I counted sixteen balloons as they rose into the solemn sky. They stood out plainly against the gray clouds as the balloons were a light-baby-girl-pink. That is, save one deep pinkish-fuchsia balloon that drifted higher then the others, leading the way for the other balloons to follow. We all laughed when Shannon, 2 year old cousin of Charlotte, mourned the loss of her balloon while we were mourning the loss of sweet baby Charlotte AKA Chuck. I watch as a few of the children run to Whitney and Matt (Chuck's parents) to hug them. Behind me I could hear the sweet impromptu of a hymn sang by a loving Grandfather and two adoring uncles. Silence fell upon everyone present as we relished in our thoughts and the reverence of the moment at hand.
Eventually, little by little, we all left to give Whitney and Matt some time alone with their daughter. As me and my dad walked back to our car, I focused on the crunching snow under my feet as I reflected on the week I just watched my family endure. I look to Chuck's parents with admiration, love and respect. I thought about the strength they had, the positivity, and gratitude they exemplified through out this time. They looked for their "big fish" and saw the blessings the darkest of times. Just like the deep-pinkish-fuchsia balloon, they have lead the way for the rest of us to follow.