Thursday, April 19, 2012

Celebrating Daddy

Yesterday was Jim's birthday.  A year ago on his birthday, a bunch of his friends, Marley, and I met up for dinner.  Not even three months removed from his passing, we tried to celebrate, but mostly we were just sad.  As his birthday approached this year, I put a lot of thought into how I wanted Marley and I to celebrate Jim's birthday from here on out.  Jim loved birthdays so much...
I want it to be a day for her to be happy
and remember her daddy. 
So, after school we headed to the store to buy some balloons and birthday cake.  Marley was just sure that we needed four balloons~ one for me to let go, two for her, and one to keep at home, just for fun.  We both wrote notes...

...and headed to the cemetery to send notes off to Daddy in Heaven.  I just love her precious notes so much!  She came up with them both on her own (because ONE just wasn't enough!), and she told me what to write so that she could trace the words.
Once we got to the cemetery, she just could not contain her excitement at taking the balloons out of the Jeep
and sending them skyward.
She squeeled and giggled as they headed off.
At first they dipped down low over the newly-planted field and I was afraid that they would get snagged up in the trees in the distance.  Then right at the last second, an updraft sent them soaring high into the sky.  We watched until they were out of sight.
After that we went back to Jim's stone and chatted about his picture on the stone and the crocus' we had planted there last fall.
Right about then, one of Jim's childhood friends showed up, two beers in hand.  We hadn't planned to meet there, but I was so relieved to see him. 
He'd come to "have a beer with Jim". 
I helped Jim drink some of his. 
We hugged and cried and talked for a bit while Marley ran around with the happy abandon only a child can possess, smiling over the pictures on the stones, the flowers, and just how FAST she can run.  At one point she climbed up on the foundation of Jim's stone and traced the etching of his face.
"Oh Daddy, I miss you, Daddy."
After a bit, we headed back to our vehicles and went our separate ways, Jim's beer perched for now beside his stone.
Once we got back home, we were treated to an incredible grilled steak dinner, courtesy of Jim's oldest nephew.  Wow, can he cook! 
After that, it was time for

Next, a little bit of playing with her balloon, a quick shower, and off to bed for Marley.

She's been making a big deal out of being my daughter.  I don't know if she's just just figuring out what that word means, but she kept telling me over and over that she's my daughter. 

And Daddy's daughter.

I love this little girl with

Throughout the day, I heard from friends and family...calling, emailing, FaceBook, texting.  I'm not going to lie- this year Jim's birthday had some rough spots for me.

But it was also the start of a beautiful tradition of joy and remembering...

...with my daughter.


  1. That sounds like a good way to celebrate Jim's birthday! I'm glad to hear that there was some sweetness to take a bit of sting from the pain.

    You and Marley are regularly in my prayers--that God would guide you along the best path for your journey and that He would hold you close so that you can feel His love when you need it most.

  2. Meg, That's a great tradition to start. (Not sure about the beer, though.) It's a positive and celebratory way to keep Jim's memory alive for Marley.

  3. What a great tradition to start with Marley! I know that Jim was looking down on both of you and smiling. I was great "talking" with you yesterday. You and Marley are always in my prayers! Love you Meg!

  4. What a great day for both of you. Traditions mean so much to children and adults too. Notice that there were more smiles than tears. That's the good stuff coming through. Love you both, bunches and bunches.

    1. Megan, that brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful tradition for you and Marley to celebrate Jim's life. I lost my daddy when I was 25 and I know how much peace doing that exact same thing has brought to me each holiday and anniversary. <3 Much love to you both.

  5. Megan, I don't have to tell you the tears that brought to my eyes. You are the most amazing mother I have ever met in my life. When others would think about falling, you pick yourself and smile for your gorgeous daughter. She is so blessed to be YOUR DAUGHTER. I pray that I can be half the mother that you are. You really inspire me. I love you both, more than you know.

  6. What a great Mommy you are. You have started a tradition that will be something to look forward to each year. I'm sure this was a tough day for you both. I'm glad you had Jim's friend to spend that time with. Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts and experiences on this blog. You truly inspire so many people. ♥ Julie A.

  7. What a wonderful way to celebrate. So glad he is so much a part of his DAUGHTER'S life. You three are amazing.

  8. It WAS a good day and the start of a great and loving tradition for us. And it's true- the good stuff is coming through!!


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