A sweet picture I got today from Mum, of Jeremy at age 1 :)
It's weird, I remember posting last year on Jer's birthday, but I remember nothing about the day itself. I remember the feeling leading up to it, and I remember the party we had to celebrate Jeremy a few days after, but I don't remember the day. Instead I remember with dread the last birthday Jer had. I had a snow day from school and he got stuck plowing all day at work. The irony was frustrating and all he wanted to do was come home and spend time as a family.
Today was an unexpectedly emotional day. I don't know why it came as a shock. I guess cause things have been going ok and I've been keeping myself busy planning his party again this year, traveling, and filling the days with other things, it didn't really hit me until last night. UGH. It really happens that way, like a punch to the gut. I was sitting at the kitchen table and realized 'oh gosh, tomorrow is Jer's birthday'. Of course I knew, but then I KNEW. He's not here. I don't get to celebrate with him. I don't get to wake up next to him and say Happy Birthday in his ear before he opens his eyes. I don't get to tell the kids to jump in bed with him and give him birthday kisses. I don't get to shower love on him and make him feel special on his day. I don't get to make fun of him for being an old guy.
So, the kids and I decided to sit down and make birthday cards for daddy to take to his memorial stone at Rochester College (since we're too far away from his grave). I have been avoiding putting things there because it's on campus, but it was a special way to celebrate their daddy and show him how much we love him. We made cards and wrote letters on small note cards that we could attach to a balloon and send up to Heaven for Daddy to read.
I asked the kids what they wanted to say to Daddy or tell him on his birthday and these are some of the things we came up with. "Daddy, Carter is out of Mommy's belly." "I hope you can play cars in Heaven." "I miss you very much because you died." They're so sweet and honest and pure.
But when I woke up this morning thinking that maybe the anticipation of the day would be worse than the day, I soon discovered I was wrong. Today was hard. I cried looking at my kids. I cried realizing that I get no more birthdays with Jeremy. I cried talking with friends and hearing Caleb tell me over and over today "I miss daddy." I completely lost it when we let go of Jeremy's balloons together at his stone while our kids chanted "we love you and miss you, hope you like our letters."
I cried singing at church tonight. And I cried when we got news that a young mom in our congregation died today leaving her husband and 6 year old daughter behind. I cried for their family, for their little girl. And I cried remembering that place.
I think on a day to day basis, Jeremy's death isn't real to me. I don't know how to process it, even if I understand it. But I have days like today when reality is just really hard to swallow. But there is a silver lining.....
When I sat there trying to figure out how I had survived the last 16 months without Jeremy, and trying to wrap my head around all that's happened, some lyrics stirred my soul: "In the shelter of each other, we will live."My strength has come from others. Friends, family, acquaintances, and even strangers. Prayers, phone calls, texts, FB postings, flowers, and the love of a really great guy has picked me back up today. Just knowing that people are reading my heart and my story means something.
I have lived in the shelter of others, and it has pulled me out the depths of darkness. Thank you for being my shelter.
Happy Birthday baby. I woke up wondering what you'd be doing in Heaven today. And right along with the kids, I felt excitement watching our letters float up in the sky to you today, with their child-like faith that you'd get to read them today. I know you did. I hope you felt my heart beating for you today, missing you with such sharpness. I smiled for your life well lived. I laughed at our memories. But I also still just desperately miss you. And watching the kids miss you is even harder to take. I can't wait for your birthday party tomorrow, to get a chance to once again, celebrate you. You are worthy of a grand celebration, and I know you're getting one in Heaven today.
I miss you.
I love you, always and forever.
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