I spent my Birthday weekend with Jim’s entire family.

“How did this happen”, you ask? “No special dinner or event just for moi”? Not exactly.

Jim’s mom’s Birthday is 2 days before mine. This year, hers was on Friday, mine on Sunday, and Monday we had off for the MLK holiday. What a bonus – a 3 day weekend!

Because this was my mother in law’s 80th, the family wanted to do something special. We rented a large Victorian house in Cape May, NJ to accommodate us. On Saturday night, instead of trying to get a dinner reservation for a party of 19, we stayed in with take out and wine, lots of wine…

It was a rare opportunity for all of us to be together. And it was especially nice to have the serene shore setting in off-season.

On Sunday, I scheduled a family photo session with talented photographer Joanne Posse, www.joannepossephotography.com Joanne’s artistry is the reason for my flattering blog photos.
Author of Changed by Chance Champion by Choice, Liz Barker and her extended family
The weather that day was literally picture perfect. Here we stood, in winter, coat-less, in the sunshine, basking in a 60 degree temperature! It was a miracle. Or, was it just another one of my “Angel Moments”?
Many times, when we gather as a family like this, I often imagine, “what would it be like to have Lauren with us”? “What if she hadn’t died and was now a grown daughter of 26”? “What would her world be like and how different, or the same, would ours be”? “With Downs Syndrome, how independent or dependent, would she be”?

I think about my age, and about how quickly the years have passed. I reflect on all that has happened to us, good and bad, since the moment of her birth when our lives were then forever changed. I silently pray that I will have 20 more years as a breast cancer survivor.

Most important though, I smile for my good fortune of that day and for the love that surrounds me. I sense that Lauren is there with me in spirit, as she often is. And perhaps she, as our little angel, was responsible for that magnificent winter day.

“Each day is a gift, that’s why we call it the present”.