Tomorrow will be Joshua's 6th birthday! I cannot believe he is going to be that old. Of course some of the first things I think of was how excited Hugh and I were to find our we were expecting him. That pregnancy and birth were just full of so much excitement and joy for us, the only actual one that did not hold any sort of worry for the baby's health. I remember having an anxiety attack right before being taken back to the OR for my planned c-section. Looking at Hugh's panicked face as my blood pressure dropped immediately, I looked at him and told him "I don't want to do this anymore, I have changed my mind, take me home!"
That was so unrealistic as everything was ran and that little boy moving inside was ready to meet the world. Little did we know at that moment how much he would really change our lives, in ways we never expected him to be. They walked me back to the OR and this path we now travel meant no turning back and we didn't even know it then. My spinal was given and that blue drape was placed up as Hugh was brought into the room where he sat by my head. Before we knew it this long skinny little string bean who we had already named Joshua David was born with a big beautiful little cry.
Hugh was such a proud papa! He went out that night with his brother and friends to celebrate and he even had a cigar to pass around and share with others as he celebrated the birth of his first biological child. People came to visit at the hospital and life as we knew it was good. Joshua was a fussy baby but not as bad as his big brother Richard was 6 years earlier. Time had gone by so I really didn't remember much about Richard as a baby other than all he did was cry. Hugh was a big help with Joshua unlike Richard's father so I really did not think twice when this big blue eyed little wonder peered up at me with nothing by a wail. It wasn't until he was 4months old that we started down the path we still travel...Mito.
From then on, all births were just not the same and full of this worry that I will always have for the rest of my life and now have in such a greater capacity since George died...the horrible fear with each night as I tuck them all in...will this be my last words spoken to my children or last moments with them. Would I wake in the morning to find that the Lord had called them in the dark of night or dawn of morning? That fear was realized the morning George died and has greatened my fear well beyond what it used to be and birthdays now have such a different meaning to me.
I now am thankful for another wonderful year that God has blessed us with but also wonder if this year will be the year God calls them home and beg him with all that I have that he never takes another child of mine until after he has called me. Will their disease get worse or what obstacles will they face this coming year and yet so thankful for the simple blessings of the health that they currently have even though it is not perfect. Yes things changed immensely the day George died but it also changed in such a great capacity the day we had Joshua and a year following when he was flown to GA to have testing that would change our lives and hopes for our future forever.
For me Joshua's birthday now carries some other sort of pain with it. It means that George's is right around the corner. It makes me think of not only Joshua's birth but also George's and how much he meant to me and his big brother. These next few weeks I should be making plans for another party...something I just love to do as their mommy. George was the apple of Joshua's eye! Joshua was so very close to George and had a special connection with him that the other boys didn't and I am not sure if it was his age or what it was but ironically the two of them looked so much alike!!! To this day Joshua is the one who remembers the most out of the kids about the morning we found George and is very impacted about it all even if we don't realize it or know it.
This will be the second birthday we will celebrate of George's where he won't be here to blow out the candles...he never even had a chance to do it once. The thought of it this year is even harder since we don't have anything big planned like we did last year. I have opted to take time off from doing fundraisers to just focus on our family for a while even though I wanted to do something for George on his birthday, I just didn't have it in me this year to do it with all that is going on with the house and the kids. We have instead chosen to do random acts of kindness that day in his honor his memory and are going to ask others to do the same. I'd like it if they could share with me what they have chosen to do so I can add it to his baby book but other requests just for a simple email have not been fruitful so I am just going to really make it something with our little family and if anyone else wants to do it than that would be awesome but the heartache of others not really caring enough to participate is just to hurtful and that day comes with its own set of pain.
George's birthday this year is going to be kind of different since my niece Mallory was born last year around the time his first birthday was. They will share the same weekend for a party so I just felt it was better to celebrate the living and remember George quietly in my own way even though standing at another party that weekend will be beyond difficult. I know with all of my heart that my niece was meant to be born that time of year for a reason...she was actually conceived right before George died. She is very special to me since I watch her grow and meet all the milestones just like George should have and get to see what it would have been like had he lived. Her due date was the day after George's birthday and secretly inside I kind of wished she had shared that day with him. Knowing her own personal loss of my nephew Gavin, my sister was kind enough to ask me if I had anything planned for George's birthday weekend but I didn't this year since we are going down to Disney the following week.
Disney for me is such a happy place since it is the only place we took as a family trip with him included. I am really glad that we are going there this year when we are. In a way we kind of get to celebrate for him there just by having fun and taking Gabby for the first time. I think while I am there I am going to get him something special for his birthday to put on his mantle. yes it seems odd to buy something for a dead child but in some way as their mom you feel the need to do such. All of my kids mean the world to me no matter where they reside!
Tomorrow please say an extra prayer for Joshua!
George's Guardian's of Grace Projects
Stocking project is now in full force collecting donations. We have a list of the items we can use. You can also choose to sponsor a stocking in memory or honor of someone else. We will include a paragraph or two in the cards we place in the stockings to let the recipient know about the person that means so much to you. Our paypal account is posted on this page and ready to take donations. Email us for a list of items needed or with any questions or information you would like included on a sponsored stocking/donation.
Video Tributes/Celebration of Life Footage
Here is a link to a video tribute that was made by Richard's dad in memory of George. Get out your tissues!
We Finally have footage from the service up and running:
It is in 4 sections running about 17 mins each. If you were unable to attend, you can now see what you missed. We were so blessed to have everyone there with us in person and in spirit!