Monday, May 29, 2017

Trace's Birthday

We celebrated Trace's birthday earlier this month on the 17th. It was a very stormy and rainy afternoon, in which I drove through terrible weather to get back home after school (thought I might have actually been in a tornado- it was fine, just strong winds) but luckily the storm passed and it ended up being a really nice evening. 

I picked up the kids from daycare and we headed straight to the cemetery with our balloons in tow. The girls had fun singing happy birthday and then releasing the balloons to send to Trace in heaven. They had so much fun that they wanted to keep singing happy birthday to the balloons I bought to keep at home and send those up in the sky, too! 

It was a really nice evening and the little baby lilacs were in bloom which made it seem so pretty. As much as it seems like a dream that Trace was here and has gone, it seems like an equal dream that I am lucky to have two sweet little girls who keep me on my toes.  

Afterwards we met Scott for dinner at pizza ranch, a tradition in our family. We are sure Trace would have loved it! The girls especially enjoyed celebrating by participating in the eating of the special cupcakes. They are all for celebrating any birthdays that land in our family! It seems a bit silly with the balloons, the cupcakes, the pizza ranch but those are all things we do for everyone on their birthday and it makes it seem like Trace is still very much a real part of our family- because he is. 

Trace's birthday had been on my mind for a while in advance this year because Michael had a field trip at school on the same day. It helped to know that it was coming up on the calendar and so it didn't catch me by surprise. I had a really hard time with Trace's angelversary this year in October and it really threw me for a loop that lasted for a while. It seems like if I allow myself to go down to that dark place it takes me a while to dig out of it again...sometimes months. It is hard because I still hate the fact that I have to go to the cemetery to celebrate my son's birthday. A birthday should be a happy day full of lego presents for a little boy, birthday parties, cake and candles. Trace's isn't, as much as we try to make it so. And I hate it. I try to remember all the happy moments of the days he was with us but they are still colored by sadness and grief and I know they always will. I think it is a hard thing for people to understand but it doesn't go away, it is always there. 

Even this weekend I have had lots of Trace reminders. As I got all my purple petunias planted, I remember how the day before he was born, I was out in the yard (39 weeks pregnant!) getting everything planted before he arrived. On Memorial day, my mom had left after helping when he was born and we were on our own for the first time as a family of four. We went to the park to play and then had dinner at McDonalds. It seems so silly now but I remember thinking at the time how happy I was to be carting my two sweet boys around and reveling in our new family member. It was our first big outing! 

I was also reminded at church last weekend in a Q & A with the pastors that our time here on Earth is such a short period of time compared with eternity in heaven. It is a hopeful thought and it was what I needed to hear during this season of life. 

Happy Birthday, sweet boy! We love you!!

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