Today is the first day of April. April is a month that has a potential to be depressing. As you know, it was April of 2013 when we lost Gavin.
But here's the thing. I don't play that way. April is a month - and a month can't have power over me. I won't let the fact that something bad - tragic, actually - happened during April of one year destroy that month entirely for the rest of my life. Do you know that some pretty awesome things happened in April? My Grandfather was born. My Dad was born! I was born! My oldest niece, Emily, was born and made me an Aunt for the first time! And I had a photo taken of me on my 40th birthday in 2010 with my boys - and my belly. I was pregnant with Darcy Claire. And... April 14th was the day that I realized I was pregnant with Hope.
But then my beautiful son died. In April. On my birthday.
April definitely has potential to be a pretty lousy month. But why? I don't miss Gavin less in March! I won't miss him less in May. My level of grief is consistent all year long - every single minute of every single day - and it will remain that way for the rest of my life.
But here's the thing. My level of grief can't have power over me, either. It just can't. Sometimes people just shut down around certain difficult anniversaries... or holidays... or random days. I am SURE you have at least one person in your life like this. Ever know anyone who is just miserable over the Christmas holiday? Or acts out around anniversaries? I have several people in my life like this. It makes things uncomfortable... awkward... unfair, even, for those around them.
I am determined to not do those things. It's not fair to me. It's not fair to my husband. It's not fair to my children or my family members or my friends.
But here's the thing. Sometimes I would love to act out. And you know what? People around me would understand. They would offer me grace because, after all, I lost a child. Two, actually. I could "deserve" to be unhappy forever. It would be very tempting to use death as a "crutch" and retreat into myself and forget everything and everyone. So I have to make a choice... every day... to choose life. To choose joy. To choose love. To choose Brian and Hope and Ed. Because they are alive. I am alive.
Like most things in life... it's a choice. Some days the choice is easy. Some days I have an argument with myself in the mirror and have to force myself to make the choice.
This April, I am choosing to honor Gavin by choosing joy. I am choosing to allow Brian and Hope to see Gavin's light in my eyes.
I am choosing to love their Father and give him the grace to grieve his son the way that works for him. Ed is such a great Dad.
We have fun things planned for this month! I'm not planning a monster fundraiser like I did last year when I did "Gavin's Playground Party," but I do have something to announce soon!
Today we started off the month with a huge smile. We went to visit the Easter Bunny!! Brian and Hope really enjoy going to the mall. It's pretty rare that we're there because I hate shopping! So I suppose it's a treat for them - there's so much to see. Brian looked so handsome in his dress shirt.
We slipped into the Nordstrom ladies room so we could put on Hope's dress. I didn't want to stuff her and the dress in a car seat! I only iron once - let's be honest. Ha!
I love her dress so much. It was purchased at the Just Between Friends Consignment sale a few weeks ago! It comes with a matching cardigan and it was my most expensive clothing purchase for $10.00! I hope the person who sold it at the sale sees this. I am so in love with this dress by Gymboree.
I wasn't sure how Hope would handle the bunny - she's been very shy lately with people, let alone big stuffed things that move around! But this bunny was so happy looking and really fun. He was dancing around and playing peek a boo - Hope was very into all of it and happily sat on his lap!
Here's the obligatory $25.00 photo from the photographers...
We came home and Brian had his friend, Daniel over all afternoon. We had a pizza party for dinner and warm chocolate chip cookies for dessert to celebrate the first day of Spring Break! And we ended the day on the swings in the sunset.
It's going to be a great month.
I will make it so.