Aviana's birthday couldn't have been a more perfect day in and on Lake Tahoe. With our combined ashes we set off to our three chosen destinations.
Our first stop was in front of our new house. We wanted to be able to look out our sliver of window, off our back deck, or drive down the road and know Kama and Aviana were with us always.
We decided to release the little sea turtle, which contained a combination of the two first.
Next, we decided to place them in front of my dad's house, and for all of the very same reasons. I grew up there so his house and the entire surrounding forest have a complete hold on my heart.
Aviana Reese Hodder
Sent Away with the Words of a Love Song
August 16, 2006
October 26, 2013
We couldn't help but laugh and joke because the Aviana one would not sink. Dave was saying things like, "Avi do it!" We were also joking and saying how it's all in her time, and by her own agenda - not ours. To this day, we still can't make her do anything!
I think the funniest part was at the previous stop we spent a good amount of time because it was our first. There was a real lull towards the end, kind of like we weren't sure when to go. We had rented the boat, so I finally said, "Come on guys, let's go, time is money!" So when this one wouldn't sink, Roger yelled out, "Come on Avi, time is money! " We couldn't stop laughing : )
Avi sure has a way about her and we love everything, even her extreme stubborn streak.
Our last remaining place was Lakeview Beach. This is the beach I spent my entire childhood. We would take the boat out every weekend and this was the place we would pull in and spend most all of our time.
Our dog Baxter would pull us around on our rafts for hours. We would walk across to Lakeview Pizza and often times order food and bring it back to the beach. Lakeview is where my dad hung out the majority of my life. It's also where I worked from the age of 13 to the time they closed down when I was about 20. We all miss them terribly. It's now Old Range Steakhouse and is the place pictured with the green roof.
From a very young age, my cousins and I would carry our rafts down to this beach and spend the entire day in the lake or catching crawdads from the pier with string and a little piece of raw bacon (eww)!
While Aviana was well, we took her down there a few times, and Kama many in her life.
There wasn't a question about wanting Aviana and Kama intertwined with our past, present, and future lives with Lakeview Beach.
It was perfect how the Kama Girl one (although both ashes were contained) was being placed here as our dog Baxter sadly passed away crossing the street from Lakeview to this beach.
The Reason Why
November 16, 2002
October 26, 2010
The three of us had the most enjoyable, peace filled day on the lake. It was full of everything I'd hoped for: reflection, happiness, living, light, love and especially calm.
* * *
We reserved just a little of the combined ashes to bury at both our and my dad's house on the 1 year anniversary. Our friends and neighbors Jen and Scott just so happened to give us the perfect going away gift - one of my very favorite trees - a Dogwood. I have left an open invitation to my mom and Gary. If they so choose - they are welcomed to come up and be a part of that day with us.
* * *
We returned the boat and decided to walk over for a nice lunch overlooking the lake. Uncle Roger, Dave and I thoroughly enjoy each other's company. We always have the best laughs and great conversation - whether light, extremely in depth, or anything in between. This day in particular was nothing but light, as hoped for : )
After lunch, we stopped by Skylandia Beach and took Rainey for a swim.
I don't know, do you think she likes Tahoe?
After the beach, it was our plan to go out to dinner to further celebrate Aviana's birthday. Dave and I decided we'd rather stay home and cook a nice dinner. I opened Pinterest and had my dad and his friends pick whatever they were in the mood for. We shopped, cooked and had a really nice night together.
Since the accident this day has previously been indescribable. The culmination of incredible love and knowing otherwise in your heart of hearts is a pain which can't be explained. On this day, of this year, I felt the most overwhelming peace. Aviana was with me the entire day. It's as though we are one - as though we have an understanding. I don't know if that makes sense, but it makes perfect sense to me.
Our girl was here for the exact time she was supposed to be, and now she's gone. And while at times it can be desperately difficult to live without her - at the end of the day, we know she's where she's supposed to be and wasn't here for one moment longer.
I always find solace in that deep down knowing, and ultimately that's what carries me through each and every day.