Air Prayers was developed with the hope of sharing the power of positive thoughts, transcending all religions and speaking to the love in our hearts and the desire to make a difference. Our mission is to support people and organizations by designing products and collaborating with fundraising efforts to inspire peace and philanthropy. Air prayers is for anyone and everyone. Remember a loved one, pray for a cure, advocate for a cause, pray for hope, pray for a dream to be realized, pray for our troops and world peace. The sky is literally the limit!
……….Father’s Day was the first holiday my family had to celebrate after my dad, Jim Cantalupo, passed away suddenly on April 19, 2004. I sat on the swing in the gazebo at our family’s lake house watching the waves with tears in my eyes. Our lake house was my father’s paradise. I had been trying to think of a happy way to remember “Papa” because I knew that this first holiday would set the tone for how we would choose to keep his memory alive. My youngest at the time, Isabella, was only seven months old and the overwhelming emotions tied with honoring my dad’s legacy seemed impossible to handle. Watching the clouds, an idea occurred to me.
Everyone including my mom and brother gathered in the kitchen around a bouquet of colored helium balloons. I gave them each a marker and told them to write whatever was in their heart that they wanted to tell Papa on their balloon. Everyone’s balloon was different and filled with prayers to watch over us, memories of special times, things we never had a chance to say and news that happened since he passed. With our treasured balloons in hand, we walked out onto the dock. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky that day. The water was so peaceful and held the twinkle that was always in my dad’s eyes when he saw his grandchildren. You could feel his presence as we stood together, letting our balloons gently leave our grasp, and our voices being carried off with the wind saying “Happy Father’s day Papa, we love and miss you”. We all held our gaze on our special gift as it was being delivered to the heavens. The kids pointed and cheered and when our balloons finally disappeared, my 2 year old said “Papa got it Mommy” and it melted my heart.
Since that day we have been sending air prayers on special holidays or by just saying them at bedtime, imagining the balloon floating up to Papa.. It has become an exciting way to make dad a part of our lives.
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Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana
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