Monday, February 4, 2013

My birthday

Today is my 30th birthday.

I've  had a dream for awhile of how this day would go. There would be two parts:

1. Remember Monica's 30th birthday on Friends? That's what I wanted (well, the black tie, silver service, part). I imagined crisp white linens, sparkling silver, chef-prepared hors d'oeuvres, a decadent birthday cake, beautifully wrapped gifts and friends in their best attire. It was going to be amazing.

2. After a wonderful night of celebrating, Bryan and I  would set off for England. Ever since I spent a couple weeks there in high school, I've been dreaming of the day I could return. I figured my 30th would be a perfect time. I loved the people and the landscape and shoppes and the feel of the little towns. It's my kind of place. It would have been such fun!

Up until last year, this was my goal.

When we learned Samuel was sick, all things other that his life (such as wild fantasies of European travel) immediately became ridiculously  unimportant. I would have traded anything and everything for his health. Anything beyond that was just so incomprehensibly frivolous.

Now that he's gone, that's even  more true. Things just don't mean much to me anymore. That party idea makes me cringe. How superficial could I be? All I want on this earth is to spend the day with my little guy. That's my dream birthday.

I still would have loved to travel, but the health insurance company now owns all our spare money and doctors appointments, Samuel's birth and bereavement used up all Bryan's vacations days. So it wasn't even an option. 

So, like just about every other aspect of my life, I changed my plan for today.

Since I couldn't have what I want, a fun day with my little family, I decided I was going to do something special just for me. I got up, picked out a nice outfit to wear, I did my hair and even put on some jewelry. I had told Bryan the night before I wanted to meet him for lunch at the new Indian restaurant and he agreed. I decided I was going to use the spa gift card he had given me for Christmas, and I made an appointment for a massage and a pedicure. I had a counseling appointment in the afternoon, but the rest of the day was free for me to do what I wanted.

I got myself all ready and drove over to the local coffee house for my free birthday drink. I got it, sat down in a comfy chair and read for awhile, since my spa appointment wasn't for another hour. It was nice.

While I was enjoying my coffee, I got a call from my sister-in-law, Angi. She always calls on my birthday and the kids sing me my birthday song. It was very sweet. She told me she and her oldest three girls were on their way down to surprise me with a visit. They had a special gift they had made for me and wanted to give it to me in person. I agreed. It's been a very long time since I've been around the kids so I knew it would probably be good to spend time with them.

I called to move my spa appointment back, I told Bryan we'd go out tomorrow instead, and I went home to clean up and make lunch for us all.

I always feel badly because they live 2 hours away and it's a very long round trip to come see us. My counseling appointment would fall just over an hour after they arrived, so I wouldn't be able to spend much time with them. She told me not to worry, that was okay with them. I tried not to feel guilty.

They arrived with hugs and beautiful drawings and a very special bracelet the girls had made with my, Bryan, and Samuel's initials on it. It's very special and I will add it to the treasured things I have for him.

I still felt bad my time would be so short, but it was all I could do. The girls played and looked at Samuel's things and I even did some nail painting. It was very nice of them to want to help me celebrate my birthday.

I had to leave and go to my appointment, but after it was over I came home to find they had left some sweet notes and a birthday balloon. I know Angi cares a lot about us and wants to help me in whatever way she can. It was very thoughtful.

As much as I enjoyed seeing the kids, - they are so loving and sweet and I do miss what we used to have -  it was very hard because I wanted to spend the day with Samuel. I want us all to be together. I wanted him to know his cousins and have lots of fun with them. It's very sad that can never happen.

After I got home, I sat down and cried for a while. I just miss him so much and I hate my life. I hate that being around kids is so hard for me. I hate that I feel like I have no say in how my life is turning out. I hate that my dreams can never come true.

I cried for a while, then realized I just didn't care anymore about this day. I just wanted it to be over. I cancelled my spa appointments and put on pjs. I watched tv for awhile until Bryan came home. He tried so hard all day to give me a nice birthday. He is such a good husband.

He sent me beautiful roses, and called several times to see how my day was. He had gifts for me when he came home and a lovely card from him and Samuel. It was very sweet. He is always very considerate.

Unfortunately, by the time he got home, I was so upset and down that I wasn't good company at all. I opened my gifts and thanked him, but I couldn't help myself and broke down crying because I just wanted us all to be together. There is no happy birthday when your baby is missing.

Finally, I realized I was just done with it all. I just wanted the day to be done forever.

I went upstairs at 6:30pm and cried myself to sleep. I hate this and I miss him.

