Today marks the 8 year anniversary of the death of my first child, my first son. We spent the day much like we've spent this day for each of the previous 7 years. It's much different, though, going to the grave site with Laural and Micah. Laural is old enough to understand what is going on now and she talks about her big brother. She says in the future, she will go and see him in heaven. I told her that I hope she means when she is old and a grandma or even a great grandma. She said that yes, that is what she meant. When Micah asked where we were going, I told him to Alexander's grave. He seemed excited and said "Ok, go to Xander's." While at the grave, he asked several times about going to Xander's. I tried to explain that we were at Xander's but, at 3 years old, it's still over his head. We placed flowers on the grave and had some cake - we always have cake - and sang a quiet version of Happy Birthday. Even though he wasn't born to earth alive, he was born into heaven and we celebrate the life he did have, short as it was. The winter has left the grave looking pretty rough, so we will go back in a couple weeks and clean it up and plant some flowers.This year, I might be able to finally get a permanent grave marker for him. I've tried over the past 8 years but it's just been something I haven't been able to bring myself to do yet. Maybe this year.
Happy Birthday, my sweet son - my Alexander. We love you. We miss you. We look forward to the day when we get to hold you again.