I woke up last night at 1:30 a.m. (11:30 a.m. Kenya time) and felt extremely sad.
What I wouldn’t do to go upstairs and check in on my girls while they were in dreamland. I used to love checking in on them, making sure they were still covered and kissing their foreheads one last time before I would go to bed myself. I would thank God for them and the many blessings he brought to our lives.
At 2:00 a.m. I was still awake, thinking about this coming week and the memories from last year at this time; family time, dance parties every night, running around to Fall activities, art night on Tuesday painting pumpkin pictures while we discussed Halloween costumes and upcoming birthday celebrations.
This time last year I had one week left with my girls.
This year I know what happens on October 20th – we have a new date on our calendar that marks an anniversary of our girls going to Heaven, an anniversary I would not wish for anyone to experience.
That date will come, there is no avoiding it, and we will get through it – just like we have made it through all the other firsts of this past year.
Since we have been back from Africa there have been a lot of questions on what we are going to do, if there are plans for any community involvement in observing this day or if people can help us through this anniversary in any way.
The answer is simple – if you want to observe Anna and Abigail’s Heaven Day you can do so by spending time with those you love. Create your own love drenched life with those around you.
Go to a park and push your kids on the swings until you arms get sore, making sure to do a lot of underdogs (Anna’s favorite).
Play UNO as a family and laugh as one child (usually Abigail in our family) seems to win over and over without fail.
Have a family art night using as many supplies as you can, allowing everyone to create whatever they want. Talk about favorite colors. Display the finished masterpieces around the house for all to see (I have many priceless creations from my girls that adorn my walls).
Make and share Love Rocks in your neighborhood, drenching your community with love and joy. Make sure to include all of your neighbors, even the ones that don’t seem to want to be loved – I guarantee they do.
Give lots and lots of hugs to those you love and if they don’t like to be hugged give high fives (my girls preferred hugs over high fives any day).
As a family, write your love story starting with Once a Upon a Time and finishing with and They Lived Happily Ever After – we have a beautiful love story.
Turn the radio up loud and have a dance party – there should be no spectators but rather lots of dancers (this was a nightly event at our house).
Spend time with family giving thanks to the blessings in your life. Create a family prayer time asking for prayer requests and spend time as a family praying for those requests. This is something we had just started in our house last Fall. I loved to hear my girls prayer requests and I loved praying for their specific needs.
As for Tom and I, we will be approaching this day, our girl’s Heaven Day, just like we have approached every other first this past year. We will spend the day together, with close friends, and will share stories, laugh, cry and celebrate our girls.
We will be giving thanks to God for the many blessings we have in our lives. Our hearts, will no doubt, be very heavy, as they are most days but we will choose to find love and joy in small miracles of the day – the humming bird that has become a frequent visitor or even a rainbow that may grace us with it’s presence.
We know that their Heaven Day will be exactly the way it should be, filled with love. We will move through it with no expectations of what it will look like or how it should feel. It simply will just be.
We will pray, as we do daily, for those near and far that have supported us and held us during this past year. The prayers of many have cleared our hearts and minds and have allowed us to stay focused on sharing the love and joy of our girls and of the Lord. We are so grateful for those prayers.
We will pray for continued peace, the peace that transends all understanding through Christ.
Just like every other day we will celebrate the beautiful lives of our daughters and give thanks that we are now one year closer to being with them in eternity…for that, I am so grateful!