To my Elizabeth: Today is your birthday. You turn 28. Not gonna lie, this day is bittersweet. This is one of the days I miss you most. It is the day God placed you in my arms. And I just never thought this would be the story of your life…of all of our lives. I thought I would be the one to have to find the words to say good bye when it was my turn to go home. But for us, we have a different story that is being written.
This is your third birthday without you. And this day stands as another reminder that it seems just like yesterday when you left us and then I awake today to have three birthdays passed. I still think of you…..every….single…..day. I think that’s what us momma’s do for our children and it doesn’t really matter how old they are whether they are 8 or 28. Our heart aches.
Over these three birthdays, I have created some “rituals” to celebrate you on this day and today will be no different. I will take the day off from work and I will spend the day doing things we enjoyed.
I will start the day donning your favorite perfume (Ms. Dior), your scarf, shoes and some special jewelry and head to the cemetery to lay your birthday wreath and honor the day I was blessed when God asked me to be your mom.
I will then head to Austin to meet some amazing ladies who are going to make a memorial quilt from your clothing! They want to hear about you so they can design a quilt that will have your spirit shine through! I will spend lunch at Top Notch in Austin to honor that last time we were together and probably stop by Amy’s ice cream on Guadalupe to remember how you loved going there. I’ll never forget that you loved it so much you insisted that your prom date was to go there!
I will then do something nice for myself like a massage, facial, manicure/pedicure. I’ll go by and love on a little guy that carries part of your name and your first born. Eli Fischer. He has brought such tremendous joy and love.
I also placed a memorial ad in the Salado Village and Lexington Leader paper to honor this day as I have done for the last three years…..
You will be happy to know that a somewhat regular cadence has returned to my life. My body doesn’t hurt like I’m being beat with a baseball bat from the days of early grief and I have more energy and no longer have trouble sleeping as I once did.
There are some amazing things that are happening because of your story and so thankful for God continuing to bring beauty from the ashes. I am sharing Grace Based Parenting in another small group (my 3rd so far), and will be facilitating yet another! God has been closing doors and opening others. I have been praying to have faith to trust and walk through them. I am looking forward to see how 2015 will unfold.
I also created a birthday video to Matt Maher’s “Because He Lives”. I love this song. We are in our Lent Season, Easter is my favorite celebration and Because He LIVES I can face tomorrow.
I know he holds our lives. And for that reason I have HOPE…….Holding On to Patient Expectation. And because of that hope I have JOY. As Tim Kimmel wrote: “My sad joy for them does not leave me with a smile on my face, just a confidence in my heart that all of this is part of a bigger plan … from an all-powerful God … who deeply loves my kids.”
Amen! Yes, there is sad joy…..and I know he deeply loves my kids and my grandkids who live here on earth and in heaven.
James 1:2-4 says:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
I miss you…..there are no words to describe how much. But God knows my heart and I will rest in that peace. The sting of your death has softened, but the missing you like crazy never goes away until we are together again for all of eternity.
I will end my day looking upward into the night sky and lift my heart with my broken hallelujahs to the one who blessed me with 25 years and provides me with hope and joy of the resurrection. Where death is your sting?
Loving, Remembering, Missing, Honoring