The day was beautiful despite the gamble we know October weather can bring. The sun was shining, the wind blew softly and you could hear the fallen leaves wrestling on the ground.
It was a perfectly wonderful Thursday evening in a Southern Illinois October that we received for what would become the first Tender Mercies remembrance event.
You could hear laughter as the children played on the grounds and you could see hugs everywhere you turned.
Anyone could have been pulled into the moment we were sharing that evening.
As night fell you could begin to see the soft candle glow shine so sweetly on the faces of the families as they released a lantern for their child(ren). Sure, tears fell, but only if you were there could you truly realize that those tears were good. They were healing and some had finally made their way out after having been pushed so deep, for so long.
Then, small tears of joy from heaven fell in the form of raindrops and not one person would mind. We smiled. We embraced it and we found peace.
When we started Tender Mercies Foundation in June we had visions of helping others. At first it was by providing memory items and perhaps monetary support to families planning their goodbyes. It was very clear that they would appreciate those things but sometimes, just sometimes like these, we need a way to acknowledge that we hurt and that our child was gone.
October 15, 2016 gave us that.
It gave us the proof that the pain is real, wide-spread and needing an outlet for healing. We now know that there is no greater gift than acknowledgement.
We hope that you are able to enjoy this first round of pictures of the evening by Whimsey Photography. These pictures may be used however you wish. We do ask that you consider tagging us when used on Facebook so that we can help bring awareness to this cause.
Until next year, God bless and keep you.