Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ten days to go...

Anyone have any idea how to celebrate your daughter's 1st birthday without her? I am having a really hard time figuring out how to tread these waters...

I am the party planning fanatic. For example, I began planning Wyatt's 4th birthday, which was last April, in October! Now, I knew we'd be gone for a month or two with Annabelle's birth and surgeries and all but, still, 6 months in advance? Yep, I take a GREAT interest in making my children's birthdays the most special day! So, I just don't know how to do this one...

I am fully aware that she's not here and my little parties fail tremendously when compared to Jesus throwing her her 1st birthday party but I still want it to be special, to be sacred, and to be a beautiful celebration of the gift we received one year ago. Plus, her big brother has been asking about her birthday (he is a smart one, ya know?) . I really want to do something for him. I was thinking that Wyatt and I would bake cupcakes for her allowing him to do all the decorations, of course. We thought about going to her "special place" and having a little picnic with cupcakes and "Happy Birthday". I just don't know... Then, I thought it would be fun for him to write her a birthday letter since he's getting really, really good at his writing skills and he's very proud of anything he writes. We already have a tradition of sending balloons to Heaven for my mother's birthday. So, we could attach his letter to Annabelle on a ton of pink balloons and send those to her. Trust me, I have spent more money on balloons this year than I thought possible (especially when he sees one that is a butterfly or a Disney princess and insists on getting it for his little sister). These are just some thoughts...some ideas that other precious mothers have given me from their own experiences...the very things that I absolutely hate that I even have to consider.

The other day I was in AC Moore looking for Annabelle's flowers. I saw a few arrangements that the floral ladies had already done and they were nice but not what I wanted for my daughter's first birthday. I pushed the cart pass the sweet little lady at the silk flower arrangement counter twice never getting up the nerve to say a word. Then, the third time around I had picked out a few things that I liked...a single, beautiful pale pink rose and some greenery with tiny soft pink calla lilies on the tips. I was going to ask for her help this time...nope, couldn't do it. How do you say out loud that you need help making flowers for your daughter's first birthday...for her grave? I didn't have it in me. Instead, I decided to bring home the flowers and try to do it myself. I have done all of them so far...but I really wanted her first birthday flowers to be professional and perfect. As it usually turns out, God gives us immeasureably more than we can ask...my attempt turned out exactly as I had in mind...complete with little pink hearts! We took them today after church...and, of course, her little angel has a birthday bow on.

Just as soon as I want to withdraw, I am reminded that you have walked this road with me and hurt and laughed and cried and prayed us along. Thank you for letting me share my heart, my insecurities and my Annabelle with you.

18 comments:

Amanda-The Family News! said...

Rebecca - Thank YOU for sharing with us. You and Annabelle have taught me so much - I just can't even begin to start to explain.
I know you will find a special way to celebrate precious Annabelle. You know you will be on my mind very much in 10 days - it's a special day for us both. I have included your angel in my plans for the day as well.
Much love - Amanda

The Simmons Family said...

Tears once again...

As I plan Owen's one year celebration... my heart aches for you. I know that you will make Annabelle's birthday a beautiful day! I'm so glad the flower arrangement turned out PERFECT!

We will be thinking of you ALL on the 28th!

HUGS,
Andrea

Jonathan said...

Rebecca,I know what you are going through. I also had a hard time with Lindsay's birthday. She hadn't even been gone a month yet but I knew we needed to do something. We had just our families over for pizza and we all let off balloons and sang Happy Birthday to her. Boy was that ever hard. Tanner asked if she would be able to see those balloons. I told him that of course she would. In fact the day was kind of cloudy but after we let them go a small section of the sky brightened up with some pink. I know in my heart that was God giving her a glimpse. You do whatever you feel like doing. I know that whatever you do it will honor her in such a special way. I pray that God will give her a glimpse just like he gave Lindsay. Maybe our girls will have a tea party to celebrate Annabelle's birhday, with pretty white dresses on. If God could only give us a glimpse of them how special that would be.

Love,
Laura

Our Family said...

