Theo receives multiple gifts each year for his birthday…like most children, I suspect. But for the past 3 years he’s received an extra-special gift as well.

Here he is with this year’s:

july28 006

Yep, a ‘turbo launcher’ — complete with 2 cars.
Obviously, Theo loved it.
I love that it is a simple toy…no flashing lights, no sounds, no batteries. 😀

july28 014

july28 019

This gift was a hit. But what makes it special?

This gift comes from a friend named Venita.
Each year she sends Theo a special little something because she cannot give a gift to her own child, Christian.

Christian was born four days before Theo…but passed away, after a short, harrowing illness only 13 months later.

Each year when this gift has arrived I’ve told the boys the story of ‘baby Christian.’ This year Theo could really begin to understand. This year when I told them the story, Theo’s eyes filled with tears and he asked if he could tell Christian ‘happy birthday’ anyway. “Of course you can,” I told him.

Then Theo asked if I thought Christian’s mother is very, very sad. “Of course she is,” I told him, but she’s also a mama to other children and has them to help heal her heart. This last part I assume from my own experience of loss, even though it must be far more wrenching to lose a child than a pregnancy.

Each year we deal a little more with the concept of loss. Each year we come a little closer to creating some sort of ceremony for memorializing our 2nd son, Nathaniel. And we do it in small, incremental steps so that a pall does not have to hang over these dear children’s days.

So each July we celebrate Theo’s birth and we celebrate Christian’s birth, even though we know the ‘end’ of that story and that great sorrow follows.

mindfully yours,