It was October 20, 2013.
It was a Pinterest-Perfect birthday party for my big boy who was turning THREE.
It was magical perfection.
It was the celebration of a MIRACLE.
Down to every gorgeous detail.
And he knew he was loved.
And then he wasn’t here, and I did my best to honor him with sadness coursing through my veins. He was supposed to turn 4 on October 20, 2014.
And then this year.
His 5th birthday. It shook me to the core.
And try as I might to muster up some Pinteresty-Love, it just didn’t turn out like that.
We chose to honor our boy this year with words that represented parts of his STILL ALIVE SPIRIT that we wanted to reflect in our own lives.
The wind was blowing and it made my feeble attempt at a pretty display impossible.
The ground was rock hard so my pinwheels wouldn’t go in the earth.
The helium was almost out of the balloons, and thanks only to the wind, they took off, blowing sideways.
Elia panicked that they weren’t going UP. I told her that maybe Mattie wanted other people to find them and see our messages about what an amazing brother they have.
Words, the only gift we had to offer.
Words that spoke of a boy who lived and loved so well.
Words that spoke of a spirit that remains with each of us.
Words that are silent whispers from hearts who loved him so.
Words that tell stories of a life that changed the world.
Words that rise up like a love song.
Words that sometimes cannot be spoken but come out with cries so deep.
And we are all learning to carry his love deep within.
We are all learning how to breathe through grief and pain.
We are all learning how to connect with a spirit that is unstoppable.
We are all learning to live lives that matter.
We are all learning to find joy and beauty in every moment.
Even the ones that hurt.