Saturday, March 29, 2014

Half Birthday in Heaven...

Dear Gavin,

Happy "Half Birthday," Bugaboo!

Today, you would have turned 6 1/2...halfway to seven.  We celebrate half birthdays in our family - we always have since you were six months old.  Not acknowledging today would be like not acknowledging you.  Just like we celebrate every second of every day that we had with you...we will continue to celebrate you and incorporate you into all of our family traditions.

It was easy to decide what to do.  Daddy, Brian, Hope  and me... we all decided to have a sleep over in a hotel that had a POOL!!  Not just any hotel, mind you.  We went back to the first hotel that you and Brian ever stayed in. You had so much fun in the water swimming with Daddy.
And Brian kept a safe distance - with no interest and a healthy fear of the pool.
A lot has changed since then.  Besides your obvious absence. 
Brian is a complete fish!  He was so excited in the room once he got his bathing suit on.
And we even got Hope a little teeny tiny baby bathing suit! We were very anxious to see how she would like the water.
She loved it.  So much.
As I held her and swayed back and forth in the water, I truly felt your presence.  In a way, I felt like I was holding you once again.  The water can make your body feel weightless. As it turns out, it did the same to my grief.  Being in the water made me feel so close to you. 
Brian loves the pool as much as you did - and he's getting so brave.  
He was even jumping in to us, getting his face wet and even holding his breath to go under water!  We were so proud - and it made all of us so happy to see him so happy.

I know you were watching.  Maybe you were even swimming with us!  We had a lot of laughs and I smiled thinking of how much fun you would have had if you were with us.

Last year on this day we went to Arnold's Family Fun Center... one of your favorite places. 
Daddy took the day off and we spent the whole afternoon as a family.

We rode your favorite ride - the Frog Hopper...
...and, for the first time, I carried you up inflatable stairs so we could go down the big slide together.  I'm so glad I did that - it is now a cherished memory.
We weren't doing anything extraordinary... or unusual.  This is just us.  We love to celebrate you and your brother and now your baby sister.  We really had a great time on this day last year.  And I'm forever grateful that we did.
We never - in a million years, EVER - could have known that you would be dead just 16 days later.


Gavin, I vow to you that we will always celebrate.  Not just your birthdays and half birthdays and what was and what you've inspired since.  That's easy.

I promise you - forever - that we will celebrate Brian and Hope.  Every birthday.  Every half.  Every day.  I know it would be important to you - I know it IS important to you - that we parent your brother and sister well.  And we will.  Not because you died.  But because you lived.

Happy Half Birthday, Gavin.  I love you.  I miss you.  I celebrate the uniqueness of you... and will forever.




  1. Always always always celebrate everything!!!! Life is so short with no guarantees, aside from love of mom and daddy!

  2. <3 Pure love, not for just Gavin but for all your babies <3... Bless you and your family

  3. A couple years back, I read a book called Revealing Heaven by Kat Kerr. I had read other books about heaven but mainly I have tried to stay away from trying to imagine it...or to let God give me a glimpse for myself. Anyways, one of the aspects in her book that impacted me most, was her description of the care which is given to miscarried babies. I bring this up right now, because these photos really touched my heart!! Gavin's grin on the Frogger is just the best! It is joy embodied! I'll bet he smiles like this all the time in heaven, showing his little sister Darcy around. I'm sorry if this is strange, I don't mean to overstep any bounds between writer and commenter :)

    1. Hi Elisa,
      I didn't feel your comment was strange at all! It was actually a beautiful visual... and I'm off to look up that book!

  4. You are such a strong woman and an inspiration to moms everywhere. Gavin was so lucky to have you guys for parents! Thanks for sharing the wonderful memories of your darling Gavin. You have a beautiful family.

  5. Wow when i saw that you guys celebrated half birthdays honestly i thought that was a bit different, not something ive heard of people doing before but what made me change my mind is when u said just 16 days after that he died! Who could have known? You have that half birthday celebration and that's so PRICELESS AND AMAZING! My view on half birthdays has changed, as have a lot of other things because if your story,because of Gavins life! With the hustle and bustle and the endless list of things to do it seems impossible to celebrate the little in between days,but you can make it possible! To hear that Ed got the day off work for this day was so cool, it might not always be possible to do but im going to try and your making such huge differences in peoples lives with your journey. Hope this makes sense between the tears and not knowing how to express my gratitude for your words im not sure what i said lol.... Really amazing story i LOVE THIS POST! HAPPY HALF BIRTHDAY GAVIN!!

  6. So much love from our home to yours. It is so nice to see other people feel that the little things should be celebrated. Gavin is perfect example that every day counts because the future is unknown. So jealous by the way of the cute teeny tiny bathing suit...swim trunks all around for our house of four little boys

  7. I read your blog. Every.single.time. you post. And it reminds me to love my kids harder, sometimes on days when I forget. You are an exceptional mom. So exceptional. And your kids, Gavin, brian and hope are beautiful BEAUTIFUL kids. thank you for sharing with me.

  8. Thank you for sharing your story to us and i believe ur son was very proud to have u and ur husband as his parents. He is smiling rite now even from far away and I still not have kids but i understand what did you feel. I will do the same thing like you sister Kate and you inspiration me even others who read your blog. You are a strong woman that i seen and i am sure Gavin can feel what you feel from far away. Stay strong sist and God Bless you also your family.

    1. I just stumbled across your post and was truly touched! I have to agree with Septy... I am sure your son is smiling down on you right now. There is a great book out by Joe Laws titled, "Held By The Hand Of God: Why Am I Alive" which gives great hope in the fact in knowing that our deceased loved ones are happy after they pass on and that we will see them again! Take care!

  9. I love how you celebrate not only special occasions, but EVERY DAY with the children. Thank-you for sharing the awesome photos from last year with Gavin, and this year's with Hope & Brian. Beautiful, touching photo of Hope with Daddy & family photo is adorable. Gavin is for sure smiling down at his loving family❤️

  10. Beautiful celebration! I LOVED that family picture with Hope! So sweet.


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