Thursday, August 6, 2009

Birthday Tradition Takes Flight

Today is my wife Sue's birthday. It's her second birthday without her twin sister Sandi, who was tragically taken from us in November of 2007. Last year was very difficult for Sue, being the first time having a birthday all to herself. This year was a little easier as we learn to celebrate Sandi's memory instead of ache for the loss. A few months ago we bought a few backyard hot air balloons that are about 3 feet tall and have a pad at the base that burns for a few minutes to generate the heat for the lift. We lit two of them to celebrate Sue's birthday and Sandi's memory. We lit the first one which had a 15 foot piece of fishing line tied to it. As it took flight we handed it to Sarah to hold so we could light the second one. I think Sandi was with us because before we could get the second balloon ready, the first one was out of Sarah's hands and heading quickly up and over the trees behind our house. The breeze took it directly toward Woodlawn Cemetery where Sandi now rests. I watched the balloon as long as I could. It definitely made it far enough to pass directly over Sandi. They don't burn for too long, so I'd like to believe it came to rest right next to her. If by chance it landed in the road and made you come to a screeching halt, I sincerely apologize. After the balloon was out of sight, we launched the second one which we tied to a wagon. We stood and watched in silence as we heard coyotes howling in the distance. It was one of those surreal moments in life. We plan to get more of them and make it a yearly tradition. Happy Birthday Sue and Sandi. We love you both.

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