I can hardly contain myself. I am both out of my skin sad and out of my skin excited that Gideon’s birthday is approaching. Its a constant marriage of joy and sorrow that words can hardly express. But is real and its there, the tears are flowing heavier and more often but this proud Momma’s heart cannot wait to celebrate the life of her baby son.
As this time of year approaches I find myself going back to last year. In my mind reflecting over and over on what these days were like. What I was thinking and feeling, and the heaviness that came with knowing what was to come. Gideon was coming. Gideon was going to die. What would it be like? How would I handle it? How would I make it through? Would I die from pain? Would my family ever be the same? All these questions and wonderings that came…and now…now I can reflect back. Reflect back with partial (never full) sanity and say with confidence, “God is good, and so was my sweet son Gideon.”
I have plans. I hope you will come alongside of us in them, but they are mostly there to give this grieving family something productive to do with our feelings. Something to do with our missing and our longing. Something to act on when you want to be planning a first birthday party, but instead will be letting go of balloons at a gravesite. We are good, God has brought us through. But still this time is complicated and messy and so we are praying for God’s full hand of movement and grace to be upon this month of March.
Here are our “plans:”
1. My husband and my daughter have deemed March “A month to touch the lives of others the way Gideon touched ours.” Complete with a day by day calendar of who we want to love on and pray for, we are spending March being so thankful for the people God has placed in our lives.
2. March will be a month for me to reflect back. I want to go back and re-post some of my writings before Gideon came. Each Tuesday in March will hold a different one. Too many times it felt like someone else was writing them and there is so much weight in the words of a desperate woman, which I was. Desperate and on my hands and knees daily, I want some of that to refresh our souls this year too.
3. I am finally going to do something with video of Gideon’s moments here on earth. The video camera has sat in a locked box for 11 months. I haven’t known what to do with it or when. This month, I want to watch it, remember it, and share it.
4. YAY the one I am most excited for!! March 31st will be Gideon Blue day! No matter where you are or what you will be doing, will you join us in wearing Gideon Blue?? I would love to compile the pictures as a memorial to Gideon, but more than that, a memorial to what he taught us through his short but powerful life. If you are on Facebook or Instagram you can post your picture with #GideonBlue or you can email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post them on my blog. I can’t wait, I can’t wait! If you would join us in celebrating Gideon this way it would mean the world to us and I will put some refreshers up as we move closer to.
5. As a family we will be dining on a Gideon Blue star cake as well as sending up balloon gifts to our beloved baby. True confession? I didn’t per say lie to my kids, but I did choose to pretend that the balloons do make it all the way up to heaven. We debated and chatted and I want to just blissfully naively pretend that maybe, just maybe, they do get that far. Afterall, how many fallen balloons do you seeing laying around the ground??? 😉
Yes, it is both good and hard. All of this comes with a certain level of irony. How do you celebrate the tragedy of a life cut so short? How is there celebration at all when baby does not have the chance to live? Its true. These questions and truths are some of the hardest of this life. I find solace and thankfulness that Gideon’s birthday comes a midst Lent. A time when we prepare and get ready to both mourn the death and suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ, while at the same time expectantly waiting for the Sunday when He rises again! A vivid reminder that there is life in death when we believe. That God makes beautiful things from the ashes of this lifetime. I can let the ashes bury me, or I can wait, eyes wide open for Sunday.
For this month, I will weep and I will laugh. I will mourn and I will celebrate. I will both linger and let go. I will reflect in both sadness and gladness. Will you come with me?