Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Wyatt's 1st Birthday"

Here is what we did as a family to celebrate Wyatt's birthday this past weekend. After the surprise balloon release we took our kids to all a dollar to buy presents for Wyatt to put on his grave. Hayley and Emily both picked out teddy bears and Tyler picked out a football. Tyler choose a football because if Wyatt were alive he would be teaching him how to play ball. Those are some of the hard moments--the what if's. Then we took the kids over to my parents condo to have them tend so Derek and I could go do sealings at the temple. How grateful I am for the temple. It has brought me much comfort. I love the blessings that are pronounced in the sealing ordinance. Whenever I hear anything about the resurrection I gain such hope and I feel such excitement because that is when I will have my little boy again. How eternally grateful I am for the Savior and for his miraculous Resurrection--it's because of him that I have hope.
The next morning was Wyatt's actual birthday. We got up a 7am and had a breakfast picnic before Derek had to go to his bishopric meetings. We had the picnic at Wyatt's grave. We had a family prayer, then sang Happy Birthday to Wyatt and then Hayley blew out his candle. Of course I had to wipe away many tears thinking that he wouldn't be there to blowout his own candle. Actually maybe he did--it was a little windy and it was hard to keep the flame going. After eating our breakfast cake the kids placed the presents they had gotten for Wyatt on his grave. I then had a present for each of the kids. It was a stuffed horse that I will explain more about in another post.
After that we went home and got ready for church. I always like to have church music playing as we get ready for church and during most of the day on Sunday. I think it helps keep the spirit in our home. When we had all gotten ready and were in the kitchen talking the song "God be with you till we meet again" came on. I couldn't hold back the tears. It was if Wyatt was letting us know how much he missed us as well and what a glorious reunion it will be someday when we are all together again.
We went to sacrament meeting. Sacrament meetings can be difficult for a number of reasons one is the beautiful hymns about Christ. It's hard not to cry and think of my little Wyatt who was on my lap just a few months ago. It's always a constant battle not to cry and sometimes I just can't keep from tears surfacing. At the end of sacrament meeting our sweet Bishop got choked up and told the congregation that it was Wyatt birthday today. He then expressed his love for our family. It was one of the sweetest things anyone could do for me. The flood gates opened and I felt such love from our sweet ward. Our bishop has been so good to me. He has shown such compassion and thoughtfulness towards me the past 6 months. I will be forever grateful to him for that.
After sacrament meeting the kids and I went home and wrote messages to Wyatt on the balloons we were going to release latter that day. It was an emotional event. Tyler filled his whole balloon up with wonderful words to his little brother. Emily drew a picture of her and Wyatt at the second coming and wrote some really sweet words to her little brother. And Hayley kept telling Emily that her picture was wrong because Wyatt couldn't stand and then she scribbled some stuff on hers.
Derek was able to come home from church for a little bit so we all sat down on the couch and watched Wyatt's video and cried as a family except little Hayley --she always keeps things light. After the video we just sat, cried and hugged and talked about our sweet Wyatt. It was a very special time. We then went to his grave again and took a picture of our family.
My sweet parents came down this weekend to be with us for Wyatt's birthday. They were here in St. George during all of Wyatt's life so they were very close to him. It was so nice to have them with us this weekend to remember their last grandchild. We went to their condo and played the Wii in memory of Wyatt. Wyatt loved watching us play the Wii--it was one of his favorite things to do. After dinner we went to Wyatt's grave and released balloons. It was emotional to see those balloons with the kids amazing messages on them go up to heaven. We then spent some time just being at his grave. Tyler and Grandpa played catch with the football Tyler had gotten for Wyatt. We walked around and visited. And then Hayley decided that she was "just kidding" about giving the bear to Wyatt that she had picked out so she took it home with her.
We then went home and had cake. One of the first things Tyler said after Wyatt died was how much he was going to miss seeing Wyatt on his first birthday dig into his cake. So I made 3 cakes for each of the kids to dig into. I've always made cupcakes for their first birthdays and put two together to make a small but taller cake. So we sang happy birthday again and blew out the candles and then the kids dug in.
After cleaning up after the cake we did our "No Empty Chairs" box. I decided that we would each give Wyatt a spiritual gift. Something we could work on the next year that would help us make it back to Wyatt so in the end all our chairs will be filled in heaven. We each took a paper and wrote down one thing we would try to do better this year and then we put it in the box. I think this is something we will do each year on his birthday. We then got a few of his things out--the piece of hair we had trimmed before he died, the blanket the hospital gave us that he left this earth in and a few other mementos.
Many tears were shed throughout the day, and previous days. The tears shed were a wide variety of causes. Some were tears of gratitude to the many, many wonderful people that have touched our life's and helped us so much the past 6 months. Tears of gratitude for the many thoughtful gifts people sent us and gave us. Tears of love for each other and especially for Wyatt. Tears of love for such amazing family members and friends in our lives. Tears of gratitude for our loving Savior that gives us the hope of having our Wyatt again someday. And of course tears of missing our little boy. It ended up being a very special and neat weekend we will never forget. I'm glad I didn't stay in bed all weekend and cry because I would have missed out on some wonderful spiritual experiences. Happy Birthday Wyatt--we love you and miss you!

