August 7, 2010
Happy 1st birthday to you, my sweet boy! It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since we first saw you face to face. It seems like it went by in a flash and yet it also seems like decades ago, all at the same time!
Yesterday, your daddy and I celebrated your sweet little life in a quiet way. In the morning, I did some cleaning at the house while listening to some songs on the CD player that brought me much comfort as we were adjusting to life without you in our home in the months after your death. I was reminded that you truly are my “glory baby” and that “you’ll just have heaven before we do.” That song was so healing – that song speaks of the reality of loosing one’s child, but also the joy of knowing that you are in heaven and the hope that we will one day see you again. That was such an important reminder to us during those really tough months right after we lost you. While we longed (and still long) to hold you, you were in the most perfect place and being cared for by God himself. That is the only truth that helped me get through those difficult moments.
Later in the afternoon, we visited your resting place. We added a couple of new flowers and a small Happy Birthday balloon. We know that you are not really there in spirit, but we love going there and seeing your sweet name on that stone. You made a mark in this world, little boy, and that small square stone reminds me of that every time I see it. You were here, and we don’t ever want to forget that.
Some of your relatives came over to our house last night and ate dinner with us. We enjoyed spending time together, but there was an empty chair (or high chair) and I couldn’t help but think that you should have been there too. After dinner, we ate some birthday cake. I know you would have loved it! I can just picture the mess you would have been and the sweet moments we would have captured on film. Even though you weren’t there in body, we enjoyed some birthday cake in your memory. Mommy would like us to make that a tradition every year. I’m sure your sister (and other siblings) won’t mind doing that – who doesn’t like a good reason to delve into some birthday cake?
Overall, our day was pretty quiet, yet meaningful. In a way, it’s sort of fitting I think. Your presence in our lives was very quiet, yet so very deep and meaningful. We never got to hear you cry or hear you breathe, but your existence was undeniable. We had originally planned to plant a tree in the yard yesterday as a reminder of your life on earth, but we have decided to wait until September when it’s a little cooler and the timing is better for planting. We have also decided to start a tradition of giving to a charity each year in memory of your birthday. This year, we have decided to give to “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.” That organization blesses many families with pictures of their time with their little children who have also gone to be with Jesus. What a blessing those pictures of you have been to us.
We also want you to know that others thought of you on your birthday as well. We received some sweet cards and flowers. We also received some precious gifts that are very meaningful. And your grandmother and grandfather have decided to give to make a donation to “Focus on the Family” in your memory. We are thankful to those people who loved you in that special way. And we are so grateful for those who prayed for us and for you on your special birthday.
I couldn’t help but think of you during today’s sermon at church, as we were reading Philippians 3:20-21 where it says, ”But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be life his glorious body.”
As much as we miss you and wish you could be with us, you are at home. Right now, your daddy and I are aliens in this world, but you are perfectly at home in heaven with Jesus. I’m so thankful for that.
I pray that each day you will know that your earthly parents love you. We are thankful for the memories we have of you and for the mark that you have made on this world. Though you were so small, the Lord has used you and your precious life. We know that for certain.
We love you dearly and pray that your birthday in heaven was a special one because you were with the Father. What a special heavenly birthday party that must have been!