I set out this morning to write a post about the Theology of Grilled Cheese that has been running through my head all week. I guess that can be your sneak preview for things to come. I had a few other ideas this week as well but I will get to them later.
Today has turned out to be more difficult than I imagined it would. I made it through Christmas alright but today is Donna's birthday and it hit me hard that she isn't here. I guess it's time to turn off all the automatic reminders on my calendars for her birthday. All week I have gotten little beeps that indicated I needed to mail her card or call her.
L and I were talking about Aunt Donna today and heaven. I know that what I told her about heaven would make many theologians cringe but today I am not a theologian I am a mom trying to explain to a little girl where her Aunt Donna is. When talking to my three year old telling her that Aunt Donna is somewhere where she is one with the universe or on some higher plane doesn't work. She is with God in heaven up by the clouds works. It's tangible and it's things she understands, she can see the clouds she knows they are in the sky. As we were talking she told me she wants to go on an airplane to see Aunt Donna in heaven and go in the pool and on the boat like we did at Uncle Dennis' house this summer. So then I replied only angel wings can take you to heaven and that we could still visit Uncle Dennis and do all those fun things. I don't know if it was the right thing to tell her. I know it wouldn't work to pass an ordination exam but sometimes kids just need answers they can understand. She has her whole life to work through her own idea of what heaven is.
So here it is my sister-in-laws birthday and I can't call her to wish her a happy 45 birthday. I decided yesterday that perhaps I needed to ritualize this day. I plan on buying some flowers in her memory and then some sort of store bought confection because Donna loved sweets but never really made them, always bought them or asked me to bring them. I find myself thinking of my niece and nephew as they face their mom's birthday with out her and I remember how hard all those first and second year dates are right after you loose a parent.
I am just a lot sadder than I thought I would be. I think about a few years ago how we celebrated her 41st birthday because there wasn't a big deal made of her 40th. I am glad we did, I am glad on that odd year we gathered for a meal and cake and laughter. I am glad my brother didn't put it off until 45 came. I am glad it happened before we moved away. I am happy that L is old enough to have some memory of Donna because Donna was like this awesome bonus person in my life, part mom, part sister, part friend.
Today I am grateful to have had Donna in my life since I was just a child, I am grateful for all of the moments we celebrated together in life, I am grateful for all the birthdays we spent together, for the children she has left in the world, for her life.
May you be blessed by celebrating the odd numbered birthdays and just the plan old days of life.