Thursday, July 9, 2009

Happy "9th" Birthday to my Precious Claire!!

"Hey mommy, this is Claire! I just wanted to say how much fun I had today! Bye" Wednesday, July 9th 2008 (3:52pm) My last recording of Clarie's voice after she and Jeff went horseback riding to celebrate her 8th birthday!

How do you "celebrate" your deceased child's birthday? I googled it, not much there. I don't really have a good answer, but I thought I would share how we chose to celebrate Clarie's 9th Birthday. Although, I'm sure her celebration with Jesus was so remarkable that ours certainly looked pathetic!

For several days leading up to Claire's birthday my heart has ached in such a way that I thought my soul would rip out of me. My heart continues to yearn for her touch just one more time to hear her sweet voice say one more time "Mommy, you are the best mommy in the whole world!" "Mommy this was the best birthday ever!!"

Last year, Claire had a fabulous birthday! She had a sleepover with her best friends. We had a house full of giggly little girls (and puppies), what a memory I will cherish forever!!

This year, Claire had a celebration to beat all celebrations, because she got to celebrate with Jesus!!

It was really difficult to face yesterday; however, once the day came we were once again showered with God's grace! Abbie and Caroline spent Tuesday night with friends in Asheville, so Jeff, Sarah and I picked them up about lunchtime and decided to have Chick-fil-a nuggets and french fries in Claire's honor! We ran a few errands in A'ville (Claire would have protested) and then came back to Spruce Pine. We picked up fried chicken for dinner(again in Claire's honor), grabbed some balloons and cupcakes and went to the cemetary! We all wrote messages on the balloons and placed some beautiful flowers on Claire's grave! We held hands in a circle around the flowers, prayed and then released our balloons! Wouldn't you know that Sarah wanted two balloons and one of hers left her hands early headed in the complete opposite direction from the rest of ours! Our balloons eventually followed Clarie's, but it took them a while. Does that sound familiar or what? The times we have been somewhere and Claire was way ahead in another direction and we were left asking "Where's Claire?"

Later in the evening we each wrote down special memories of Claire. We wanted to watch some video of Claire but were unable to (long story) due to technical difficulties!

I don't know if we "celebrated" the right way or not, but I do know it felt right to us! Thanks to everyone who has reached out to us and poured out blessings and mercies on us this week. Please continue to pray for us as next week is the 1 year anniversary of Claire's home-going!

May God bless each of you today!!

Enjoy some pictures from some of Claire's Birthdays!


Carey said...

Hi Mrs. Atkins & Family,
This is Carey (Mrs. Presnell)... I have been following your blog since it started but I've just now taken the time to write. There has been so many times that I have read your blog and made my day BETTER! I hope that one day Luke and I can be the parents that you and Jeff are. You make the world seem like a great place to be but you know that Heaven is a better place. I also enjoy this because I feel like I'm at home (mountains). So, thanks for all your uplifting sprits and in the best way advice. You and your family will always have a special place in my heart because of how well you treated Carole and I. You two are true Christian people and I thank God for giving that to you to shine through to someone like me. Please keep in touch and may you have a bless day!
Carey C Presnell

beth spray said...

sweet angela - thank you for sharing the events of such an intimate day with us! you are in our thoughts and prayers! we will continue to lift you up as the week approaches!! we love you all!!

Christine B said...

Lightning struck our yard a couple of days so I couldn't get to the computer yesterday, but I want you to know that you were very much in my thoughts and prayers.


jbarnhardt said...

Dear Angela,
The pictures of Claire made me smile. Anniversaries of losses are so deeply painful. I am praying extra.
Lots of love,

The Rectors said...

Looking at those birthday pictures, I am so blessed to have gotten to celebrate so many of those with Claire. What happened with the balloons at the cemetery was so fitting! I don't think you could've celebrated any better way. The boys, Kent, and I picked up some extra pieces of Legos at the Lego store at Downtown Disney in hopes to fill in her birthday Lego house for you since there were pieces missing and we haven't been able to finish it. Hopefully we can bring it to you this weekend.

Praying for grace for you daily!!! Love you. :)

The Rectors said...
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I came across your blog this morning as I also googled 'how to celebrate the birthday of a deceased child.' I lost my son to SIDS this past July and he should turn 1 on May 3. I love how you honored your daughter with her favorite foods and the balloons. I am still trying to decide what to do for my sweet Ezra. He will celebrate no matter what I do- I'm sure the King will throw him a lavish party! ...But I'm sad that he's not here... thank you for your ideas and your peace of mind (at least you write like you have the peace). Blessings to you.

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