Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Brian's First Birthday in Heaven

Today started out beautifully. As one of my co-workers remarked, "Brian sent us a gorgeous day today!" It was cool (after a loooong hot and humid spell) and sunny.

I took cupcakes to work to share with my co-workers. Everyone really enjoyed them, and kept the little rainbow tags I made to go along with them. Several of them put them up in their rooms. The tag said Brian's name and birthdate on the front, then on the back it said, "Today is Brian's First Birthday in Heaven. Please remember him in your own way. Say a quiet prayer, and send him your love. Celebrate his special day by paying it forward . . .In this way, his spirit lives on."
Jim picked me up after work, and we went straight to Pekin to get his birthday present. We chose a small garden flag to post on his grave. It has a picture of a butterfly and a quote about miracles.

Jim also bought him some small sports balls . . .we're particularly fond of the soccer ball. His daddy wanted so badly to teach him to play.

And we got him this card.

At 6:00 p.m., our family and a couple of close friends gathered at the gravesite. Our pastor, Pastor Dave, had us all join hands in a circle around the grave and led us in prayer. Then Jim and I cut the ribbon on the birthday balloon we'd put by his grave and let it sail up to Heaven.

After that, I passed out cupcakes to all of those present. Tears and hugs were freely shared. Grandma and Grandpa (my parents) brought flowers for their little angel.

Jim and I stayed behind at his grave and sang a quiet happy birthday to him. Then we talked to both boys for awhile, and said our goodnights to them. I told Sawyer to make sure Brian had a fun birthday! Then it was off to the NICU, where we gave them cupcakes and a big bowl of candy. We enclosed a note to tell them that even though Brian wasn't mature enough to be helped by them, we know if he had been, they would have done everything and more, just like they did for his little brother, Sawyer. We wanted to thank them for all they'd done. They were so excited--they gathered around and started eating the candy as we stood there.

Now we are back home, and just wanted to share our day with you all. Thanks to every single one of you for your prayers, birthday wishes, ecards, comments, and notes to let us know you were thinking of us and Brian on his birthday (and Sawyer too, of course!)

Today I felt more strongly than ever the fighting spirit of my boys. I believe Brian fought with all he had, and then he gave that spirit to Sawyer . . .so Sawyer fought and fought, and he had Brian backing him up. I know deep in my heart that my boys would never, NEVER want me to give up. I have talked to my specialist and gotten my referral to Dr. Haney in Chicago. I plan to call him next week when I am off work again. I simply cannot give up when I know that our next baby will have Brian AND Sawyer behind him or her, willing their brother or sister to live a full and happy life. When I have witnessed the miracles they were and are . . .there is no way I can quit now.

Finally, did any of you see that sunset tonight? One more gift from our little guys to us . . .it was stunning!



Aunt Colleen said...

Sorry I couldn't make it over last night. I was there is heart thou you know. I really wanted to be there. Sounds like you had a great day. Glad Carrie made it. You two went to alot to celebrate your love for him. Love ya both.

Anonymous said...

Wow!! What a beautiful day it was!! I am so happy it turned out so well for you both. Your little boys are so proud of you and felt your love more than ever yesterday! Take care!!

BTW, where are you working? I must have missed something along the way!! Call me sometime! ~Joni

Amy Naasz said...

I love what you did for Brian's birthday, what a wonderful way to remember your wonderful son's birthday.

Anonymous said...

Hello there, thankyou for posting Brian's birthday. Tomorrow is my son's 1st birthday in Heaven and I had no idea what to do, but I think I will take your idea and see what I can do. You have inspired me today, I cried reading your story, and just wanted to say Thank you again. Brian must be so proud. God Bless

Jim and Amy Rennie said...

I'm glad you found some inspiration . . .happy birthday to your little one in Heaven.