I have yet to clean off my dining room table. It still has the hundreds of get well, birthday and sympathy cards we got for Amy within the last weeks of her death. It has her silk flowers, stuff I saved for a scrapbook, all her funeral info, and the notebooks and stacks of papers that I saved from her schools. We kept a daily blog that we communicated with her teachers. I hope to one day be able to read them again. I can't even think about it now because it hurts too much.
So...... I just couldn't bring myself to clean off that table yet for this family gathering. The last time we all gathered in the dining room was 2 days before she died to celebrate a belated birthday for her. I treasure those last few days and moments with Amy but at the same time I wish I could just block them out of my mind because she looked so bad. She was so weak that she couldn't even smile.
I put the table leaves back in the kitchen table for Bill's birthday and we managed to fit 7 people around it.
Amy loved birthdays. She loved any kind of celebration. But she especially loved candles. She was never able to blow them out by herself but we always had fun helping her. We would sing "Happy Birthday" as I brought the cake to the table and then we would have the birthday person make a wish before blowing out the candles. After presents were opened we would set all the presents up and take a picture of the birthday person surrounded by their presents. This has always been our tradition, even with my husband and myself, so we just carried it on when our children became adults also.
But I got through it.
I broke down once and had a short cry, but was able to dry my tears and move on.
That is what I wanted, was to just to get past it and I did.
These are the last pictures we have of Amy at her 31st birthday party.We celebrated it almost a month late. Amy went to be with Jesus about 42 hours later.
We didn't know the pain of what life would be like without our beloved Amy.
But now we do.
The smiles don't come so easy now.
And it will be a long time before we have anymore happy birthday celebrations.
But we will celebrate, and life will continue.
We will live the life that God gives to us and try to be thankful even if we can't smile.
I know that Amy always was, even when she couldn't smile.