I knew that I wasn't going to fix anything for Kristine or take the sadness away from her, but something deep inside me wanted her little Cora to have a special pumpkin all her own.  I sent the picture below to Kristine hoping to at least elicit a smile...hoping that she would feel the love that we were sending her direction.

This weekend I found myself thinking of Kristine and Cora a lot.  I re-read Kristine's post from last year and was again overcome with emotion.  Last year I could only sympathize...this year, unfortunately, I can relate.  Precious Cora never got her own pumpkin, and the only one Charlotte had was the one we made for Cora.  

Two perfect little girls, one perfect little pumpkin...

To read more about Cora please visit Cora's Story.  Her life was cut short by an undiagnosed congenital heart defect, but through her mom's advocacy, Cora is saving lives!  THANK YOU, Kristine for all that you do, and for showing me everyday that though our lives will never be the same, we WILL survive this!

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