We had a great Thanksgiving in Vegas! There was…
capture the flag
lots and lots of yummy food
a cookie competition
games at the church
a birthday party
a visit to Jack
and lots and lots of fun with family.
I told the children that I wasn’t making extra food the entire trip and they had to eat what was available. It wasn’t easy for them (especially Megan) but she was SUCH A TROOPER and she even enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in her life. I love that girl and how hard she tries to overcome her challenges.
At the end of the vacation, we all watched a slideshow of the Thanksgiving fun that Tyler put together for us. All the children LOVED watching a video of all the fun we had together. We are already looking to next Thanksgiving ;)!
I didn’t even want to acknowledge Jack’s birthday this year. I just wanted to let it pass by without messages to heaven tied to balloons. Without “we miss him but know families are forever.” Because even though that is so so so true and even though most days aren’t so heavy with sorrow, this birthday fell on a time when I don’t feel so strong.
This year has been a difficult one for me emotionally. I have such a certain knowledge that Heavenly Father is mindful of my family and have a deep trust that he has a plan for us. But it seems like this year a lot of hopes and plans aren’t working out for us. And as much as I would happily move on to new hopes and plans, the future is so clouded that I don’t even know what to hope for. I keep telling myself, faith and fear can’t coexist. And so as the very faithful person that I am, I am finding myself also so fearful and am struggling to reconcile those two feelings. And it has me spread so thin. Like too little butter on a piece of toast. And so I just didn’t have it in me to “celebrate” the birthday of my deceased child.
But I have children who love their angel brother and who only know how to acknowledge his existence by sending balloons heavenward and grabbing dinner “somewhere he would have liked to go.” So like mothers do, I knew I had to put aside my sorrow and hurt and do what they needed to do. As much as I wanted to crawl into my bed and turn out the lights and lay there all dark and twisty, I knew it just couldn’t be done.
The children love their brother. Even Alec speaks of Jack. They had a great time sending him his balloons and I am grateful that they love him and have this connection with him. I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who is mindful of me. I know He knew this day would be a difficult one for me so he sent angels to uplift and carry me through. My in-laws had the balloons delivered to us. I didn’t even have to make any effort to go buy them. I didn’t have to have a sales clerk ask, “so whose birthday is it today?!” I had other friends drop off treats and goodies so they knew I was remembered. I got texts and messages. Jack and I weren’t forgotten.
I love my children so much. I love and miss my Jack so much. We’ve made it another trip around the sun without our boy. “Happy Birthday” sweet Jack.