On January 7th, our friends Derek and Dawn lost their little boy. I haven't written about it yet. How do you give voice to such sadness? I have never gone through something so hard with someone else. And yet our friends have grieved with such faith, and such strength. I am so very proud to be their friend. I think about the day of Kael's memorial service, and how they were crying, and at the same time so certain in their faith and the knowledge that they will be with Kael again, and that he is being watched over so closely by God right now.
At the end of Kael's memorial service, we were all given a balloon. We went outside and Kyler, their 4 year old, led us all in the "Johnny Appleseed Prayer," his favorite prayer, which Kael loved. Then we all released our balloons as a message of love to Kael in heaven. It was so sweet, such a beautiful ending to a memorial service filled with love.
Today is Kael's birthday. Derek and Dawn asked their friends and family to release a balloon up to Kael today to celebrate this special day, and the 11 wonderful months we all were so lucky to spend with him. Russ and I very much wanted to do so.
So we all gathered together and said a prayer, then sent our balloons up to Kael with all of our love. We asked God to continue to watch over Kael, and asked him to send His love and blessings to Derek, Dawn, and Kyler.
And as we watched the balloons float up to heaven, I hugged my little family to me and said a quiet prayer of thanks. I thanked God for the days he gives us. I thanked God for the fact that Derek and Dawn have the gift of faith. And I thanked him for the beautiful blue sky that was the back drop for our balloons, floating up to one little boy who is most loved, and will be missed every day until we can all see him again.
I want this to be an important tradition for our family. Not only to celebrate the birthday of such a wonderful little guy, but to remind us that our days are gifts. To slow down, hug each other, pray, and take the extra 5 minutes to read "Moo Baa La La La." Again.
Happy Birthday, Kael. In your 11 months, you touched many lives and many hearts.