As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, it was Andrew’s 5th birthday in heaven. We had some things on the calendar already, but made sure to take some special time to celebrate and remember him on his special day. We didn’t do anything elaborate, but it’s just nice to have some small traditions to enjoy as a family. It also gives us the opportunity to be more intentional with talking to the kids about their oldest brother in heaven.
I took the children to Bible study in the morning, but we came home and enjoyed some birthday cake after our lunch. Eating some birthday cake has become a little tradition of ours. We love sweets! I had taken Savannah to the store to pick out a birthday cake and she choose a watermelon cake. I’m almost positive she picked the same exact cake last year.
After we enjoyed the cake, we headed out to pick up some balloons and then make our way to the cemetery. The cemetery is close to our house, so we drive by there often and Savannah usually says his name and tells me how we need to leave balloons and flowers. She has such a good memory. Unfortunately, we don’t visit very often, so she was pretty excited yesterday when we pulled in.
We left some fresh flowers and then the kids released their balloons. Brady was a little mad about us leaving the small smiley faced balloon in the vase with his flowers. He wanted to keep it for himself and take it back home with him. He’s still so young, but it was really precious hearing him mention Andrew’s name for the first time yesterday.
After naps, we were playing in the backyard and were pleasantly surprised when one of our dear friends and her family stopped by with some flowers and a sweet card. I like to call her my grief kindred spirit. She just “gets it” so it was special for her and her kids to let us know that they were thinking about Andrew as well. We think of her oldest son in heaven so often. Those two boys both made us mommies for the first time.
All in all, it was a nice day. I talked with Kev about us planting two hydrangeas in our yard in the next week or so. I am always reminded of Andrew when I see blue hydrangeas, so I’d like to plant one for him and one for Charlie. We ran out of time yesterday, but I’m hoping to finally do it next week since Kev has to work this weekend.
It’s still really hard to believe that it’s been 5 years since we laid eyes on him. Our lives have changed so much since then and God has done a miraculous healing work in us. We still miss him deeply and occasionally ponder why God may have chosen for his life to be so short, but the wounds have healed so much since then. The scars will always remain, but they are becoming more of a reminder to us of God’s grace and his faithfulness rather than a reminder of the horrific pain…if that makes any sense.
We are thankful for the sweet time we had celebrating our sweet boy in heaven yesterday, but are even more thankful that we can look forward to seeing him again. Heaven most certainly is for real.