On the eve of what would have been their first birthday, I spent thinking, "a year ago, they were still alive. A year ago, we were so hopefull."
The days leading up were worse than the actual day.
On June 30, 2012, my husband surprised me by coming home from work a day early.
We had two really good friends come and stay with us.
It was bizarre to know that a whole year had past.
Four seasons had come and gone. The blazing sun of summer turned into the crispness of fall. The crispness turned into the quiet of winter and winter turned over and birthed new life. That newness has once again turned into the blazing summer sun.
Four season had turned into each other . . . a whole year has past and I have survived.
We bought two cupcakes, pink balloons, got in our car and drove to the cemetery. I had not been there since the day we buried them. That day, I saw the hole that had been dug in the earth and I fainted.
This past year, I have wanted to go and at the same time, I have not. The thought of going caused me to stop breathing . . . caused my heart to skip another beat. But the day of their first birthday, I went.
We went and gave them their cupcakes. Their older sister placed two pink hearts on their grave. That was her birthday present to them.
I was shocked to see that some grass had grown. Had that much time really passed for something new to grow?
I sat down on my knees at their grave and looked at their name plates from the funeral home (still no headstone. That's another hurdle. Baby steps . . . ), I noticed the flowers and ceramic angels that others had left. I noticed weeds. WEEDS!!! Their presence made me angry! I started pulling them, ripping them out of the earth. Didn't they know they didn't belong? Didn't they know that this place was sacred? Pure? The evils that accompany life never once touched them so why did they think they had the right?
Ripping and pulling.
Ripping and pulling just like the emotions on my heart.
I told them I loved them. I told them what kind of party I would have thrown for them. I told them how blessed I felt and continue to feel for being able to hold them and feel them the day of their birth. And then I tried to envision the celebration they were partaking in.
My husband and I held each other and we prayed. We thanked the Lord for them and the time we did get with them.
We sang Happy Birthday to them as a family and then we released the balloons. We watched in silence as they easily floated into the heavens.
They floated so quitely and effortlessly. Those pink balloons became smaller and smaller until you could not see them anymore. They floated into the sky that I have now become obsessed with. I see them, my babies, in that sky. I see the beauty they paint with each sunset and swirling of the clouds.
The balloons floated to the East and later, in the West we saw a beautiful stretch of pink painted across the sky.
It was them. I smiled.
A whole year. A year has passed. I never thought I would celebrate my children's birthday without them physically present.
I never thought I would have a year to live like the one I just did.
A whole year has passed and I have survived. I have lived everyday with the pain, made it through holidays and special family events. A year ago there was so much uncertaintity laid before me, not knowing if I could survive this. I know now that I can. I don't want to live out the rest of my days with this ache and without them but . . . I know that I can. Joy is returning amid the pain.