Wow. Where do I begin? Yesterday, October 10, was our one year anniversary of our adoption of Mary. We wanted to let her celebrate it somehow, and what we decided on was to allow her to invite a friend or two to go to the movies. It ended up being only one friend, but I don’t think she could have picked a better friend. She invited Kaitlyn, who she has been friends with since she moved in with us. Kaitlyn and Mary were in the same first and second grade classes, and the two are in the same Brownie troop. So, I took the girls to Providence to see Coudy, With a Chance of Meatballs in iMax 3D. It was quite amazing. The girls got to “shop” for a while, (Claire’s, of course). Then, they found their way to Build-A-Bear, where each girl got a bear.
They had a tremendous amount of fun, picking out the bears, dressing them, naming them. What was really funny was the stress the girls put on themselves over the choices of clothes! Neither girl ended up with the the bear they originally chose! Mary picked a brown dog, and dressed it to match what she was wearing. Kaitlyn left with a polar bear, dressed in an outfit that roughly matched what she was wearing.
Kaitlyn’s mom and little sister joined us at the mall, and then we all headed over to “Waterfire Place” in down town Providence for one of the last Waterfire events of the year. Waterfire is a unique event that the city puts on every summer. From their website: “WaterFire centers on a series of 100 bonfires that blaze just above the surface of the three rivers that pass through the middle of downtown Providence.” About twice a month the fires are lit. They are sponsored by different organizations, and last night it was the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Research Foundation. It was a spectacular event, with torches carried from the state house steps to the river by hundreds of breast cancer survivors. The torch bearers were assembled on the steps in the shape of the ribbon. As they were gathering, Mary asked me who they all were. I asked around and learned they were all survivors, or battling the disease. She wanted to know when she could be “up there”. I didn’t know how to answer her, except to say again, that those were all people who had the disease. She said “Yeah, but my mom…” I said, “Sweety, I know, but unfortunately, it was too late for your mom.” I don’t know why that answer came out. But it did. I hugged her, as she wiped away her tears. Then, she went on to find Kaitlyn. At one point, I looked over at them to see the two girls, standing close, Kaitlyn with her arm around Mary’s shoulders. I saw her explain to another little girl, who was about the same age, that Mary was a little sad because her mom died of breast cancer. The other girl, whom Mary had just met, offered her condolences to Mary. This girl, too, knew of breast cancer since her own mom had fought it and survived. I couldn’t help but marvel at these children, comforting one another, sharing a common monster. Kaitlyn’s grandmothers are both breast cancer survivors. And so there, standing in front of me, were 3 girls, all with good reason to be there, where hope is the focus. As the torch bearers walked to the river, the song “My Heart Will Go On” sung by Celine Dion was played over the sound system. I fell apart. I couldn’t help it. Jayne was my friend, and in spite of all that happened with regard to Mary, I still felt the sting of her untimely death. And the irony of the date, and the gift she gave me, couldn’t be missed.