After the lake we spent the rest of the day driving up through the canyons to see all the changing colors of the trees. Utah mountains are simply breathtaking! I found a knot in my throat and stomach as we drove into Park City and passed the place that I last snuggled my son in my bed and told him how much I loved him. It felt as though the breath had been knocked out of me as we passed the resort. What tender and sacred place that will always be to me. While driving a long loop of canyons we were able to stop in and visit some good friends and spend time with them and their kids. The girls welcomed the break from the car and running around with friends.
While in Utah we made sure to eat at some some of Miles' favorite places. We watched BYU football and simply spent time as a family.
One evening I met with an angel mom who just lost her precious son a month prior. She is a good friend of a family member's, but I had never meet her before. I took her a few things that have helped me in my healing process. We literally spent hours crying and talking as our desserts melted, basically untouched. It was a very sacred night and I feel honored to have meet her and now call her a friend myself!
On Miles' actual birthday we took the day very easy. I didn't want the hype and pressure of doing any sort of birthday celebrations as we have in the past. I just couldn't do that this year. Notoriously it seems as though either Mark or I, or even both, are very upset that day and having so much commotion going on doesn't help. It's just too much to bare at times. So we slowly drove home that day, driving through another canyon and stopping off at some very dear friends. When we got there we gifted to their very special son all the clothes we had bought for Miles for the upcoming fall and summer that he never got to wear. Months ago I went through his clothes preparing for a project with his clothes. I didn't know what to do with all the clothes that still bore tags. I had dreamed of Miles wearing them, and couldn't just give them away to charity. For months I have wondered what to do with them, and all I could think of was our friend's special little boy who faces heavy life challenges himself. Miles prayed for their sweet little boy nightly the last month and a half before he passed. He truly loved him. So Mark and I couldn't think of anyone else to give Miles' things to. It brought so much joy to Mark and I to see how excited he was to wear the Mater Pajamas Miles was so excited about wearing. Seeing their sweet little boy in those pajamas and his huge smile as he proudly ran into the room to show us was the best birthday present we could have asked for that day! It was truly better than any cake, candle blowing and balloon launch we could have done that day....unless of course we had Miles here to do those things with. I left that weekend with my heart feeling lifted about the service we gave, the people we saw and all the special memories we made that weekend. It felt as though Miles was there with us for each moment and was happy to see us all together as family remember and celebrating him!