Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy First Birthday Princess!

Dear Avery,

     We have officially reached our very last first without you.  This Saturday, we celebrated your first birthday and the one year anniversary of your entrance into heaven.  The anticipation leading up to the day was fairly intense, but the day itself turned out to be peaceful and full of happy memories. 

     It is hard not to smile when looking back on that bittersweet day of your birth.  Although I lost something incredibly precious to me, I gained more than anyone could ever imagine.  For the first time, I truly understood the power of a mother's love and it was sincerely the best day of my life.  Holding you in my arms and gazing into your beautiful eyes far surpassed any pain that we would encounter through our journey of grief.  We experienced a miracle that day.  Not the miracle that we had so desperately longed for, but a miracle none the less.

     Your Mimi and Papa drove up from Florida on Friday evening to be here for your birthday.  Mimi and I got pedicures in the morning while your dad and Papa worked in the basement building a bar.  Aunt Kelly and Uncle Brian sent you some beautiful birthday flowers and Mrs. Susan and Mr. Wayne sent us some gorgeous hydrangeas to plant in your honor.  As always, you pulled through with the sunshine.  The weather channel had said that we would have a dreary winter day, but I knew that you would take care of that.  The sun shined bright all day long reminding us that you were never far away. 

     We went to the cemetery at about 3:30 to decorate, sing you happy birthday, and do a balloon release.  We all wrote special messages to you and let our balloons float off into the sky.  This provided some much needed comic relief when your dad's balloon went straight into the big magnolia tree near your grave.  Papa ended up climbing the tree while Daddy and Uncle Cone flailed around like maniacs with sticks trying to coax the balloon out of the branches.  They were finally able to set it free and we knew that you were laughing hysterically at your crazy family.  After that, we celebrated mass in your honor and went to Dundee.  Of course  it wouldn't be a birthday celebration without cake, so we delved into that after dinner.

     I am now in the final days of carrying your brother.  He is due less than two weeks from now--a fact that I can't seem to wrap my head around!  I am already off of work because Fifth's Disease was spreading through the school and I do not have the immunity, so for now I sit and wait.  I am hoping that Blake is born in March instead of February so that you each have your own special birthday month.  I was convinced that he was coming early, but now I think he might hold on until his due date.  Please continue to watch over him and keep us all safe throughout his delivery. 

     I love you so much Princess and I can not believe that an entire year has actually passed without you.  I hope that you had a wonderful birthday celebration with the angels!

Some of the teddy bears that we collected to donate to
Molly Bears in your honor and one of my favorite
pictures of you!
 Your grave decorated for your 1st birthday
The beautiful flowers from the Campbells and your Aunt Kelly and Uncle Brian 

What was left of your birthday cake by the time I remembered to take a picture :)

38 weeks with your little brother Blake Avery Ogburn