Normally, I love summer. I love everything about it, the water, the shorts and flip flops, the tank tops, the fun that happens, the late warm nights, making memories, camping, and just all of it.
Now, summer is just different. I still love it, but I think back to now 3 years ago and how I spent my summer fighting for the life and well being of a little boy that I love and miss so much. The summer I never got a tan, the summer I watched the fireworks from a tiny window in a plain hospital room, the summer I didn't take our little girl to the zoo, the summer where everyday was a gift and every sacrifice was so worth it when I heard that little man cry for the first time.
The summer where we spent 26 days making multiple daily trips to the NICU with the hopes of being able to hold him for just a moment, maybe even help feed him if it were Wednesday, we might get to help with his bath. It was a time of such hope and such gratitude, just so happy that he was here, he was alive, he was with us. It should have been the start of so much, you never could have convinced me that 70 days later that would all come crashing down.
August 6. The day before our wedding anniversary. Typically the week or two before school is back in session. On this day we celebrate Matthew's birthday. Instead of the fun of watching little ones run and play, a birthday boy ripping open his presents and commenting on how much he'd grown, we send him balloons and messages. The day is bittersweet, a day of celebrating the life he had and a day of missing him more than words can express.
In the years past, I've let Kaitlyn pick out what the theme of Matthew's birthday celebration would be. This year, I think I'm going to stick with just doing colors. It has been too hard emotionally to go to birthday parties of little boys who do the same theme, it is just draining. And since I can't call dibs on themes because that would just be crazy and illogical, I can make the choice to just stick to colors. I really liked doing them blue and white before. I like the baby blue to represent that he was our baby boy and I like the white to represent innocence.
This year, Matthew would have been 4 years old. I bet he would have loved San Antonio, I bet he would stand with Kaitlyn in awe of the dolphins at Discovery Kingdom, I bet he would be just as antsy in the backseat driving across the country :P He sure is missed.
I am also thinking of doing the balloon release this year at our house instead of the cemetery. I guess I just don't feel as though it is necessary to have it there anymore, I think I'm to the point where I'm really starting to separate his physical body and resting place from his place in our hearts, in our lives and with us always. And I like the idea of incorporating adding flowers and decor to his memorial garden at home as part of the celebrating. I haven't decided yet. But, it's so emotional at that time, who knows how I'll feel that month. So, I'll decide next week and let everyone know :) And as always, anyone that wants to join us is welcome too, if you are too far and what to participate, send me an email and I'll be happy to send you balloons. You can even send me the pictures, I love to see them :)
It's so hard to believe we're nearly 4 years into this journey of grief and loss. Sometimes it feels like it was just ysterday and sometimes it feels like a lifetime has passed...