To my dear friend,

I never would have thought one year ago that I would have an angel, but also that I would have found a friend like you through our angels. I feel so blessed that we can talk and share our angels' journeys. I have been thinking about you guys a lot this month and how difficult the 28th will be for you. I think that all of your plans will be perfect, no matter what you decide to do. I hope to see a picture of Annabelle's arrangement (if you have one). Annabelle will be looking down on you guys and asking God to give you peace and comfort...I have no doubt about that. I am sure we will talk before her birthday, but you can be sure to receive a call from me next week. God bless you and please call if you need to talk or to cry--I will always be here for you! God bless!

Bernie

jan tompkins said...

Rebecca, love your idea of doing something special for Wyatt to celebrate Annabelle's life. I've heard of releasing butterflies in memoriam, the balloons are another great idea, and something I did for my cousin in honor of her son, my Godson, was to name a star for him.
You can go to nameastar.com or google other registries.

Whatever you do, it will be the correct thing for you.
God Bless.

Elissa said...

thank you for sharing your heart and being genuine. maybe along with your plans you could begin a collection of something that reminds you of annabelle...figurines, stuffed animal, angel, etc. then make it a big deal each year to find the perfect one to add to your collection.

Katie said...

Thinking so much of you and what you must be going through... as always, you're in my prayers. Love to you!

KC said...

Dear Rebecca,

My goodness girl, you have such a way with words that touch so many people's hearts. I have thought about all of you so much with the holidays and knowing this very special day is coming. I know that you will make a wonderful decision on how to celebrate her life and all that she means to all of you. I think naming a star after her is a wonderful idea! We will be thinking of all of you in the coming days even more than we already do :-)

Linda said...

I too have been wondering who to celebrate the first birthday. I think we may do balloons, we have not done that yet. March 19 would be our son's first birthday. I will keep checking your comments to see what other ideas your readers have.

Take care!

Angela said...

Oh my heart is so sad for you. I pray that God will just make you aware of His presence and that you will rest assured that your sweet Annabelle is with Him.

~Sara~ said...

My heart aches for you dear friend. You're in my prayers. Please let me know if you need me.

Hugs and lots of love,

Sar

The Mason Family said...

Rebecca...You have been in my thoughts the past week as sweet Annabelle's birthday approaches. My heart aches and tears fall for your family as you have to celebrate Annabelle's first birthday without her. I pray that the day is a beautiful one celebrating the life of your precious Angel. Praying for you and your family my friend...

Much LOVE,
Shannon

Avery said...

I'll always remember the day Annabelle was born...we looked so foraward to it all the way out here in Arizona. I clung to every word of her story, every beautiful picture you posted of her. Your words comforted us so much then, and they continue to comfort us now...Annabelle has blessed us in so many ways. We will be thinking about you on her special day. I hope it is filled with peace for you. She is so happy, and wants you to be too.

The Ridgway Family said...

Rebecca - I do not know what to say other then I am thinking of this day as well and wondering just like you how we will celebrate. I really do want to celebrate because Eden is such an important part of our family, even as an angel and she deserves a celebration. Annabelle merits so much celebrating and I will be thinking of you more than normal on that day. In fact, I think my girls and I are going to decorate cupcakes and celebrate little Annabelles life as well. I am sorry we have to do this without them, but I am always inspired by your faith, strength and courage.

Thank you, Keisa

RHONDA said...

Rebecca,
I can't even begin to understand what you are going through but I can tell you that I have 2 special friends that they have both lost their daughters..one at birth and one recently at 15 in a tragic accident ..and they both also wanted to honor their Beautiful daughters on their birthday. My dear friend who's Baby daughter Rilee went to be with Jesus..she and her Family ...have a special small family celebration at her special place a picnic..with cake balloons and everything..and then they have a family thing for everyone...Whatever you decide..I know it will be Precious and Special just like lil Annabelle. I will be praying for you and your family.

Brandy said...

I can't begin to imagine how hard this is. Your strength and faith in God are more of an inspiration than you know. ((HUGS))

Anonymous said...

our 28th is February 28th and I celebrate each year this year will be #4, the first year we had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner on 2/28 and went around the table and talked about what Baby James had taught us to be thankful for, it was perfect, each year we do something differnt, this year I'm celebrating the whole month at my blog and having a blog party to celebrate LOVE because Baby James taught me more about love then any other relationship I've ever had...I'll say a special prayer for you on the 28th!

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