I have had a harder time this year than I have yet approaching Annabelle’s birthday…and the sweet sixty days that we had her with us. I just don’t know what to do, how to approach it, how to celebrate. I can honestly say that for the first year after her passing I had no clue what I was doing. I lived in shock…unaware that I was even in it. I am glad that I did things in those first months or I don’t know how I ever would have had the strength to do them later once the fog lifted a little. It blows my mind to think that just one short month after Annabelle’s Homegoing, I was delivering baskets in her name in the very place where we had her and spent weeks by her bed…where she had open heart surgery at five days old. You’d think I wouldn’t want to go back there but I know now that God led me back to help me heal. Taking the Annabelle Baskets is the perfect therapy. I have not turned to medication (as would be so easy to do and, at one point, was heavily suggested by a physician). I don’t want anything to numb me. The reality of it is that my daughter died and I want to feel the void that she leaves in my heart. Not cover it up or medicate it for a little while. I think that’s why this year is the hardest so far…the shock has long since worn off and the harsh reality of what my life will be like for as long as I walk this earth has set in. I’m the one without a mother and a daughter…both given and painfully taken away. That’s where this sad story ends.
What gives me Hope to put one foot in front of the other and to speak (yes, I am speaking twice within one week of Annabelle’s birthday publicly to share her story and the ministry of Annabelle Baskets) to others sharing what we’ve gone through is that I know my life does NOT end here. This is not it…for me…or for you. We have been given Eternity!!!! That, my friends, is why I can laugh just as I am crying. I sincerely pray that you can, too.
So…in thinking about Annabelle’s third birthday I have decided to do something a little different. I don’t want to approach her days with pain. I want to embrace them…every.single.one. I think she’d want me to. Goodness knows we did when she was with us. :)
I have decided to capture at least one picture a day of our family living. I know Annabelle is living in Heaven. Why shouldn’t we celebrate the life He has given us here? I have lost a lot but I have so much more to be thankful for. So, for the sweet 60 days between our family meeting Annabelle face to face and her meeting Jesus face to face, I will post a picture a day…to remember…to honor…and, mostly, to give thanks.