FJM: Detoured

I was an hour from home and there it was. A giant yellow flashing sign that said ROAD CLOSED AHEAD, DETOUR.
I wanted to scream. I had been in the car for seven hours already and the last thing I had the patience for was a detour. As much as I was enjoying listening to the audio book of The Magnolia Story by Joanna and Chip Gaines, I just wanted to be home. Tears started to well up for about the tenth time on this journey, but I gripped the wheel and continued on. I would be home eventually. 

As I took the detour, I know you must have been watching me upset. I was so tired as I just spent the weekend honoring you and that takes an emotional toll on your Momma. Sometimes, I feel like your name is all I have. I put all of my energy into speaking your name with grace. I get so angry about the mere twelve hours I got to spend with you and I get even angrier at myself for not loving on you as much as I feel I should have while you were in my belly. The anger with myself is what sends the hot tears rolling down my cheeks the hardest. It's always these hot teared moments when you sneak in, though. Your spunky little spirit dries those tears up and replaces them immediately with total shock that you're so present and then a giggle that feels like it bubbles up the whole way from my toes. Is Aunt Emmy teaching you that? She has the BEST giggle. Sometimes, I can almost exactly imagine the two of you giggling together and it comforts me. I see you running circles around her and her chasing you, giggling. And I often picture you two blowing bubbles together. I'm not sure why, but I feel like that's something you must like to do! 

But, on this particular day, on this particular detour, you showed me that this whole life is going to be full of twists and turns. You may have been one of the hardest detours I will ever have to take, but you guide me. I am grateful. You reminded me that on the hardest of journeys, the hardest of days, to always remember that I am granted grace. But, I must remain open to receiving it or I won't see it. 

As I was driving through all of these back country Tampa roads, I just kept getting more and more frustrated. With each twist and turn, the tears fell. "Where am I?! Where is this stupid GPS taking me?", I was screaming at my windshield. 
A moment alone right before your Baptism

And then, I came around a bend and there it was. A crosswalk. People were walking across a cross walk from a parking lot to my left and going into a church on my right. I had to stop to let them cross, but it caught me off guard, so I tried to see what church I was next to. Sacred Heart, the sign read and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Sacred Heart is where you were technically baptized. It's where your baptism record is held. After you were baptized in the hospital, the kind lady from that parish called to ask me who your godparents would be and then sent me your baptism certificate with a beautiful letter of condolence. I had often wondered if I would ever visit this church, where it was, what it was like. But, I had since made my home at Saint Anne's, so I never thought about attending mass there as often as I did right after we said goodbye to you. As I looked at the church, realizing how CLOSE to you I was in that moment, it happens the way it always does with you. The shock first and then the giggling. Once the giggling started, I just shook my head and said, "Okay, Frankie. I see you". 

On that particular day, on that particular detour, you were there. You reminded me that on the longest, most tiring, most exhausting days, there is still grace to be found. You reminded me that when I find myself somewhere I don't necessarily want to be, to look for you. You're there. 

You reminded me to choose to see, sweet angel girl. 

Thank you. 

All my joy & love,
Mom

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