Saturday was, fittingly, the coldest day of the week. In bright and sunny central Florida, it was a shocking 60 degrees. An overwhelming amount of friends and family showed up at the park to express their love and support for me, Mike, and our sweet Kenley. We gathered under the picnic pavilion to say a few words. My mom wrote a poem. My sister read a few words. My dad had a short speech prepared. My friend Kerri shared a quote. I'll post what I wrote to say goodbye at another time.
After everyone spoke, we all moved over to her tree. A Live Oak sapling with a strong and sturdy trunk. My friend Chrissy had selected a bunch of balloons and tied them all together. Green and blue ones for my favorite colors, two white ones to represent Mike and myself, and one pink balloon to represent Kenley Evelyn. All of them bound together in one firm knot. I set my Ipad to play "Across the Universe", kissed my darling pink balloon goodbye, and Mike and I let the bunch go. The cold wind picked them up immediately and they were whisked away. As we watched, somehow, the pink balloon broke away from the others. It lifted higher and higher. The big bunch hit a group of trees and faltered a little bit before continuing to rise, but the one pink balloon never slowed. It was alone and unfettered. It seemed to me as if my baby was saying "I'm fine on my own, mom. I'll be okay." I watched the balloons until they were tiny specks, and then they were gone. All the while, the One Pink Balloon soared above and beyond the others. Just like my baby. My beautiful Kenley. Too good for this world, she had to float away.