How is it possible that Hannah has spent five birthdays in Heaven now? It seems like just yesterday that we celebrated her 17th birthday together.
How is it possible that Hannah has only spent five birthdays in Heaven now? It seems like forever since we celebrated her 17th birthday together.
As always, the days leading up to Hannah's birthday this year were harder than the actual day has been. Friday was tough. I came home from work and baked Hannah's favorite birthday cake -- Mississippi Mud. Baking a birthday cake for someone who's not going to be there is ... miserable, depressing, sickening. As odd as it sounds, though, I think it would feel worse not to make a cake. It's just something I've gotta do.
Saturday afternoon, we headed up to Briggsville to meet our daughter Bethany and her fiance' Brad, and to visit Hannah's grave. Bethany and Brad were on fall break this weekend, but they had to attend a wedding in Fayetteville, so they didn't get in until late that night ... actually, it was about 1:00 that morning, but I stayed up to get a hug from my girl. After all, it had been a month since I'd seen her last!
Sunday morning we got up and headed to the cemetery. If you know me well (or you've read my blog for a long time), you know that I get no comfort from visiting Hannah's grave. It's just a really hard place for me to be ... there's just too much reality there. I do hope that some day that will be different, but for now, that's just the way it is. For now, I do well to go twice a year (on her birthday and on her Heaven day).
We spent the rest of Sunday just relaxing and watching football and movies with Bethany and her Brad. So nice. And then I was off yesterday, so we were able to spend most of the day together, eating lunch out and doing a little shopping. Of course, I had to share them with Brad's family too, so I grudgingly let them go spend some time with his folks last night. ;-)
Today I headed back to work, but stopped by basketball practice afterwards to see Bethany work out with her former team. So glad she was able to do that with them today ... she really enjoyed it! She was able to scrimmage with them, but then was able to kick back and watch while they did line drills and conditioning exercises ... She especially liked that part! Then she came home, took a shower, packed up her stuff, and hit the road back to Fayetteville. Having her home really helped make the weekend brighter.
This is the first year I've actually worked on Hannah's birthday since she went to Heaven. This morning, I purposely did not post anything about Hannah's birthday on Facebook, because I really didn't want my co-workers to know about it. I wasn't sure if I could hold it together if anyone said anything to me about her birthday, and I was probably right. Thankfully, no one seemed to know, except one sweet person who emailed me. I still felt "different" all day ... as if everyone who saw me could surely tell just by looking at me that today was Hannah's birthday. Sounds strange, even as I write it, but I really did feel that way.
What a blessing it was to get home and see that many people had already recognized that it was her birthday and written sweet comments and posts. I then posted a status about her birthday, and have been watching the comments roll in while I've written this blog post. To say that I'm overwhelmed by the prayers offered up on behalf of our family and the kind remembrances of my Hannah Joy is a completely inadequate statement. I am completely blown away, and I am so grateful. Our family has been so blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives.
So, five years. Hannah would be 22 years old today. She would no longer be a girl, but a woman. She would be a senior in college. Would would her major be? Would she be engaged, married? What would her career plans be ... or would she be planning to be a stay-at-home mom to my grandchildren? How would she be impacting the world for Christ?
Oh, wait. I know the answer to that last one. And I have to believe her impact for Christ is far greater now than it ever would have been if she were here celebrating her 22nd birthday with us. Does that make me miss her any less? No. If I had the option of bringing her back, would I do it? Yes. I suppose it's a good thing God doesn't give us that option. Because His plan is greater than mine, and He knows what is best. And for that, I can only be grateful.
But oh, how I miss my girl ...