Birthday Grief and Blooming Flowers

Nick, I can’t believe you would have been 29 years old today!  Happy birthday in Heaven, sweet boy! We love and miss you so much!

Would you believe your silly mom thought this day would somehow get easier?  I can see you grinning now and nodding your head, “yes.”

I can also feel your hand rubbing my shoulder as you see the tears welling up in my eyes, because I’m finally realizing birthday grief is forever going to be extra-hard grief.

Walking through a day that should be filled with balloons, a cake, and maybe even a party to celebrate YOU feels a lot like showing up to a long-awaited outdoor concert and discovering it has been cancelled due to rain.

As I stand at the figurative entrance to the big event and read the sign, “Cancelled due to rain,” I have to make a choice, don’t I?

I’m imagining you nodding your head again as I slowly “get it.”

I can choose to spend the day upset because of what I’m missing, or I can choose to turn to all the others who are also disappointed and try to encourage them.

I think I know what choice you want me to make.

You want me to smile.

You want me to text a friend or two or three or four and let them know I love them.

You want me to call someone who’s going through something hard and just let them talk a bit.

You want me to say an extra-kind word at the grocery store and maybe even buy a balloon for someone who needs to feel loved.

You want me to say thank you to all the men and women who walked through the darkest valley with our family and never left us alone in our fear.

You want me to remind the world of how you walked through your own darkest valley……..smiling all the way to the other side.

Never angry.

Never questioning.

Never doubting God’s love.

I’m adding one of the videos from your funeral below……..full of sweet memories…… others can be reminded, or see for the very first time, the joy you carried through your wonderful thirteen years of life.

I’ve started a flower garden at our new home, Nick.

As I finished mulching and adding stones for the border, I realized the garden was in the shape of a thumbs up.

I decided to name it my “thumbs up” garden in memory of you.

I took a picture yesterday of a flower that’s blooming for the very first time and I want you to know something, Nick.

Your mom is determined to keep blooming until she sees you again.

The funny thing is, flowers need the rain to grow.

So the very thing that seemed to cancel my imaginary concert is actually necessary in my garden.

I think that’s how God works.

Maybe that’s what He meant in Psalm 126:5 when He said,

“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.”

I love you, Nick!

Today is your day!

Maybe every tear I shed be turned into joy in my life or in the lives of those around me.

Forever Your Momma

Forever Thankful

And to anyone who reads this and struggles with birthday grief,

I love you too.

May your tears bring songs of joy.

May you bloom in the rain.

You are so loved.

And God sees you……and cares.