July 30th was the second anniversary of the day Matthew was born. Two years since my life changed forever. Two years since I started this long road of grief. Two years since my heart broke wide open.
So much of this blog has become a chronicle of my journey and it stands as a monument to his short, but important, life. And yet, it's taken me 46 days to write this post--and I don't really want to be doing it even now. It's not that he doesn't still matter to me. It's that it still hurts horribly to remember.
Last year, on his first "birthday," we gathered together our closest friends for a celebration. It was wonderful and helpful and full of healing.
This year, I just didn't know what to do. How to mark the day. How to celebrate, remember, reflect. I wanted to do something that helped us continue to process. Last year, I got all the kids presents for his birthday and I thought I might do the same thing this year. In our preparations for our party last year, the kids had this sweet conversation about Matthew's favorite color. They decided we would use a rainbow theme so whatever his favorite color is, it would be covered. So sweet, right?
Remembering that, I decided to try to find a t-shirt with a rainbow that I could get them all that would be a marker and a fun gift, too. I was looking around on zazzle.com when I came across this sweet design of a row of little owls holding wings, each owl a different color. I knew instantly that it was the design for us. I ended up ordering a shirt for the kids and ones for J & myself, too. The day they arrived, J looked at them and said, "there are six owls...one for each person in our family." Yep, I cried at that realization.
But there they are, those six owls, holding each other's wings, connected in whatever comes at them. And here we are, also hands clasped tight, knowing that we are also holding on to Matthew in a very real way. And when we wear our owl shirts, we remember what an important part of our family he is.
Happy Birthday, Matthew. We love you and we miss you.
|Daddy in his owl shirt|