Most people acknowledge May 5th as Cinco de Mayo. But our family acknowledges this day as Savannah’s birthday.
She would be 13 today.
In the Lee household, the 13th birthday is a BIG deal. It is the day that signifies a coming of age- when a child makes those first wobbly steps into young adulthood.
We gather round our closest friends and family members. We eat and drink, share stories and laugh.
We read scripture, and bless, and pray.
And we present the celebrated one with their purity ring, after weeks of discussion revolving around “the talk.”
But I don’t get to do any of this with her. Instead I am reduced to merely imagine what this day would have brought.
Would she have come bounding into our bedroom in the early morning, with excitement written all over her face?
Would she raffle off her desired wish-list to attentive ears?
Who would her closest friends be?
Who would SHE be?
Would she be as I remember her- a perfect mix of princess and tomboy? Or would she eventually become ALL girl- fashion, makeup, and boys?
Would she still resemble her deceased grandmother? Or would she take on a look all her own?
What style of ring would she have chosen- flashy and sparkly? Or simple and plain?
What kind of stories would we share, in her honor?
So many things I’ll never know.
Instead, today we will gather with our children and grandchild for dinner at a nice restaurant, followed by a cake made with love by her daddy and little sis she’s never even met.
Afterwards, we will send our hand-picked balloons heavenward. And I will force myself to watch the memorial video my brother made us when she died- (something I have avoided for years).
I will do it because I miss her. Because I long to see this chubby-fingered, blue-eyed princess dance her heart out, twirling around and around on the screen.
We will laugh and we will cry.
And when it is over, I will sharply gain composure, and create distraction. Not because it is expected of me, but because I cannot bare to sit and cry, and attempt to comfort my children, when I am equally as pain-seared as they.
Today, I will do all the things.
I will shower, and make breakfast, and grocery shop, and laugh.
But I will do it with a silent ache in my heart. And I will look for sign from heaven that reminds me of a Father’s love- treasures that tell me He sees me, and He is with me.
Today I will count my blessings, and yet again embrace the reality that is ours- our child is dead.
So if you happen to see me today, as I am out and about, remember that a simple “knowing” hug will do.
No words are necessary today.
Today, I wish my baby girl a happy 13th birthday.
I love you, Savannah Jane Lee. ?