Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Celebrating Isabella~

Today we are celebrating Isabella's birthday; she is 5 years old. Yesterday we made a little bit of a big deal out of the fact that it was her last day being four. She loved it, as you might imagine. Brock and Wyndham and Ava loved it too, and it was the perfect prelude to wrap up one milestone and welcome the next.
Our plans include a trip to the zoo with Wydham's therapists and friends, as she had a scheduled field trip already on her calendar, a new bicycle and helmet set, smiles, laughter, pictures and cupcakes and sprinkles to top it all off. The best kind of birthday if you ask me...memorable and fun!
Bella's 5th birthday is so special to me- as are any of my kids' birthdays, but in a really sweet way. It is as though it is a gift to me. The day she was born fell just four days before we marked the first year of our tragedy and Teagan's death. It was a very emotional time in my life, to put it simply. My heart was so torn about moving on from Teagan and all she meant in my life, yet I had no choice but to open my heart and arms to the new life God had given me through Isabella. I have never felt that Bella somehow replaced Teagan, but I know that she was a part of God's plan for healing in my life- even if I hadn't planned things to go the way they did.
I embrace today, with a tightness in my throat and tears nearing the surface of my eyes knowing that I never had this day- a 5th birthday- with Teagan. It is almost as though Bella's birthday is a reminder of all the great things I have sacrificed as a result of Teagan's untimely death.
But on the flipside of that is the realization that this day is a blessing; it is a wonderful gift and reminder that God didn't abandon me in my pain and time of sorrow and deepest need. No...He instead poured Himself out in a way I wasn't even prepared for; He heard my cry begging for a sign of goodness in this world. Those heartcries of mine have brought goodness and joy in unexpected ways over and over again in the past 6 years. Today is the day I rejoice and thank God for His gift of my little Bella. Any tears I shed are mixed- with sorrow and blessing. It's strange and wonderful all at once. I think I am beginning to grasp the understanding of the words, "Good grief".
Today we will laugh and celebrate and eat cupcakes and just enjoy being together and making memories. Exactly the things I would have done if Teagan had turned 5 too.


Allison said...

Happy Birthday Sweet Bella! Have a cupcake for me ;)!!

Kairlotta said...

Happy 5th Bella! I love your new bike!


jackie carl said...

I never know what to say after your posts like this one. I have the same tightness in my throat and tears in my eyes. And, yet, I can fully understand how it is a "mixed" blessing of a feeling.

You are such a gift, yourself, to many. I thank you for your open-ness to share your hurts, your heartaches AND your happiness and good things in your life.

You are blessed w/ a beautiful family. Thank you for believing and trusting in God and for sharing that w/ others.

Happy Big "5" to Bella !
Have a super day !

With Love,
Jackie Carl

Jennifer said...

Thank you for, as always, sharing from your heart. I agree that sometimes the greatest times of trial in life are followed by the sweetest surprises. God is so good that way. I'm so thankful you can celebrate Bella's 5th b'day!

Deb said...

Happy Birthday, Miss Bella! What a rockin' new bike you have!

And, Jody, once again, you've nailed it exactly - this phrase: Today we will laugh and celebrate and eat cupcakes and just enjoy being together and making memories. Exactly the things I would have done if Teagan had turned 5 too - is what I needed to hear tonight. Because even though I haven't lost a child, sometimes I forget to do the fun things with them - or let "life" get in the way. As always, thanks for the reminder!

I hope Bella's birthdays are always as magical as can be!

eleni said...

Happy Birthday to your little girl!
Your story is extremely touching - thanks for sharing.