Today when I walked in to Valencia’s little room in the NICU I noticed the nurses had made a sign and hung it above Valencia to wish her a happy one month birthday. They also bought a cake and had her name put on it and even gave her a “Happy Birthday” balloon! So sweet. Her nurse told me they do this for the babies who have been there a while. Valencia’s nurses have been extremely caring, kind, compassionate and even loving toward our girl and our family. Almost every single day I hear about how sweet they think she is and how much they like taking care of her. They are all lovely, lovely ladies and as with every other place we’ve been on this journey, we are receiving such amazing care.
It hadn’t occurred to me earlier today that it has been one month! I thought back to my first baby, Gabby, and how every single month on the day of her birth I made a big deal about taking a photo or documenting it. Ha ha, I guess by number seven some things go by the wayside. But with Valencia it is an even bigger deal since there were times when we didn’t even know whether we would get one day much less one month. So proud of my girlie!!
In the first photo she is nursing in her sleep-hee hee.
Of course, since it was a milestone for my sweet Valencia, it made me think of her sister. Mostly I tried to be happy that we did have a birthday cake for Laurencia while she was still with us and that we got to sing Happy Birthday to her on her actual birthday. What a blessing that was.
I thought it would be nice to take the one month birthday cake out to Laurencia’s grave site tonight with the kids and spend some time thinking of her and celebrating her one month in heaven day. I brought some new flowers out thanks to my mom and took the old ones off. I have to mention here that a sweet angel by the name of Kenda provided those BEAUTIFUL flowers at the funeral and she even sent another huge arrangement with an angel and stepping stone that we plan to use in a little memory garden we will be making in our yard next spring.
On the way and while we were there the kids had lots of questions and comments. They said they thought she was having a big, wonderful party in heaven. After we left to go to the park Polly discussed how heaven probably has the best ever playground. Gabby wondered aloud why we even had to go through all of this business here on earth when heaven is so great, why couldn’t we just skip this whole deal and get to the good stuff? The funny thing is, Gabby LOVES LIFE almost more than anyone I know. It’s how I describe her to people. She truly enjoys the little things and the big things all in big ways. 🙂
I added Laurencia’s name and “1 m.” as well as a candle for each of them
The kids put Laurencia’s candle in the dirt and gave her a teeny piece of cake
Bella praying and talking to Laurencia. I had a hard time getting her to leave, I always try to give the kids as much time as they need.
Yesterday while visiting Valencia I put this shirt on her. It used to be Anabella’s. How crazy is it that I can use it again? Weird almost. Bella was born second so the other little matching shirt I have which says “1 of 2” is blue for Wyatt. But little Valencia was born second like Bella. I have to admit to a few tears falling onto Valencia when I took these:
When I got home I had the kids empty their backpacks/folders as usual (side note: parents wondering what the school does with the 85 billion reams of paper they ask us to provide every year, the answer is: they send it home with my kids in the form of 4 copies each of the same flyer). In her folder I found this drawing she made:
Polly told me that she made Laurencia (up at the top in case it wasn’t clear) smiling because I told her there is no sadness in Heaven. She asked me if Laurencia misses us though, despite how great it is in heaven. She can’t quite grasp how Laurencia could possibly be happy ALL of the time when she doesn’t get to be with us, her family. Some things just can’t totally be explained. I answered by telling her that Laurencia probably misses us or wants to be with us but it’s not the same sad kind of missing that we have here.
According to this picture, you’d think we were a miserable lot. However, most days the kids seem to be quite happy and are living life and having fun times as evidenced by earlier posts. But the last few days, especially on the Valencia-coming-home-false-alarm day, I may have looked like the mom in the drawing. It hit me again that I’m only bringing one of my two girls home, ever. It’s the new things without Laurencia that seem to hurt the most. And then inevitably I receive a message or some reminder of God’s love for us and of His mercy.
The other day I was talking with Matt and I wasn’t feeling as if everyone around us has forgotten but I did mention something to Matt along the lines of how it must almost seem to some people as though it didn’t happen because she’s not here. Not minutes later I received a comment from Shawn telling us out of the blue “We remember your sweet Laurencia.”
So, we continue to find goodness in God’s love for us and in those around us and tonight I wish both of my sweet girls happiness where they are.