Birthdays, Thank You, and Other Things

It’s been a busy week.  Well, not busy in that we had a incredibly ridiculous amount of stuff going on, but busy for my brain.  Ugh!  Why?  I keep notebooks everywhere to get my thoughts out so I can focus when I need to.  We have a fundraiser coming up at the end of August for Bub’s foundation and I feel like a crazy person!  I’ve been working on it almost entirely by myself and right in the middle of planning (end of May-June) I hit this disorganized, kind of angry phase with my grief.  I felt like my feet were cement and life was zooming by.  So, now it’s down to the wire and my ability to work well under pressure is finally kicking in!  I just hope it’s not too late to pull off everything I still want to do.  It’ll be wonderful no matter what.  That much I’m certain of.

Anyway, this last week was T’s birthday.  He’s now 11.  He wanted to keep it low key and took a couple of friends to the movies then opted for dinner out at his favorite Mexican food place.  It was so nice to just keep things more laid back.  Birthdays are a weird thing now.  A is the only kiddo who hasn’t had a birthday since Caleb died.  Her big #13 is coming up this fall.  It’s odd to think that the kids are now 12, 11, 9, 7, and 5 when Bub is still 2, but should be 3.

I still have his big presents.  I just wish I hadn’t been so quick to return the pj’s he picked out at Kohl’s.  We came home from the hospital after his donor surgery and the birthday and Christmas jammies he picked out were in my room.  I couldn’t look at them.  He’d been with me at the store and I just let him pick them out.  I can’t even remember exactly what they looked like, but I remember him being so excited about them.  I hustled to Kohl’s the day after we got home, returned them, and came home so exhausted just from being out in public.  I didn’t need the stroller/cart…I was alone…and I knew why I was there.  My son had died and I couldn’t look at his empty jammies that he’d never wear.  I didn’t want to talk about it, I just wanted them gone.  That whole outing seemed to be slow motion.  I remember being so relieved that the lady at customer service didn’t ask me why I was returning them.  Just being out in the real world was so exhausting.  The simple things that seem so hard in the wake of death are so numerous.

His last pair of Christmas jammies.

His last pair of Christmas jammies.

So, that was a wild memory tangent and a glimpse into my busy mind!

When a child dies, the natural order of life is disrupted, forever thrown off balance.  It’s thrown off for all who knew the child or who loves and cares about the family.  I wish I could find the right words for what this experience is like, what this first year is like.  Some eloquent metaphor that’s relatable and tangible.

That’s just it, though.

There isn’t one.

That’s what makes this experience so hard for those living it as well as those trying to find a way to be of comfort and support.  So, to those who read this blog, who pray for us, support us, love us, talk with us, say his name, and share his memory, I say THANK YOU!  It’s not an easy road you walk, either.  It’s awkward and uncomfortable at times, but you stick with it.  You recognize the pain, hurt, anger, love, life, and peace that can come from death and you stay.  You grow with us, you adapt with us, and I’d like to think we’re all better for it.


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