A Day To Celebrate And Remember

Yesterday my “baby” turned 15!!! How can that be?? I remember the day like it was yesterday. On May 8, 1999 we were at my brother’s college graduation when I went into labor. We made a couple of quick pictures after the graduation, handed off Katie and Emilie to the grandparents and headed straight to the hospital. Well…..maybe not straight. Greg, having experienced my two previous births, knew that I don’t do anything quick when it comes to labor and delivery. So, he knew that we might be at the hospital for quite awhile. And even though I was crying and about to pass out from the labor pains (I’m joking, my labor was just getting started :)), he asked, “Would you mind if I stop to get something to eat before we go to the hospital? I’m getting hungry and this might be a long day.” Of course, I told him that I didn’t mind and I waited in the car…..in labor…while he went in to get some food! We forever teased him about that!

Anyway, the next day was Mother’s Day and our sweet Jacob Gregory made his entrance into this world at 9 lbs and 6oz. What grateful and proud parents we were! Jacob completed our family and he has been a joy to us ever since we first held him in our arms. So how can it be that today he is 15?? How can it be that he is now taller than me! How can it be that at 15, he is now the man of the house??? My heart aches for him that his Dad was not here to celebrate his birthday with him. So many plans for the future that Greg and Jake had…..now never to be. So many things that could get me depressed and sad if I dwell on them. But we choose to remember the good, be thankful for what we did have, rather than angry about what we won’t have. We choose to look forward to the plan and the purpose that we KNOW our God has for each of us. And we look forward to the day when we will once again celebrate our birthdays ALL TOGETHER again!

So, yesterday we chose to celebrate the life that we have with Jacob and to remember the life that we had with Greg.

Jacob at one year old!

Jacob at one year old!

We started the day with history group. Jake and some of his friends are working on creating a board game about Greek mythology. They are calling the game The Search for Mount Olympus.

Talking about ideas for the game.

Talking about ideas for the game.

Creative minds at work!

Creative minds at work!

When history group was over, Jake and I headed to Chick-fil-A for his birthday lunch.

We love CFA!!

We love CFA!!

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After lunch, we headed to the movie theater! Jake and his friend, Elijah watched Spiderman 2 in 3D. My friend, Cherie, and I opted for watching Mom’s Night Out instead!

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Next activity, was to head to the airport with lots of family members. No, we weren’t going out of town. We were there for the Relay for Life activities that were being held. Some of Greg’s coworkers and colleagues had donated two torches in Greg’s memory and we were invited to come and see what was going on. We were honored and humbled by the donations made in Greg’s memory. But, I’ll admit that it was difficult being at Greg’s place of employment and not having him with us. It was pouring down rain and we all got soaked, but it was worth it! We were so very blessed to have one of Greg’s co-workers Liz, her husband Philip and Liz’s boss, Sam meet us there. They were so very kind to spend their evening in the rain, showing us around. Liz has been so extremely kind and helpful to our family with all of the Delta “details” since Greg’s death. She has truly been a Godsend to me! There were lots of booths, raffles, games, photo booth, food, etc. They also had a live band playing and “somehow” they found out that it was Jake’s birthday. They called him up on stage and sang Happy Birthday to him! It was great to have some laughter mixed in with the somberness and sadness of the reality. The reality that so many people lose their lives every day to this evil called cancer. Hundreds of luminaries and torches….each representing someone who is no longer with us. Each one representing a family that is living with the void and the heartache that goes along with losing a loved one. The numbers of cancer-related deaths are staggering and would appear that cancer/evil/satan is winning this war. But the good news is that we know that cancer and death is NOT the end. Our family will be together again!

Jacob, Emilie and I standing with one of the torches donated in Greg's memory.

Jacob, Emilie and I standing with one of the torches donated in Greg’s memory.

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Carolyn (Greg's mother) and I

Carolyn (Greg’s mother) and I

Our family members that were able to join us.

Our family members that were able to join us.

Jacob on stage as they sing Happy Birthday!

Jacob on stage as they sing Happy Birthday!

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With Liz.  Greg's co-worker who has been such a help to us.

With Liz. Greg’s co-worker who has been such a help to us.

Being silly in the photo booth!

Being silly in the photo booth!

We left the airport and went to Panda Express…the birthday boy’s chosen destination for dinner! After dinner, we came back to the house and ended the long, but fun day with present opening and a special dessert made especially for Jacob by his “second mom”! It was delicious!!

Part of our crew at Panda Express.

Part of our crew at Panda Express.

Zach and Tyler gave Jake lots of help with opening presents!

Zach and Tyler gave Jake lots of help with opening presents!

With Greg's parents.

With Greg’s parents.

With my parents

With my parents

With my brother and his family.

With my brother and his family.

With Greg's sister and (part of) her family.

With Greg’s sister and (part of) her family.

Missing Katie :(

Missing Katie 😦

The yummy dessert!!

The yummy dessert!!

A day of sweetness and sadness. A day of remembering. A day of new memories.

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amanda Kurz
    May 11, 2014 @ 09:57:27

    Aunt Sandra,
    On this day and this year especially, I wanted to wish you a Happy Mothers’ Day! You have shown yourself to be an incredible, selfless, and devoted mother. You are a beautiful example of a godly mother to one who will soon be stepping into that role.

    As I was worshipping this morning, I sang these words and feel that The Lord wanted to share this hope with you: “All manner of sorrow, all manner of pain, all manner of suffering, will fade away when we look into His face.”

    Like

    Reply

  2. Cindy
    May 13, 2014 @ 06:45:30

    What a beautiful day the Lord had planned. Thanks for sharing it with us. ❤

    Like

    Reply

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