The day that I'd been dreading for the past few months finally was here. I had anxiety about it all week and was just so nervous about the way I would feel. A part of me was mad at God for not allowing Avery Kate to be here with her family on her special day. Another part of me was depressed because I wanted to be having a big birthday party for Avery Kate with a special cake and a cute little outfit. And then a small, very small, part of me was happy for her because I knew she'd have the best birthday anyone could ask for. She got to celebrate with Jesus. It was her Golden Birthday (Turning 1 on the 1st) and I bet it sure was golden up there. But again, I'm human and wanted my baby with me on her birthday, so only a tiny part of me could feel comfort by thinking about that. Although it did bring a little smile to my face and to my heart imagining what she was doing up there. I just kept imagining her little face digging into her birthday cake; gosh I miss her so much!
I let Hallie pick out a special balloon to bring to Avery Kate's grave. She also wrote a little note that we tied to another balloon. She was going to send her birthday note to Avery Kate in Heaven, but she had a break down and couldn't let go of the balloon, so it's still in our car. The thought was there though! We also got Cypi's cupcakes. Hallie ate an entire strawberry cupcake (a Cypi's cupcake is equivalent to almost 2.5 normal cupcakes) on her first birthday. I just had to eat one for Avery Kate's birthday. It just brought tears to my eyes and caused a big lump in my throat the whole time I ate it. It should have been Avery Kate chowing down on this cupcake, not me. It just made me realize what she was missing. I'm not even sure if those are the right words, because she's the lucky one! She is in the happiest place imaginable. But as a mother, I feel like she'll never have a birthday party, a Christmas morning with her family, a family vacation, etc. I could go on forever with my list of she'll never..... I guess it might be me who feels like I am really the one missing out on something though. I want to celebrate with her and do all of these things with her. So in the reality of all of this, Avery Kate is more than OK, and as a mother, that's really what I want for her. One day I'll be OK about this too, just not now. I don't think that any mother should have to go to a grave yard to bring her child a birthday balloon. It still doesn't make sense to me sometimes, and it might not ever make complete sense to me. That's just the place that I allow my faith to fill in the gaps. That's what will keep me going.
We had a very special birthday dinner with our family and closest friends. It was so amazing to feel a room full of such love and support. These people, along with many, many others are the reason that we have made it through each day. There is absolutely no way we could have done this alone. Brandon, Hallie, and I are so blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives. It gave me goosebumps to walk into a room full of people who were there to celebrate the life of Avery Kate. To me, it meant that she has touched their lives in some way and she is still remembered. It truly was an amazing feeling.
When we left the restaurant, we all went to Avery Kate's grave. We lit sky lanterns and sang "Happy Birthday" to our sweet angel as the lanterns drifted off into the sky. It was just breath taking and everything I imagined it would be. We all held hands and said a special prayer. Honestly, the experience I had that night is just indescribable. It was a celebration of a sweet angel's life, not a sad, depressing night.
I miss "my little fluffy head" every single moment of every single day. I realize that this birthday was only the beginning. Brandon and I were talking about how we will be remembering Avery Kate on this day for the next 80 years, God willing. She will never be forgotten. We are all so lucky to have known her. We were truly blessed to have an angel living amongst us for ten weeks last year. Now, I feel that we are blessed to have her watching over us and protecting us every day.
Happy Birthday to my sweet girl! I love you and miss you with every piece of my heart.
Here is the Happy Birthday Song video:
Here is a link to the full video of the sky lantern send off: