In my last post I mentioned the bird motif on this blog and that birds are a special reminder of Olivia to me. That's because God sent me a bird in the weeks following Olivia's death. It was an answer to a prayer I prayed daily-that God would just send me a sign, anything, to let me know that my baby girl was safe with him in heaven. I can remember praying, "Dear Lord, I know true faith doesn't require signs, but please, I have to see your hand in this. I have to know you are in control and my sweet baby girl is safe and sound in your arms." That afternoon I was trying to watch my first mindless bit of reality television when a bird started chirping so loud it kept me from hearing the television. I would turn it up and it seemed like the bird would just get louder. A bird that loud cannot be ignored, so I paused my show and went to the window. While I was looking for the bird I told God that I would take it as my sign if I could just see the loud bird. Well, I looked and looked and could not find it in the trees or shrubs or grass, so I returned to my show and not 2 minutes later the bird started up again. Annoyed now, I went to the window thinking, I just want to forget about my life for 30 minutes and this bird will not be quiet! So I go to the window and crane my neck in the direction of our front door and there sat the bird, perched on top of the wire topiary in my flower urn. Our eyes locked and I have no idea how long I stood staring at him. Cars parked across the street, kids ran by, doors slammed and the bird didn't budge. I know that God sent him just for me. The bird came back at the same time every evening for a week and I haven't seen him since. I wish I had thought to snap a picture to show you.
Parrish had his 4th bday party on January 15th and it was so nice to have something to look forward to. He had a great time hunting treasure, escaping to the fort turned pirate ship, roasting hot dogs and eating cake! He has had such a hard time since his "Sissy" passed away and I am thankful that the party was something he could be excited about. Please pray for his heart and spirit-he is so sad that his baby is not here to play with and protect anymore. The other night we were laying in bed reading a Charlie Brown Christmas Story (yes, it was January, but he didn't care) and at the end I sang the words to "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and he said, "Mommy, that's Livia's song." He is like that-so thoughtful and attentive to detail. Then he said, "Mommy, Sissy is happy in heaven because angels are rocking her, but I hope they don't put her down on the hard floor with other kids because she might hurt her knees or get stepped on by the bigger kids." He is always worrying about her in heaven. Whether she is hot or cold, who will feed her a bottle, etc. He has a heart of gold and is such a great big brother. I can't believe he is already 4 years old!
Since Olivia would have turned one tomorrow we are having close friends and family to her gravesite to release pink balloons to her in heaven, then hosting a casual dinner and cupcakes at our home afterward. I had a mini break-down tonight that I was arranging flowers and decorating for a party she wouldn't be attending, so I am hoping tomorrow will be better than today. At least maybe there will be as much joy as there is sadness as we celebrate the 9 months we got to spend with our baby girl. I am putting her little first birthday hat and outfit out on the foyer table. Being OCD, I had ordered them months ago and they arrived the week she died-talk about a shock. Anyway, my sweet friend Courtney is so creative and she had already made invitations, cupcake toppers and banners, so we had everything we needed for Olivia's "cute as a button" party. I will post pictures of the event soon but please remember my precious baby girl tomorrow and pray for us as we endure another terrible 1st without Olivia.
"Hope does not necessarily take the form of excessive confidence; rather, it involves the simple willingness to take the next step." -Stanley Hauerwas