Last week was a tough week for my momma heart. Not only did we have one Heavenly birthday, but two. On October 29th, we celebrated Leilani’s 8th Heavenly birthday, and on October 30th, we celebrated Leeland’s 7th. I say we celebrated, but honestly, there was no celebration over here. The true celebration was in Heaven. On this side, we remembered.
October 29th is a date that will forever be engraved in my heart. No matter how much time goes by, that date stings my heart so, so much. October 29, 2009 was our first baby, Leilani Mae’s due date... The date all expectant parents anticipate with such joy and excitement.
I remember, as soon as we found out we were pregnant, we started collecting things here and there for our little bundle of joy. From stuffed duckies, to Benjamin Bunny books, our nursery began to grow. I will always remember, after calling our families to tell them the news, my husband left, shortly returning with a single red rose and a soft, cuddly, green turtle. He said it was “babies first toy.”
It was those little things that we now cherish. Each one, a priceless memory of our sweet Leilani Mae. Today all of her items are stored away in a sweet, Humpty Dumpty box, except for one very special toy... her little turtle. When my son was born, we placed it in his crib. We left it out as a way to remember her and as a reminder that she will always be a part of our lives. Our son is now 5 years old and that turtle is one of his very favorite stuffies.
October 30, 2010 was our third baby, Leeland Way’s due date. Honestly, after losing our first two babies, when I found out I was pregnant the third time, I was more terrified than I was excited. I do not have any tangible items to remember Leeland by. I did not buy anything while I was pregnant with him, for fear that if he died, I would have to add them to the “heart-wrenching” Humpty Dumpty box of my children’s belongings. Though I did not buy him anything while I was pregnant, my heart hurt the same when he passed away, and my heart hurts the same today without him.
It is natural for a mother to want her children. It is natural to want to see them and hold them and kiss them. It is natural to cry when we miss them. Though it has been years since they have passed, my heart still aches on their Heavenly birthdays. My heart still longs to be able to wrap them gifts and decorate the house exactly how they want it, in their very favorite theme.
It is hard for me to celebrate their birthday’s here on earth without them. But it is even harder for me to go through that day not doing something to remember them by. As the years have came and gone, I have finally realized and accepted, there is no wrong way to get through those days. Some years, we release balloons, and some years we light candles. Each year comes with its own set of emotions.
This year my husband bought a beautiful yellow flowering plant, one big enough for both babies, since their birthdays are one day apart. We also lit one pink candle and one blue candle. Each candle was lit for 24 hours. Throughout each day my mind was filled with thoughts of them, some joyful, some sorrowful. And when I lied my head down to rest at the end of the day I was thankful. Thankful I made it through another tough “anniversary” date. Thankful I was able to smile when I thought of them. And thankful for the hope and promise I have in Jesus Christ. That one very glorious day ahead, we will be reunited, where we will spend the rest of our birthdays together for all of eternity!
It is my hope and prayer that you too are able to smile when you think of your precious babies. I pray you are able to find something to be thankful for, no matter how small it may be as you remember them. I pray you will find comfort and peace as you too go though Heavenly birthdays, and that when you go through them, you are kind and gentle to yourself, no matter how you choose to remember them.