A week ago yesterday, we were all in a panKATE & sausage stupor, sleeping off our efforts into the late afternoon. There were so many people who worked SO hard to make our PanKATE breakfast official launch party a tremendous success and I will dedicate an entire seprate post to them and to recaping the event itself.
I wanted to write this post to give you, Kate’s Cause followers, an idea of exactly WHAT Kate’s Cause is, anyway?? You’ve been so supportive of us and of our family, and I felt like this was a good way to tell everyone what we shared that day at the launch event.
Yesterday was HARD. (Really hard.) Kate’s 6th birthday here (her 2nd in heaven) was rainy, dreary and sad. I’d say even harder than last year and that’s saying something.
We’d just come off a high from the launch party, which I will post about soon, but late in the day, a small team of us loaded up the trucks in the pouring rain and drove to the clinic. It was Kate’s birthday…which meant it was TOY DRIVE DAY!
I have a six year old today. My eyes have never seen her and I don’t know what her voice sounds like. But my heart knows her perfectly.
She’s taller now (they still grow up in heaven) and her hair is longer, but still beautiful and soft. It’s amazing – her eyes are big and blue – but her glasses remain on her dresser here at home. She has no need for them where she is now. She sees colors more vivid than we can imagine and she watches over me from among the stars.
I have a six year old today. My arms ache to feel her weight and my body longs to sit aside hers. But my heart still knows her perfectly.
She’s wiser now (for she knows everything she’ll ever need to know in heaven.) She has no fears and she has no pain. Her legs are strong and she spends her days running and playing. She has no worry or sadness and all she can remember is love. She knows the truths that we all seek – why we are here, who we are meant to become and she knows her life’s purpose was fulilled. She loves me but does not miss me, because she is with me every day. For us, it feels like it has been an eternity; for her, she probably hasn’t even blinked once yet.
I have a six year old today. She doesn’t need a party in heaven, but she gets one nonetheless. I don’t know what she’d like today, but they say that in heaven they are the “best version of themselves” so to me, she is just as I know her. She still loves pancakes, cupcakes and sprinkles and she still delights in bubbles and kicking the ball around. Only now, it’s not in our back yard, but the wide open fields of heaven, under the bluest skies and sunshine and she plays with her angel friends and not us. Lily and Eliza play with her as she tries to keep up with the big kids like Mathias and Gavin. The littles run behind…Monroe and Sim are giggling.
I have a six year old today. At 4:04am today, Kate Olivia turned six years old here on Earth. Or, at least I wish she did. Because instead, her 6th birthday is now her 2nd in Heaven and she is forever four.
But today isn’t the day to let childhood cancer have a say. Today is a day I rejoice over the bliss of being allowed to be this child’s mother. Today is a day I celebrate the moment we met. A day I reflect back to the hope and pride I had as her mommy and all the things I wanted her life to become. I like to think I had a hand in what it did; she was mine and I hers. My soul mate. My very best friend.
Kate Olivia, my darling, most perfect girl. When you see me today, know that I cry because I miss you. But I would do this all over again in a second just to know you. Every ounce of this pain is worth the chance to be near you. Even if only for four years, seven months and seven days. You changed my life with yours and I am so grateful.
Happy birthday my beautiful Kate. Mommy loves you. I miss you. Best friends forever. I promise.
Birthdays after the loss of your child are HARD. You’re meant to ‘celebrate’ another trip around the sun, all while your child will never see another day, let alone another year. I dislike birthdays as a whole now. So this year, I wanted to do something DIFFERENT on my birthday and had the opportunity to host a fundraising event at a local business called Cookies & Cream, located in Haymarket, VA. (Haymarket is a hike from where my family lives and where the majority of my friends live. It’s not easy to get to after work on a week night BUT…the opportunity of 20% off of all sales for the night + it being an ice cream social – duh. Kate loved ice cream. + it being my birthday = too good to pass up. The owner? Yah, she’s just straight up GOOD PEOPLE who likes to give back to her community. She was amazing and her staff of young kids was awesome to watch.)
Like all parents, something significant changed inside me the day I became a mother. Nothing else seemed to matter and she was all I wanted…all I craved. When Kate got sick, our relationship took on an entirely new level of love. My mothering felt like it had this entirely new level of purpose and sense of importance.
“Clean sheet day” is like a victory cry in my household. Everyone here loves it when it’s clean sheet day. Kate LOVED warm laundry, and would especially love when clean sheets came fresh from the dryer. She’d “help” me make the beds and roll around giggling.
Writing was easier earlier this week. I’d come into my “muse room” and the words would flow. I wrote in here for two days back to back, feeling so refreshed and at peace when I pressed “publish” and closed the laptop.
I sit here tonight, looking out the window of that very same “muse room” and I feel restless. I feel like my nerve endings are on fire and my mind is in a storm and the relentless pain of grief swirls inside. I sit next to a pile of tissues and Lovey Bear and just stare out the window to the bleak, lifeless, wet January day we’re having.