Interesting how life’s events continue to be orchestrated in ways that are beyond me. Fitting that this first birthday after Heather's death falls exactly on Memorial day. 25 on the 25th – this year I also turned 31 on the 31st. Happy “Golden“ Birthday Heather!
(yes I have a mullet and am missing like 8 teeth at once in this picture)
I still remember some very specific things surrounding her birth.
I was 6 1/2 years old. I remember the exact street we were driving down when I told my mom that I thought we should name our baby Heather. She obviously liked the idea and it stuck.
Turns out, the name fit her perfectly. The meaning of the name “Heather” is “Heather” – the shrub. But if you read a bit about that little shrub it was meant for Heather. For those of you who knew the number of struggles and trials she faced throughout her life you will understand why. A quick excerpt:
God asked the heather the same question that he’d asked the others. "Will you go and grow upon the hillsides to make them more beautiful?"
The heather thought about the poor soil, the wind and the rain - and wasn’t very sure that she could do a good job. But turning to God she replied that if he wanted her to do it, she would certainly give it a try.
God was very pleased.
He was so pleased in fact that he decided to give the heather some gifts as a reward for her willingness to do as he had asked.
Firstly he gave her the strength of the oak tree - the bark of the heather is the strongest of any tree or shrub in the whole world.
If you watch her slideshow, you can visually see how some of those trials life affected her - after surgeries, different medications at different times, and finally cancer.
I remember the night she was born – our neighbor and my parent’s best friend, carrying us from our bed’s to his house in the middle of the night.
I remember the first week she was home. I can still see the little black umbilical chord on her tummy – and I thought I would be helpful and change her diaper. Turns out it was a bad idea. I got the diaper off and her back end shot out like a firehouse – covering walls and sending me ducking for cover. My mom asked me not to change her diapers anymore.
As I walked out of my room to write this post, I looked on the floor and noticed a book that my mom bought me when I was 6, probably to prepare me for Heather’s birth. My kids must have brought it up from the basement.
The book was called “Chuckie”. It was about a blond little girl with a mom with red hair (just like me), and the arrival of a new baby at their house. I think my parents thought I needed some extra prepping, since the last time we had a baby – I pushed her in her carrier off the kitchen table. (hey – I was 3). The book was one of my favorites and has my name scrawled on the inside front page in my 6yo penmanship.
Now here I am, 31 with 3 kids of my own. My oldest is 6 ½ and just welcomed his 2nd baby sister to our family. Just like I did 25 years ago.
Happy Birthday Heather – We miss you!