so once again this year i had very sluggish steps in my holiday spunkiness. i couldn't get in the spirit and truly wondered what was wrong with me. it's kennedy's first christmas and i should be excited...so what the heck is wrong with me??
why can't i be excited and inspired by "jingle bells, jingles bells, and "silent night, holy night"?
but all the while i knew what was wrong with me.
it was lurking around the corner ~ i just didn't want to face it.
matthew's birthday falls right after christmas; just a few days after we're supposed to be ringing in the new year with all of our wonderful dreams and goals for the fantastic new year we anticipate.
how can i get excited about the holidays when i know i have to face the reminders of the most difficult days of my life?
on the 6th it will be matthew's 2nd birthday. and just 5 short days later, we have to face the day we had to give him back to Jesus, all over again.
after spending a few weeks being sad and bah humbug, i snapped out of it while we were home visiting family for Christmas, because all i could focus on was puking my guts out with a sweaty, unrelentless fever threatening to keep me in bed for days.
yeah, we all got the worst version of stomach flu i have ever had. poor kennedy too.
so much so we had to postpone kennedy's first christmas celebration to the 26th. she was much better on the 25th but ken and i could hardly get out of bed.
we went on with a postponed christmas celebration the next day and honestly i didn't focus much on the fact that one of our children was missing from the celebration.
we flew back to maryland on the 30th and that night i realized it was now just 1 week away...
matthew's 2nd birthday.
i felt sad because we weren't going to be in austin so we could visit his grave. i started to panic that i hadn't asked friends to go there and visit it in our stead. and i really started to feel bad when one of my friends asked what our plans were and i had to say, "i have no idea what we're going to do."
and honestly, i still don't.
i thought i would bake a cake and try to make matthew's birthday a day where we could celebrate, rather than being sad. the 11th can always be our sad day...but maybe the 6th could be a day of celebration?
maybe my lack of planning is me not wanting to face it...or maybe, and this is a scary thought, it's my way of accepting and moving forward.
last year i had to have a grandiose plan. i sent out "matthew phillip - our precious angel" balloons i had made to a hundred or so family and friends in our christmas card and asked everyone that could to launch them on his birthday. ken and i flew to austin (even though i was in the 3rd trimester of a high-risk pregnancy) and had a celebration at matthew's grave with several friends. we read scriptures, launched our balloons, told matthew how much we loved him, and went out to lunch to celebrate his first birthday. we didn't even shed a lot of tears that day. (many tears came at the grave on the 11th, but for his birthday, it was mostly joy.)
if you know me at all, you're not surprised by the above plan of celebration. i like to do things big. and last year it was perfect. everything about it. we received tons of emails and photos from friends all over the world launching their balloons in memory of our sweet son's birthday. it meant the world to me.
i planned the celebration because i needed to do something to remind everyone i knew and those i don't...
my son's life mattered. however short-lived it was....his life mattered.
and even now, without a grandiose plan in place, i still know that my son's life mattered.
i know because he's always in my heart and not a day goes by that i don't think of him.
i know because many of my friends and family take the time throughout the year, especially these days coming up, to let me know that matthew was special and that in some specific way, his life impacted others.
and those i don't even know tell me my boy changed their life.
nothing can make a momma more proud. nothing at all.