Happy Birthday-those are two words that are supposed to be, well, happy. They’re supposed to bring joy and blessings to whomever they are spoken. Birthdays are supposed to be something to get excited about. But, today, was not a very happy day. Sure, there were happy moments. We have a 17 month old running around that keeps us on our toes and keeps us laughing, keeps us going. But it brought so much sadness. We spent the day together, all three of us. We are both tremendously blessed with bosses that allowed us to have the day off of work, even me being a teacher, on the second day of school I was able to have today off. Our first ‘birthday festivity’ was a visit to the cemetery in Stone Mountain where Lauren is buried. We took pink carnations and spent a little time talking about her, and of course chasing Ava. The next thing we did was place a sign in the yard that we got at the 2014 Walk to Remember, with purple birthday balloons from nanny and pawpaw. Later in the evening we had some birthday cake with three candles. And at 8:08 PM, we lit a candle and cried, a lot. We spent the 22 minutes talking about the day she was born, and how our lives changed afterward. She was born at 8:08 PM. And the candle stayed lit until 8:30, the time she died. Something we will continue to do every year for the rest of our lives.
Happy Birthday baby girl. I can’t believe it has been three years since I met and said goodbye to you. You were my first baby, and will always be my baby. I can only imagine how much fun you are having in Heaven with all of the other babies that left too soon. I know some of their mommies and daddies, so please give them kisses and tell them their families love and miss them. I miss you more than I can begin to say. I will see you again some day, and when I do I will have my whole heart back together in one piece. I’ve met a lot of people recently that are so sweet. They ask me questions about you and love to talk about you with me. That makes mommy so happy. I love talking about you any chance I get. I got your messages today. All of the butterflies, I saw so many of them. And the rose bush! That was a good one. It has been looking awful and hasn’t bloomed at all this summer. I was just out there last night pulling weeds thinking how dead it looked. And then this after noon all of the sudden there is a rose blooming! Thank you for that! I feel you around me. I just wish I could feel you in my arms again. Enough about me. You’d be so proud of your little sister! She’s 17 months old and so smart! She talks a lot, loves books, and already loves to use the potty! We talk to her about you a lot. She can’t quite say sissy or Lauren yet, but we’re working on it. You two would be best friends, I just know it. She would look up to you and follow you everywhere. Daddy is still amazing. He takes care of Ava and me, and he loves you. He talks about you a lot, and teaches Ava who you are. We’re holding it together down here. Something that I never thought we’d be able to do when you left us. Until we meet again, I’ll be thinking of you and talking about you and loving you. Mommy loves you so much! xoxoxoxo