I'm nearly two months late in writing this down, but it has been running through my head constantly. My sweet one year old little boy, my heart is broken and missing you. Your first birthday happened in the midst of much craziness - we had just found out about baby sister's cyst, so we had multiple appointments with specialists and had to switch providers in order to birth her in a hospital instead of the birth center. I was in a car accident two days after your birthday and then your little sister was born just eight days after your birthday. I carried you every second in my heart and my thoughts, but there was not a time for me to sit and write your letter.
Subconsciously I knew that your first birthday would be in the middle of lots of activity, so I did a lot of grieving in the months and weeks leading up to it... I felt the weight of grief very heavily again. The actual day of your birthday was the one peaceful and calm day that week... there were no appointments, and I was able to do the few things I had planned on doing. I took flowers and chocolates to the birth center where you were born, I wrote thank-you notes (that I still need to mail, yikes!), and we visited your grave with the freshly laid gravestone. Nana and Grandad took us out for dinner, and Nana made you the perfect cake for a one-year-old little boy. I wasn't sure if I wanted to sing "Happy Birthday" or not... but Judah started singing it to you all by himself when he saw the cake with the candle lit, so we sang it with him and it was perfect. You were born at 8:46pm, so we went outside after we ate some cake and lit sparklers in the backyard around that time. I wasn't sure leading up to the 23rd what it would look like or even what I wanted it to look like, but it really was just what I didn't know I wanted. So many wonderful people participated in "Theodore's Thank You Day" and did acts of kindness in your memory - it brought peace and joy to my heart to see/hear/read about the things people did. The very next morning we were back to appointments and craziness, but I'm so grateful that God gave us the special, peaceful day that I was hoping for on your birthday. It was enough to get me through those few crazy weeks surrounding baby sister's birth.
I cannot believe that it has been a year... a long year since I birthed you and held you and kissed you for six of the shortest and longest hours on earth. You were such a big boy, 9lbs 12oz! You looked a month old at birth, so chubby and roly poly. I will always desperately wish for more time with you, to see you grow and change, to know you at one year old. As Judah likes to say "Baby Theodore is not a baby anymore, he is a big boy in heaven!"
I don't really know what else to say, just that we miss you so very much. I'm realizing more and more that no matter what our family looks like, there will always be you missing. And that is an ache that we will carry until we meet again - some days it is so very achy.
Happy First Birthday, my sweet Theodore. I am thankful for the peaceful day that it was here on earth, and that every day for you is like the best birthday ever... but I still wish that your face was covered in chocolate cake, and that we could all be laughing at how adorable you are.
Love, Momma, Papa, Judah, and Nella
The last "monthly sticker" balloons - 12 months old.
Visiting your grave
Judah always runs and lets balloons go in the field by your grave.
Birthday cake (chocolate, picked by your big brother)
Sparkler fun outside
We lit a sky lantern, and tied it to the fence so it wouldn't float away (fire hazard!)
Chocolate and flowers for the wonderful people at the birth center you were born at
Thank you notes (still writing them... and still need to mail them!)