Well, we’re probably a little more than halfway there, but we’re certainly halfway through our trip. Currently, we’ve stopped in Washington D.C. to see the cherry blossoms. It’s good timing for us; the sakura should be in lovely bloom.

It’s not how I expected to see the sakura this year. Last year, I was about four months pregnant, and Geordie and I went to Ueno, in Tokyo, to view the blossoms. I daydreamed of bringing Lauren to see the sakura, of introducing her to one of the sweetest traditions Japan has to offer. During those hours we spent strolling under the trees, I never once thought that Lauren’s presence would be as fleeting as those lovely little blossoms.

We’ve reached another halfway point in a different journey. Halfway to a full year. Lauren’s birthdate was six months ago. I can’t decide how I feel about viewing the sakura today: is it fitting that we’re going to see this reminder of the briefness of life, or is it just depressing that we have this reminder of the dreams we had for our daughter, dreams that will never come to pass? I guess I won’t know until I’m standing under those blossoms. I only got one sakura season with Lauren; I don’t know how I’ll deal with this first without her.

I don’t have many pictures to share yet (that should change today). But I do have a couple that mean something special to me, especially on this day. In North Carolina, we stopped to stay the night with my aunt and uncle. When I saw them at Christmas, they had told me that they planned to plant a dogwood in their yard for Lauren. Because of this trip, I got to see this tree much earlier than I had expected.

 

It’s a young tree yet, and the blossoms haven’t all come in, but that’s alright. It’s Lauren’s tree, and that’s all that matters. It’s a lovely tree, and it’s only going to get lovelier.

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