For those of you who may not know, today is Chris’s birthday. He would have been 43. Chris made a request to his two sons that for his birthday, we visit him at the cemetery and then go to Outback Steakhouse for dinner. Brenden, Jaxson and I did that last night. I took the boys to the North Shore this past weekend to have some down time. Chris loved to go up there at all different times of the year. My sisters and their families joined us. We had beautiful weather and did some fun activities. We did a lot of hiking, some shopping, went down the alpine slide, the boys and their uncles did a lot of football playing, and of course the boys went swimming. We also hit the beach and searched for some agates. It was a great weekend and the colors were stunning. When we got back yesterday, we decided to go to the cemetery. As always, it’s so emotionally draining for me. I think it was the hardest trip for the boys as now they’re starting to understand what’s missing in their life and how Dad is really gone and not coming back. I brought flowers and instead of just placing them by the headstone, Jaxson broke the bouquet apart and put the flowers around the outline in the grass where the casket was put into the ground. I asked what he was doing and he said “surrounding Daddy in the flowers.” It was very touching, yet heartbreaking. Another shot to my heart was seeing Brenden cry. He hasn’t at the cemetery since the funneral, but did yesterday. It’s so hard to watch them mourn their father and wishing I could just take away their pain. We went to Outback afterwards, and Jaxson at too much bread and rootbeer.
Tonight, we went for a walk and were treated to a beautiful sunset. We decided that God gave Chris that sunset to share with us on his birthday. Brenden made the comment, “Dad was a really nice guy, otherwise God wouldn’t have given Dad that beautiful sunset for his birthday.” What great kids I have!
I hope you are all having a wonderful fall. I’m trying to get the kids outside as much as possible with the warmer weather. School is in full swing, although Jaxson has missed more than his share with different sicknesses. Send Chris up a “Happy Birthday!” tonight. I’m sure we’re all thinking about him on this day!
Karen, Brenden and Jaxson