Grief

Kierra’s First Birthday in Heaven

Or maybe I should just simply say her FOURTH birthday. Some folks may think I’m in denial. Maybe I am. Because I still made a party and pretty little pink cupcakes and tissue paper pom poms. It was too sad not to. What little four year old doesn’t just count the days to her long awaited birthday?

I mean, it only comes once a year! That is FOREVER between birthdays! It’s sooo long, you may as well forget about it, because it will NEVER come again!

Those were my thoughts when I was a kid:)

The whole week last week was rather emotional for me. I went into this slightly denial mode where, like a child, I quit thinking about THE BIRTHDAY. I was tired of being sad all the time when I thought about it. So I just tried not to think about it. Isn’t that weird? It kinda worked for awhile. I stayed really busy and focused on THINGS. But I knew I would have to face it. I wanted to face it. I just didn’t feel like living in the past all week long.

Because I remembered those last long days of waiting for her. Of meeting her for the first time and looking into her face and just being amazed beyond words that God gave us such a perfect baby.

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Immediately on the heals of that first perfect hour, came the trauma of life. So much trauma. I grieve for my innocence. I grieve for her innocence. For her tears and cries I did not understand. For the fight it took her to get through life. And the bitter is mixed with the sweet.

My three year old niece had a dream last week. She doesn’t usually tell her mommy about her dreams, but this one she just couldn’t keep quiet about.

She heard someone at the back door. It was KIERRA. She had come to play! She had a pink dress with a white flower in her hair. When Evy went to get a doll for Kierra to play with, Kierra RAN and beat her. She got to the doll first. Evy tried to hold Kierra, (just like she used to cuddle her) but she couldn’t because she was too big. She didn’t have any tubing on hand or nose or cheek. 

I think God gave her that special little dream! I just love to think of them playing together …even if its in a dream 🙂 The next day, He sent the most beautiful rainbow in the evening sky that stayed for a very long time. I remembered, 4 years ago, standing under a rainbow in Montana dreaming of my unborn child. Longing to meet her and hold her. Wondering what she would be like and feeling like God had big plans for her. I remember my dad calling her ‘the resurrection baby’ when she was a new born. She would be laying down, when she would suddenly pop her head straight up and stared around. We had never seen a more alert, strong new born! Seriously.

I stood below the rainbow, hardly comprehending that she was a dream once again. As a wise person said…We are in the dream! They are FULLY ALIVE!!

Then her birthday dawned and I remembered weeping by her crib in the middle of the night on her first birthday.

Because she deserved so much more then I could give her that day. Because my heart was so sad for what she was missing here. Because I was a bit angry that my own dreams were broken.

On her second birthday,

I took  her swimming,

and enjoyed the happy moments in her day,

and  watched her sunbathe.

On her third birthday in the hospital.

The wonderful HUGE box of gifts from friends,

the party out on the terrace

and her strawberry birthday cake,

and silly hats.

I wanted to do something positive to celebrate that she was truly free and SO HAPPY on her FOURTH birthday. I wanted to throw a party. But it had to be small, because I was quite a mess and I was not into being the center of attention.

So I bought a strawberry cake mix and started mixing.

My friend, Sadie, helped me throw a party.

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We arranged with The Clinic For Special Children to bring a small refreshment table into the their office for a few hours in the forenoon. It felt right to serve them refreshments on her birthday as a thank you. I think God used them to give her another (almost) two years of life for us to cherish. I also wanted the patients and parents to know they are not alone. That God has a plan for their lives.

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Aw! I LOVE this place and the hard working, caring folks in it!

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It was hard, being there without Kierra, but everyone was so friendly, and it was so wonderful to see their familiar faces. I even saw some pink in honor of Kierra! I wish she could have come twirling into the room to show us all how well she is.

We left the table there for a few hours while we went back to Sadie’s house and had our own little Tea party/cry fest/laughter. (more coming on that another day 🙂

I was just overwhelmed and totally blessed by all the folks who cared about her Birthday! Cards in the mail, a meal brought in for us with a ‘remembering Kierra candle’ a package from the west, beautiful bouquets, tex messages, gift cards and cash to buy something special for her grave, tex messages and I’m praying for you and care. We felt very well loved. Thank you. Each of you.

I think she felt really loved on in Heaven too!