My sister gave me this tile for our house. I love it! Thank you!Our breakfast picnic at Wyatt's grave.Playing the Wii in memory of Wyatt.Our balloon releaseDigging into their cakes. Emily loved getting messy hands the best and Hayley wouldn't even touch the cake with her hands--she had to have a fork. Tyler was a good sport and dug into his cake in memory of Wyatt even though he really doesn't like to get his hands dirty.

Our "No Empty Chairs" box.


Eileen said...

When will I learn? "Don't look at Andrea's blog if make-up is on!" What a special day. Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

Marc and Megan said...

Andrea, thank you so much for sharing your weekend... it was such a blessing for us to be a small part of it with you and your family. I'm so amazed at all the special things you did to remember and celebrate your angel son. How special he is to be a part of such a wonderful family. I'm sure there were tears of joy and love in heaven for you, too. How he must love you! :)

Still thinking of and praying for you...

Jill said...

What an incredible weekend! Andrea, I think you are an amazing mother. You have created some very powerful and spiritual memories for your children. I didn't know you did the "No Empty Chairs" box. That's great! You're inspiring. You're kids are darling and such GOOD kids! I love you guys!

Amanda said...

I am so happy that you had a good weekend! You amaze me everytime you make a new post! Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful moments! I love the no empty chairs box. That is a really neat. Love you guys

Robyn said...

You came up with the perfect things to celebrate Wyatt's life! You are a spiritual giant, truly amazing! Thanks for letting us share in this wonderful weekend. Love Ya!

Gedge family said...

Happy Birthday sweet Wyatt. I am so glad that I was able to attend the Temple in honor of him. It was such a neat experience. It felt as if I was going home. I love that you were able to share some great memories of Wyatt and that you have such wonderful family and friends to stand with and cry with. Thanks again for sharing this special birthday with all of us. I pray for you and your family. Little Wyatt is sure looking down and smiling for what a great family he has.

Vance in the Knight! said...

Awesome post! you guys did so many incredible things to honor wyatt! what a great family he has! am sure he is just as anxious to be with you guys again! seems like it turned out to be a very fitting day for wyatt.

neener said...

Great post, I am totally inspired by your love and dedication to your family. I am sure there were tears in Heaven. All our love to you and your family.

Linda Pickles said...

What an emotional and inspiring week-end! The pictures are amazing and show the love everyone has for you and your family. You are doing so much to remember and celebrate his life, and everyone is learning from you. I loved all the things you are doing with your children. You're amazing parents!

Wish we could have been there to put our arms around you--these words will just have to do.

We love you!

taguefamily said...

Andrea thank you for sharing your weekend. I agree with eileen I mess up my make up every time. However I feel and learn so much from your blog. I love the way you remember Wyatt this weekend. All the things you did are so wonderful. I am so grateful for A loving Heavenly Father that lifts and gives us what we need when we need it most. I am so proud of you for not staying in bed and getting those spiritual blessings from this weekend. Thank you for sharing so much with all of us.
Our Prayers are with you and your Family Gidget

Teea Lamb said...

Andrea you are amazing! I love to look at your blog and your cute family. I am glad Wyatt's birthday was a good weekend for you. I am so glad you posted all of this, so I could feel a part of it. You are such an example to me. Thanks for all your comments, support and encouragement you give me. I really appreciate them. The horse is such a great idea. I hope that Wyatt and Kynslee are friends and they had a big birthday party together in heaven! I didn't realize they were so close in age, either. I am sure Wyatt is very appreciative of all you do for him and in his memory. You are wonderful!