Friday, October 14, 2016
This little church that we joined in 2010 had given us such fond memories. This was the church that Ainsley was baptized. Now, it's the church that held my Olivia's funeral service. It hasn't been the same since then. In fact, it's actually painful for us to be in that church. I wouldn't dare sit in the same pew as I did on March 30, 2012.
Erick, Ainsley, and I walked into that church. I felt as if everyone was staring at us..... they probably were. We walked down the middle aisle and sat in the front pew. Two doors to the left of me opened, and there was the back of the hearse. The hearse door opened and two of my best friends and our two brother-in-laws pulled Olivia's white casket out of the hearse. They slowly walked into the church through those doors and placed Olivia in front of family and close friends. We listened to Rev. Legg speak so sweetly about Olivia. His words didn't come from him knowing her; which was no fault of his since we only became members a little over a year prior. Rather, the words were given to him by Olivia's biggest fan, her dad. Erick spent hours going through Olivia's handwritten stories and pieces of artwork looking for the best material to describe the 8 year old little girl who dreamed of being a musician and a veterenarian. Most of her stories were about the adventures of Cocoa, a chocolate lab that I do believe was Penny's alias. Olivia had so much to offer this world. She was so talented in so many ways. Her artwork was clever and she thought outside of the box. She was musically talented as well. Her guitar instructor, Mike, played the piano and guitar at her funeral. It was only fitting. I do remember hearing the music and the angelic voice of a friend of the family, Christina. She sang a song "Wherever you shall go I will Follow", which Christina picked out herself. She even recorded it for me. To this day, it brings me to tears but I'm thankful that I have a copy of it.
Besides the beautiful words and music, Ainsley also provided "entertainment". I remember her standing in front of her sister's casket, facing the "audience" and lifting up her shirt to reveal her chubby belly. I'm sure that she made someone smile in that church but it wasn't me. However, looking back on it makes me laugh because I think Olivia was laughing.
With the blink of an eye, it was over. We were walking out of the church and following a hearse into the cemetery that was directly across the street from the church. Her casket was pulled out of the hearse one last time and placed at her final resting place next to a blossoming dogwood tree. I walked Ainsley over the the casket and we put our hands on it and said ever so quietly, "Good bye LaLa". "I love you LaLa". I turned away and walked Ainsley back to the church.
We convened in the downstairs area of the church for lunch. Christina and Mike performed Olivia's favorite song, "The House that Built Me" by Miranda Lambert. We had the CD in our car and Olivia would always tell us, play number 10. Erick and I always requested number 2 track, "Only Prettier" but she loved the number 10 track.
It was now Ainsley's nap time so we headed home. I don't remember anything about traveling home. I do remember changing my clothes, going outside, sitting at the bottom of the sliding board and finally sobbing.
It was all over........