I got up this morning, thankful for another beautiful day!  My family and I are glad to be home after a week-long trip to California, seeing just about every sight possible.  We tackled Disneyland and Sea World and a 24 hour car ride.  It was nothing short of fabulous!  🙂  yeah right!….in the car with four kids for that long=very challenging!

After seven days and still on the road, here came Lydia’s birthday, sneaking up on me every so quietly.  Every year we celebrate her by writing messages to her on balloons and letting them float high in the sky, watching them until they disappear on the horizon. Then we follow it up with her favorite foods and activities. A full day devoted especially to her.

kids cemetery3 kids cemtery1

This year, her birthday happened to fall on Thanksgiving.  Instead of a traditional turkey meal, we opted for her favorite dish. Chicken nuggets and french fries, with a side of ranch dressing!  And for dessert, hot fudge brownie sundaes complete with ice cream and our family favorite, whipped cream!

As we sat down, exhausted from a long trip, I let out a deep breath and began to cry.  A week of fun burning the candle at both ends, full of adventures and long rides in the car with four energetic children, and then to add Lydia’s approaching birthday, everything finally caught up with me.

As we sat around the table, we began to tell stories of Lydia. My son began telling the younger children about her. It was beautiful as they listened eagerly to learn more about the sister who has taken such a big space in their parents hearts.

My sweet Sadie saw her mom crying and asked, “What’s the matter mom?”

“I just miss your sister. Mommy will be okay. Don’t worry,” I said quietly.

“Well Mom, Lydia doesn’t have a phone” she said so matter of fact.   It was so touching but so heartbreaking..No my little girl, she doesn’t have a phone but I wish she did.

If Heaven only had visiting hours……

What do you do to celebrate your loved ones day?

6 thoughts on “Remembering Birthdays…How Do You Celebrate Your Loved One’s Special Day?

  1. We also have released balloons with messages on them. It’s very cathartic. Lately, the children cannot seem to get enough time to reflect on what life would be like with their siblings here. It sounds like you had a beautiful, memorable day together. I will be praying for you over the rest of the holidays. May comfort, joy and love be yours!

    1. Oh thank you. I’m so glad you have found it helpful in writing on balloons and releasing them. It really is helpful to my children as well and brings about so many questions, but also opportunity to share. I was just reading your site and I really hope to read your book soon! Prayers to you and your family also. I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  2. This is difficult, because I know you want to keep the memory alive for your other children. My sister lost a son when he was 19 years old, so a bit different as he and his siblings were older. She acknowledges his birthday but does not “celebrate” it. I think at some point part of the healing process is to let go of certain things, acknowledge the loss but also move forward at the same time.

  3. I think it is neat what you do – its only been over a year since my husband passed away and for me I still like to be with him in solitude on his birthday and holidays. The kids and I remember him and the good times. When my brother was killed in an accident when he was 18 my mother could never look at his picture let alone celebrate his birthday – which made it difficult for me because my birthday was the day after his. The same thing when my dad died, so with my children I am keeping it open for how they want to acknowledge his birthday and holidays. Anyway it is good that you can celebrate your daughters birthday and share her memory with your younger children. Hugs and blessings!

  4. If only Heaven had visiting hours! So true! I have not gotten to the one year marker since my daughter passed away. I haven’t really thought about what we will do to celebrate her short life. I think it is beautiful that your children know of your daughter and celebrate her life with you.

    1. So sorry you are on this journey also. It was very hard the first couple of years to even imagine celebrating such a sad loss. But as time passes, it gets a little different each year, clearing the mind and making you want to honor those memories and precious children when the time is right. Prayers to you this holiday season.

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