After a few hours, I woke up and came back downstairs. I apologized to Bryan for ruining his plans. He had done so much to make it a nice day for me. I guess it was all just too much. He obviously understood.

I ate some dinner and decided I would write about this day of mine.

I know there are so many people who care deeply about us. I know people want me to feel better and to find happiness again. I try to feel very appreciative of those people who do their best to give me a nice day. The notes and texts and gifts were very kind. I know they would do anything to help.

It's just that I'm so empty inside. There is a massive hollow spot where joy and passion and fulfillment should be. When he died, I died inside, right along with him. I don't know how to fix that. I'm not sure it can be fixed. I just keep moving forward and maybe someday I'll find some of it again.

So I guess to sum it all up, it wasn't happy, but it was a birthday. I guess I'll try again next year.

Thank you to everyone to tried to make it a good day for me. I appreciate that you care.


  1. RaeAnne, I can feel your emptiness through your expressive words. I wish I didn't know how you feel b/c it just pure sucks. I wish you had Samuel with you.

  2. Jesus died and lives.

    His mother's heart was pierced with 'a sword'.
    Not unlike your heart I imagine. You know her pain.
    Jesus opened the way to Heaven by his brutal death. Mary agonized.
    No one understands your heart like His Father. Your Heavenly Father.

    If Jesus' sufferings are ours, if we are asked to carry a cross daily. asked to die daily. and we know Heaven has been opened because Jesus yielded His body as a living sacrifice and then, and only then is there resurrection for your Samuel. Samuel is there right now with Jesus!!!

    And for you when you are reunited with Samuel for eternity. Forever and ever and ever and ever. And ever.

    Then could you find that joy of being reunited with your Samuel (that joy set before you) could you find that joy enough to endure your cross? To hope for new dreams?

    Could you find hope in your suffering by looking past it to your joy in reunion?

    Could you dare to believe that a God good enough to willingly give His son to be brutally murdered hanging naked on a cross in front of haters has a purpose (mysterious to us, but known fully to Him) in your son being taken up to Heaven early and in allowing your heart to be pierced with a sword like Mary's was?

    Could that help you take a deep breath and look beyond what you do not have (now) to what you do have in Christ (eternally)? To what He has in having you as His very own prized daughter?

    Could you see that your Samuel is not (because even in his death he lives) so he is not unlike the great Prophet Samuel who was dedicated to the Lord for His service? Will you dedicate Samuel to Jesus?

    The sword that pierced Jesus and found him to be empty of life, it only brought forth water not blood, is the same sword that pierced his mother's heart, that was raised to pierce Isaac on the altar and has now pierced your heart. But we who are in Christ have crossed from death to life. Jesus wants you to live. He wants to rise you up sister, to take the promised land that God is sending you to. To redeem more people from eternal darkness and sorrow and death. It wont be easy or painless, but it will be good. Because your God is good. He will give you strength.

    Could you dare to believe that the God who gave your heart it's dreams, the God who gave His son for your eternal satisfaction and glory could restore your joy during this short life in entrusting Samuel into His care (where else could Samuel be more happy and joyful and who will never have to experience sorrow of any kind?)

    To be joyful always doesn't mean being happy. We cannot be happy always when it is so dark down here. To be joyful is in the hope of the gospel. Hope. Like Jesus who for the joy set before him endured the cross scorning it's shame and sat down at the right hand of the Father. He wasn't happy hanging there in agony. But he was hopeful in the fullness of joy set before him. I can see Samuel sitting there next to him. Smiling, for in God's presence is fullness of joy everlasting.

    Praying for you sweet sister. God has your heart.

  3. I understand completely. The birthday after Caleb died I was shocked that people wanted me to celebrate. I just wanted to crawl into a hole. I couldn't understand how I could celebrate another year of mine when I hated my life. Any type of celebration just hits home the fact that someone special is missing. This year I went out to dinner for my birthday but nothing else. I just don't care about it the way I used to. You are not alone, its all so normal to feel after a loss. I have been there-hating my life. I hope that one day things will be lighter. I know I can say that I don't hate my life anymore, just parts of it-like the part where my son never came home with us. My heart goes out to you as you walk this road. It is so hard, hang in there...

  4. HUGS to you RaeAnne! Birthdays are so hard without our children. My 30th birthday was 1 month after we learned of Gabriel's diagnosis. I was still pregnant with him and I honestly wanted to stay in bed all day. I went out to dinner with family and I'm glad I did... for Gabriel's sake. But this year, I really just want to stay home and pretend like me (and my eggs) are not really a year older.

    Keeping you in my prayers mama <3


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