Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy Happy Birthday, Babies Dear!

Well.... we made it! One year. Sigh.... and what a year it has been. I'm in the "Is that someone waving a wagon-load of straw in front of my camel? Run, camel, run!!" kind of place.

The anxiety leading up to today was definitely much worse than today turned out to be. I have spent the last two weeks doing the bitter/angry/pissed-off thing. The dread and unholy terror of facing today kept me from sleeping the. entire. weekend. I finally admitted to myself that I was choosing to do "angry" because sometimes it feels more functional and less painful than "sad", though I'm not really sure that it is. Then I did the curl-into-fetal-position-and-cry-until-you-puke thing on Sunday. I had Halloween candy, triscuits, and cheese dip for breakfast on Monday. By the time today rolled around, I was all stomped, whined, and cried out.

Late last night I took a super long walk by myself to reflect on this last year. It's been a few weeks since I have prayed and I finally faced Him last night, when I was ready to tell Him what He already knew: that I was really ticked off at Him about this whole thing. To plagiarize a friend of mine: "I have a few choice words to say about this situation." I hear ya, sister. I hear ya.

I was amazed at how quickly he sent His peace to my raging heart. I felt Dex very near me, with his usual lighthearted comfort. I felt that I should come home and read my early posts from last year. It was exactly what I needed. By the time I went to bed I was actually looking forward to today, if you can believe it.

Today was a wonderful day. Today was the day we celebrated the miracle and blessing of Crew, his continuing story of mercy, hope, and courage. Today was the day we celebrated the miracle and blessing of Dex, our valiant soldier who fights for us on the other side of the veil, our son who has already made it safely Home. Today was the first anniversary of the hardest day of my life. Today was the first anniversary of the most beautiful day of my life.

Today I only got weepy twice. Once when I was picking out "Happy First Birthday" balloons to take to the cemetery. And once again when we arrived at the cemetery and discovered that family and friends had beat us there! We were so surprised, and so very very touched by what we found there: the evidence of sincere love for our family and for our never-forgotten son. We were all deeply moved by the efforts made and can't thank you enough for loving our little prince and being there for us in endless ways as we continue to wade through these uncharted waters.

Now, as for how we spent the day:

We kept Kinley home from school for a Family Day. We ran errands in the morning and Justin came home by lunch time to take us all down to visit the cemetery. It was weird to have a birthday boy that looks like a 6-month old, I must say. We spent a good part of the afternoon at the cemetery. It's so weird, but we love that place. Love it!!! It feels like holy ground. It used to be a place that I feared. I used to feel somber and morose just driving through the gates to visit Dex's grave. Now I just can't get enough of it. It's so peaceful, so quiet. It offers such perspective. It's a place of hope and eternity. Time and time again I am reminded that "everybody dies eventually." And there are a lot of babies in that cemetery. It helps me not feel so alone in this particular trial.
We are so blessed.
I love this picture.
I'm not the only one who loves the cemetery.
We were going to release a bunch of balloons representing each member of our family. Then we decided to release only one balloon because he is one-year-old. Then Tanner wanted to release his own balloon; he didn't want to hold on to the same balloon as Kinley. We noticed the balloon gal had "accidentally" included an extra, so with fate smiling fondly upon us, we released two white balloons.

For Dex, we were inspired by President Monson's Conference talk in October. We now have a big, beautiful glass jar that we are going to fill with colored glass stones that represent acts of service that we do in his memory. He is never far from our thoughts.

After our trip to the cemetery, we came home and Crew played with his balloon. He is craaaaaazy about his balloon. He has never become so upset when losing his grip on a toy. He just could not get enough of it.
Then we made cupcakes.
And opened presents.

And had cake. Crew wasn't really interested in eating the cake, though I did try to encourage him a few times. He was, however, very interested in manhandling the cake.

Happy birthday, big guy!


Lukasmummy said...

Happy Birthday Crew, and Happy Birthday Dex. Maybe Dex is busy munching on birthday cake with my little angel Leo, and then I suppose more cake for Leo's 5th anniversary in 2 weeks time. Looks like Crew had a blast he is so utterly adorable. (((hugs))) to you, the week before birthday's is always hard isn't it, I am so glad you were all able to enjoy this very special day as a family. Hugs Crystal xxx

Nic and Ashley Haws said...

Oh Megan. You are such an inspiration to me. I have been thinking of you non-stop. I am so impressed with your ability to be REAL. You state, so perfectly, THE TRUTH.

I'm so sorry you don't have both of your babies with you to celebrate. How difficult it must be. The picture of Crew sitting next to Dex's graveside is absolutely touching. I think it is so beautiful and it's something you should forever keep.

I haven't been to the cemetery in a while. I need, so badly, to go back and visit. I was there a few weeks ago and stopped in to say hello to sweet Dex.

I am inspired by you. I, too, have lacked in my communication with Him. It's so hard. I feel like I don't know what to pray for. I don't know what to say. I'm so grateful and so hurt all at once. I'm grateful He knows our hearts. Sometimes words don't do justice to our hearts.

Know that I love you and your family. You are amazing. Each and every one of you... beautiful.

Happy first birthday sweet Dex and Crew.

Hilary said...

So glad you had a beautiful day!