Saturday, November 22, 2014

gratitude (2:00 pm)

Wylie's birth and death came right before Ethan's third birthday. He found it all hard to understand, which is a good thing, really, to have his childhood innocence as a buffer for the hurt. He thought I was sad because I didn't want to have his birthday party anymore. Of course, his birthday party. He had been so eagerly anticipating it and then when I stopped talking about it, when I was crying a lot, he assumed that was why. Some people said I was brave or crazy for throwing Ethan his birthday party on the heels of Wylie's passing but I knew I needed to give Ethan normalcy. I needed to celebrate him and his life and the beauty of his heart. I wanted him to feel incredible and important and so very loved. Just a few weeks later, his birthday party went off without a hitch. We were surrounded by his friends and our friends, by family, by people who got together to give my beautiful boy the birthday party of his dreams.

I am grateful for everyone who gave Ethan the ultimate gift that day: his birthday party. Between help with the decorations and cakes (my sweet boy got two!) and the kindness we saw, I realized how lucky we truly are in the face of tragedy.

For the friend who took Ethan into their home while I sat through test after test at specialist offices: thank you. For the friends who got together and planted a tree in Wylie's name: thank you. For the people who were there for us, for our family, who worked to give us normalcy and to give my son comfort: thank you.

I never really got the "it takes a village" thing until I needed a village. And the village was there.

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