Well kids, our weekend is here. Today is Day 1 of the Anni-Jacka-Birthday weekend. Tommy coined the term “Anni-Jacka-Birthday” 2 years ago when Jack was born on the day in between our anniversary and my birthday. Tommy and I were married on May 24th, Jack was born 2 years later on May 25th, and my birthday is May 26th. Actually, this year it’s my golden birthday. We keep saying that we’re going to go to the beach for the week every year, but things keep coming up — like due dates on my birthday. Jack and Gabriel were both due on May 26th, so that adds some extra weight to my birthday this year. I think the time Gabriel came was absolutely perfect, but the 26th is a big reminder of him.
So this is typically our party week – several reasons to celebrate big. When we found out we were due May 26th again with baby #2, it was crazy! What are the odds of my due date being my birthday… twice! So we envisioned adding another birthday onto the Anni-Jacka-Birthday week. Tommy was pulling for the 23rd . That was until that January day where our world turned upside down.
So normally I get really excited about this time, but this year I don’t feel like celebrating much. Sunday will be 3 weeks since Gabriel was born and then passed away. It doesn’t seem right to have a big weekend celebrating when we don’t have him here with us. I know people will tell me that he’d want us to celebrate and all of that stuff. I’m sure it’s true, but that doesn’t change how I feel. So this year we’re balancing and having a hybrid sort of Anni-Jacka-Birthday. We definitely want to celebrate these things and celebrate our sweet Jack turning 2 [!!!!] but it’s not the big weekend it normally would be. I couldn’t do a party for Jack this year. I knew Gabriel would come before his due date so that made it hard to plan a party early, and I knew I just wouldn’t be able to do it after Gabriel was born this year. Jack will be fine, mostly because he’s awesome, but also because he’s turning 2, so he probably won’t know the difference. We plan on spending the day doing special things with him and then we’ll celebrate his birthday with both of our families this weekend. We’ll make sure he’s well celebrated.
So on to today — our anniversary. Some words for my husband.
Four years ago on this day I never could have imagined where our lives would lead. I couldn’t have dreamed that we would have moved 4 times, bought 2 houses, worked on one all the time, got a puppy, survived that, crazily got another puppy, got really great starts on our careers in DC, got to move home, and had 2 babies. We made it through the crazy new parent, newborn phase. We made it through not knowing if Jack would make it after he was born so sick. I never in a million years could have dreamed how sweet our Jack would be and how much we’d love being parents, or what road we would walk with our Gabriel. I never would have thought on our 4th anniversary that we’d have 2 kids and have lost one of them. But somehow through all of that, we are closer and stronger. When the trials have come, when the biggest fire of all started us off this year, we drew closer to God and closer to each other and he’s made us see that we’re each others greatest ally. I’m really thankful that in these past few weeks, my greatest comfort, my favorite thing in the dark days is talking with you. Or just sitting with you as the heavy silence speaks volumes over us. I’m thankful for you, Tommy. And as hard as life’s been this year, I know for sure I couldn’t have gotten through it without you by my side. Here’s to many more years, love!