my favorite! I love that smile!
I'll fast forward to after Noah died. Many people have some time before that first birthday after their child dies. They get some time to process and grieve. Not that it makes it any easier or harder but I was thrown into that first big milestone day less than a month after he died. I knew I had to acknowledge his birthday. I knew it was not going to be the birthday I had hoped for. How do you have a 1st birthday party for your son that has just died? But birthdays are too big and important in our family to just let the day slide by. Besides the fact that 1 year ago on that Nov. 4 was the greatest day of our lives! Noah was born and brought into our lives. He changed our lives forever and that deserved to be celebrated. Luckily I have amazing friends and family and I didn't have to do anything to set up for Noah's birthday. We decided to invite friends and family over to our house for a sky lantern launch (thanks to Carly for coming up with this idea and buying all of these for us!). We had chili and cornbread (one of my favs that my parents brought over for everyone - I could not even think about cooking at this point so we needed to keep it simple). We had cupcakes and sang happy birthday to Noah as devastating and depressing as that was. But most of all, friends and family came together on this very special day to be there for us and celebrate the amazing boy that Noah was, the great 11 months we had with him, and to acknowledge how this tragedy has changed all of our lives forever. This was NOT the birthday it was supposed to be. But it still was his birthday. It was the anniversary to the day he was born and that will never change. We will always celebrate his birthday for he was here, he was alive, and he is the most amazing person I've ever met. How do you not celebrate that? I wish so badly he was here for his bday. I anticipated him ripping open presents, I so badly wanted to see how he'd dive into his own little cake, and most importantly it was his 1st birthday! Such a special and important milestone. I hoped for happy memories of that day but instead I was overcome by sadness and such great loss. Here are some photos from Noah's 1st birthday. While he was not here with us physically, I know he was here with us that day and eating tons of cake in heaven!
we decorated the paper lanterns with birthday wishes for Noah
Noah's birthday t-shirt - we all wrote messages to him
we ate and drank the tears away
Noah's friends played
the sky lantern launch was amazing. It took some time to get the hang of it, and one got caught on a neighbor's house (thankfully nothing started on fire!!) but overall it was a big success and we plan to do it every year.
I will never forget that day and everyone who was there for us. Thank you! I can't believe he'd be 16 months old this Friday. I hate that time keeps moving on. I wish I could relive Oct. 6th over and over and over again.