10 November 2014

Happy Birthday Daddy

This past Thursday would have been C's 47th birthday.  I've been dreading his birthday for awhile now, knowing that it marks the start of the holiday season and what is sure to be an incredibly painful and rough two months for all of us.  I reflect on where we were this time in past years, looking for some peace and comfort in good memories that we made as a family and as a couple, but they are steeply overshadowed by the images from the last few months of his life.  As difficult as these few days have been, I want to try to focus on the blessings we were given.

We began C's birthday celebration with a friend bringing doughnuts and coffee.  This particular friend is an incredible ray of sunshine in our lives.  Her strong faith, upbeat personality, and her ability to be present in the moment make her one of the easiest people for me to talk to and I am very blessed with the love she and her family have for ours.  The girls and I then went to the airport to pick up C's sister..... I am thankful she was able to come up for these few days.  Our age and personalities being very similar, she gets where I am and supports me no matter where I sit with my grief.  She listens without judgement and goes out of her way to make my life easier, she was a very strong and comforting element to this rough couple of days.  I am incredibly blessed that my husband's family is truly my family as well.

The five of us then went a nearby restaurant that the girls picked.  C had never been there, but the girls were confidant that he would have liked it.  The meal went really well, anyone who dines out at restaurants with young children know just how quickly these things can go downhill, but we were able to enjoy that time together.  After lunch we went to pick up balloons for daddy, the girls each chose two and I grabbed a few extra just in case.  We got them home and finished our birthday cards to Daddy, attached them to the balloons and went outside to send them to heaven.  Just as we finished getting organized and went outside,  the rain that had been lurking all morning gave way to a hint of sunshine and we were able to release them without less desirable weather threatening our celebration.

The girls were so excited to send the balloons to Daddy, they watched the balloons float up and followed them until they couldn't see them anymore..... that was how we know that Daddy got them.  I am so blessed to have these girls, for as overwhelmed as I get, their innocence and faith bring me back from very painful places in my own heart.  K had a particularly rough day as well, again mirroring my feelings and actions in a less than flattering way.  The weight of it all has had her and I at odds again, but we moved quicker into a place of comfort for each other than we had previously.  I am so thankful for the counselors who are working with us to find our new path together.

November is a month where we focus on the things we are most thankful for.  I struggle with this for obvious reasons this year.   But seeing beyond my pain and taking moments to look at the world around me,  I am so incredibly thankful for the friends I have.  From those who drop everything in the middle of the day because I need an ear or a hike in the woods, friends who sacrifice their own sleep talking to me on the phone late at night because I can't, to those who text me funny jokes at random on the chance that I need a moment of levity.  I am thankful for family who don't let me drift too far into isolation and make sure I know just how loved I am.  I am thankful I am able to be home with the girls and focus on rebuilding all that has been shattered.  I am thankful for those who have traveled this road before me, who take the time to revisit the same wounds that are so fresh for me and help guide me through.  As I look back over the journey that C and I traveled together, I see the blessings that were given to us along the way....  I want to focus on them, but I know that for this year, it is an uphill battle that I feel I am loosing everyday.

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