Warning: this is not very Happy.

On Saturday, Roxy, Chris and I were honored to attend a small birthday celebration. There were balloons, cupcakes and beautiful gifts.

Roxy and her pink cupcake

The guest of honor, unfortunately could not physically be there to celebrate what would have been her 6th birthday. She was taken away from us six months before she could reach this milestone by a drunk driver. (You can read what I wrote about Lilly’s story here and here and here.) Lilly’s family is doing such a beautiful job honoring her and keeping her love alive.

Lanterns were released in her honor. Her 5th birthday party paid tribute to her love for Rapunzel, and if you’ve seen the movie Tangled, you know that lanterns lit up the night sky every year on Rapunzel’s birthday.

Saturday night was beautiful, poetic and very healthy for the soul.

I wasn’t going to blog about this, because it’s really not my story to tell, but with the events of last night… if this post hits home to just one person to think twice about drinking and then sitting behind the wheel of a car… then it’s worth it.

I grew up in a rather large network of Aunts, Uncles and cousins. My Mom was one of 7 children, so you can imagine. My memory is not very good (one of the reasons I started this blog was to record precious memories before they became too foggy), but I will never forget those many weekend afternoons running around my Nanny and Pappy’s backyard playing with all my cousins. We were a close family. A lot of us even danced together, in a group called the Guys and Dolls Cloggers. (Now that’s something I don’t say out loud often.)

One of my cousins, Paul S. Burnett II lost his life last night in an accident where “alcohol was a contributing circumstance to the collision”. Pauly was my age, a loving husband and father to three children.

I admit that when I moved millions of miles away from home when I was 19, I sadly lost touch with my cousins I was once so close to. I haven’t seen Pauly since I was a teenager. Nevertheless, he and every one of my cousins will always hold a special place in my heart. Cousins are our very first non-sibling friends forever.

My heart is breaking for my family back home. Pauly’s wife and his children. His Mom, his sister and brother. I loathe the distance between here and home today. My love and support goes out to all hurting today from afar.

You can read about the accident here.

Please don’t drink and drive. Think about the innocent victims of these tragedies.
There is always a safer way to get from point A to point B.
<3, Tabi :D
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