The $2.49 Balloon

It was one of those days.

One of those days that seems to be whizzing by in a blur.

Pounding headache, and skipped meals (mine, not Bubby’s ;)

Traffic. Oh, the traffic.

And summer is taking over our spring here. Hey, I love summer, but on one of ‘those days’ the summer heat just adds to the list right?

I was throwing things in the basket at Kroger while trying to keep Bubby from spilling his cup of water on the tile floor.

Zipping through grocery lanes and dying for a chance to remember what I needed. This headache was bad ya’ll.

Whenever Bubby sees balloons in the store he points and loudly says “Moooon!” (on repeat until I acknowledge him, should I add)

I looked over and as I was contemplating grabbing some tulips for Easter I spotted the balloons he had his eyes fixed on.

Butterfly balloons.

Suddenly my train of thought shifted.

I can’t remember the last time I went to see Jenna. It’s been a while.

I grabbed the balloon without hesitating, smiling at her little brother.

“It’s for Jenna.” 

He bounced it around as much he could sitting in the grocery cart.

I remember glancing at the price of the balloon.


I cringed thinking of how much that was for a balloon. But it’s different.

I get sad when I think about how little I spend on her.


I wanted to give her the world. You can ask anyone that knew me when I was growing and pregnant with her.

I had big plans to learn French, and teach it to her (silly now). Buy her all the beautiful dresses I could get my hands on, decorate her room with vintage greens and fuchsia. She would have had the coolest paper-butterfly-filled nursery ever. She would have had the world.

But she got heaven instead.

And that’s not such a bad thing. Not when you really think about it. If you just read my petty list of things I could have given her, they really don’t compare to what she’s enjoying in Heaven. But it doesn’t change how shallow it feels to be spending $2.49 on a balloon for her.

That’s when I must take a fistful of faith and remember that my love is not measured by the dollars I spend on her. A part of my heart went with her. That is the biggest gift I could ever give her.

Her birthday is one month from today (april 5). It’s Emotion Highway from here until the end of May!

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  1. 1

    Beautiful! Sometimes, only sometimes, I feel guilty for spending money on ABC stuff then I remember how much I would be spending in mere food alone had I had 4 kids at home with me right now. Mind-blowing I tell ya! These little things I buy for me though and not for them so I can have their names close to my heart.
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  2. 2
    Jamie says:

    So so so sweet. Jenna has the sweetest mommy she is waiting for!

  3. 3
    Amanda says:

    I love this.

  4. 4
    Beryl Young says:

    This is a really nice post Fran. I hope you had a beautiful visit with Jenna and that balloon. xo.
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  5. 5

    beautiful. I love to read your writing.
    Lauren Rebecca recently posted..The Beach.My Profile

  6. 6

    sweet, beautiful and worth every penny of the 2.49…. I,too, have those thoughts about how “little” money I spend on Matthew… but how sweet it is to know they have the most precious gift we could have given to them…. heaven! Love to you!

  7. 7
    nevaeh's mommy says:

    I love you Fran…wish you didnt know this pain…

  8. 8
    Debby Pucci says:

    What a beautiful post Franchesca. ((HUGS))

  9. 9
    Lori says:


    I think one of the biggest blessings of the little boys we are privileged to raise is how even in the middle of e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g (like right now trying to get ready for a trip home for Easter!), they can in an instant make us stop and be immediately pulled into something amazing and special and precious…and for $2.49 to boot. A bargain, no doubt…but as you said, not the world we’d planned to give.

    Grateful that they DO indeed have parts of our hearts. Special and unique, just for them. That gift, my friend, is priceless!!!

  10. 10
    Nneka says:

    Beautifully stated. I often think of Annaya when I buy for her older siblings. I think about the personality that would be here at 19 months of age.

    I would give up everything I have now for her to be here with me today.

    Thank you for sharing your feelings so easily.


  11. 11
    mel says:

    I can relate to this post completely. It saddens me totally that most of the things I buy for Finley are nick nacks from cheap stores, this is not a concious choice, but rather that I notice something, and think that’s for Finley. It made me sad at Christmas to see the money I spent on everyone else, and the missing pile of pressies under the tree.
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    • 11.1
      Franchesca Franchesca says:

      I feel the same way, that I usually only buy things for Jenna in passing when something reminds me of her and not something I set out to do consciously.

      Sending you big hugs Mel xoxo

  12. 12
    Stephine says:

    This melts and saddens my heart. I’ve been thinking of Silas a lot lately. I bought a Cars sandwich holder the other day for him. I didn’t care how silly I looked, I wanted to get it for him and now it’s sitting on his shelf. Thinking of Easter is tearing my apart. I’m just avoiding it all together at this point :(

    Butterflies. Every time I see them, I think of my baby. Maybe they’re a sign? Every single time I see one it reminds me of him. Sending big, big hugs. Silas’ birthday is coming up in July and I’m not ready for it.
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    • 12.1
      Franchesca Franchesca says:

      I like to think that butterflies are a sweet sign from our babies. I can’t explain it but I feel like she is there, close by – for just a moment when I see a butterfly fly by. ♥

      I’m so glad you bought the Cars sandwich holder. Thinking of you, and sending you big hugs. xoxox

  13. 13
    Tannis W says:

    My baby Micah got heaven instead too. He was stillborn February 18, 2012.
    Thank you for this post!

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