Happy Birthday! I cannot believe you are 12 years old today. We have officially seen as many birthdays with you gone as we have with you here. That reality is a very hard pill for me to swallow and it makes my mind race with all the things I wish I had done better. The heaviness of knowing that you’ve been gone as long as we were privileged to have you here makes me want curl up in the dark and never leave. Then I remember that I should celebrate YOU and the gifts that you give me!
We’ve had a very busy year. We’re closer than ever to building a destination park with all of your favorite things and all of the things that remind us of favorite memories with you. We shared your heart for giving by holding weekly compassionate kids clubs meetings and did some amazing community service projects. We brought music and fun to the families of children’s hospital. You and your sweet little sister made all of this possible, you remind families the importance of togetherness and the impact you have on our community is amazing. Thank you for giving my pain a place to be useful.
The last few weeks have been overwhelming ~ we had the opportunity to go through a storage unit full of things that were recovered from the fire that I didn’t realize were even there. It was so hard processing the things so badly damaged but maybe harder to process the items that looked as if they were untouched, my mind would race to remember where the item may have been in the house to have been left unscathed when you were ripped away from us. It was therapeutic though to have the opportunity to make decisions, one less thing out of our control. I did find a few gems some of your amazing artwork, a few pages from one of your flower field guides, and a welcome home note from you to me when we brought baby Sadie home. Such gifts that means the world to me!
I’ve mostly mastered hiding the crashing waves of emotions from friends and family, but I know that you see me struggle and I wish more than anything that I could take away that turmoil from you. I had been diligently using art therapy and I’m trying to reframe the emptiness I always feel. I want to learn to embrace that feeling as the love that I have for you. The ache is only there because I love you both so much. I know that even on the happiest day there will be tears, but if I can reframe those tears as the reflection of the love I have saved just for you and your sister I may be able to sit with them a little easier. My emotional barriers are built so high, it’s a process, I’m working very hard to soften those walls.
I imagine if you were here we’d be gearing up for an amazing birthday sleepover with your best friends. I’m sure you would have created some amazing flower arrangements for the tables and you would have picked out the perfect birthday outfit. We would be running out to get your favorite things for dinner and ordering cupcakes. We asked the SaMP Kids Club to celebrate your birthday today by doing acts of kindness. I don’t know exactly what this day will look like for me I thought about running away to the beach and sending you balloons…. It’s early I may still do that.
Happy 12th Birthday sweet Sophie.
Love you to the moon