You all know that I like to keep things on this blog light and cheery, but this post is going to be deeper than most. Two years ago tomorrow, I lost my best friend, my "Beanie Sue", in a car accident (our story here). Since that day, I've experienced overwhelming grief in many forms: shock, denial, anger, numbness. A few weeks after the accident, Brittney's Mom, Shana, sent me a large envelope full of pictures that had been in Beanie's room. Some were still in the frames, some still smell like the sweet body spray she always wore. For almost two years, the pictures lived in the china hutch in our sitting room, buried beneath dishes and hidden from view. I'm still not really sure why I put them there, it just felt like what I needed to do at the time. But finally, last week, I wanted those memories out of hiding.
I'd been so busy trying not to think about what happened that I was shutting out all the hilarious times we had, things we did that make me laugh so hard I cry. I thought that after burying my best friend, our memories should be buried too to avoid pain and more grief. For almost two years, I talked about her often and thought of her many times throughout each day. But I still couldn't really look at pictures; a shot from our wedding reception that was once on the mantle was placed between books in our built-in. My maid-of-honor by my side, her beautiful smile stealing the spotlight. But last week, Bear found that frame while tearing apart the bookshelf and brought it over to me. "What's dis, Mommy?" he asked, and I began to cry. I want Bear to know her face. I want him to grow up hearing about our silly stories and Lubbock shenanigans. I want him to love his Aunt Beanie, in the way that she loved him.
God must've known we'd need this, because the brightest and sunniest room in our house was the only one not decorated. It's also the same room Brittney slept in when she came to visit; we'd laugh about how uncomfortable the rock hard mattress is. It was her room, and it still is. It's a place I can go when I want to hear her contagious laugh, feel her amazing hugs, and share all of my secrets. I can feel her in the room, and I think Bear and Zach can, too.
So Bear and I got busy last week with trips to Hobby Lobby and HomeGoods, a few DIYs, and about 87 holes in the wall....and here's what we did.
Some of the frames have hand-written inside jokes, things we'd say all the time. The gold piece on the bottom right is the leo constellation, her zodiac sign. Leo's strengths are being creative, passionate, generous, warm-hearted, cheerful, and humorous, all of which Brittney had in abundance. There are ten pictures on the top right clip frame, interchangeable and each one tells a story. The accent "Sleep Well" pillow I ordered from one of my favorite shops, Favor the Brave, because it reminds me so much of Brittney's long, gorgeous lashes. We included several pineapples because they're the sweetest home décor and next best thing to candy (where's all the Cadbury Egg wall art at?).
I kept trying to get Bear out of the pictures but he wasn't having it, which is odd because I normally have to bribe him to get in front of the camera. He loves this room; he's so proud of it, he showed it to my parents very first thing when they visited this weekend. The décor is obviously not perfect, and there are some (okay 14) extra holes in the wall, but we hung every piece with love. This is our Beanie's room, and we're so happy she's here to stay.