167 days..

It was K’s 8th birthday today.  A great day for her but one of the hardest days so far for me.

She’s been excited for days, telling everyone that it’s her birthday.

She woke up this morning, unwrapped her gifts and was excited. I gave her the Djeco Art Nouveau workshop that I bought back in January.  I think she was more excited that it was something you had seen and approved of than she as about the actual present.  She also wanted an origami book and papers.
H was concerned that I hadn’t wrapped a present for him to give K, so he went off, made her a pet rock, wrapped it together with a $2 coin from his money-box and gave it to her.  He has such a giving nature.

I took the kids out to a fancy cafe for morning tea as a special surprise.  K ordered pink milk and a chocolate biscuit, telling the waitress that it was her birthday and she was 8 but that she was a bit sad because her Daddy died.
I nearly lost it right there in the cafe.
We sat in a booth that had a great view out over the Gateway bridge in the distance.  The waitress brought out the food and had thought to put a candle in K’s biscuit.
I nearly lost it again. …such a small gesture but with such kindness behind it.

Mum made special birthday dinner and pressies and K has just gone to bed, grinning from ear to ear.

I have made myself miserable for days, dreading today.  Beyond the fact that it just isn’t right that you aren’t here to celebrate the 8th birthday of your beautiful girl, I’m regularly overcome with feelings of dread, anger, and fear.
Maybe I was still numb on my birthday back in March, but it wasn’t such a hard day.  I guess it could have been – I cancelled the big 40th party that we’d planned, but friends and colleagues had organised their own surprise party for me at school.

But to celebrate the kid’s birthdays??? I’m just so very sad.  My heart feels like it’s been ripped out and rent in two.
The numbness isn’t taking the edges off the grief this time.  Its big and black and in my face that these beautiful kids don’t get to grow up with you.

I’ve still got to get through H’s birthday on Friday so I’ve got to keep my game face.  I’ve got to plan to be happy so that they are happy.  So far, it’s working.

But I don’t feel happy.

I want to run away and hide.

But I won’t.  I’ll suck it up and try to make sure that they both feel loved and celebrated.  That their lives can still be full of love and laughter.

Just give me the strength to keep going.

I love you.