This is the first year on Lily's birthday that her memorial headstone is there, so it is really important to me to be there. I want to be able to decorate her stone myself, rather than having to send things to my dear friend to decorate for me. I am so thankful this friend does this for me, but it is hard to figure out what I can mail that isn't too big or heavy. And it just doesn't feel right not to be able to do it myself. Tending to Lily's special spot and decorating it for her birthday feels like my way of mothering her. It brings joy to my heart, as strange as it may sound.
I wasn't sure if I'd be able to make it up there with financial reasons, work, school, etc... but as of today, things are working out and the plans are almost set. My mom and I (and maybe my dad and siblings) will be going up to Virginia on Friday, March 14th (the date Lily was due) and staying through Monday, March 17th (the date I left the hospital without her). And of course Sunday, March 16th is her 4th birthday in Heaven. Now that it is official we will be going, I need to get all the detailed plans together.
A big reason why I want to make it up there for her special day is so I can get her vase fixed so her spot looks perfect for her on her birthday and for any visitors she may have. I hope to figure all that out with her vase on Saturday. I also want to get all her decorations in place on Saturday so it can be out there for her entire birthday weekend and so I can enjoy it each time I am at the cemetery. I plan on spending quite a bit of time at the cemetery that weekend.
On Sunday (her birthday), is when I am planning a special time of remembrance. I am going to invite a few friends and family members to the cemetery for cake and celebrating Lily's LIFE. I need to call a local baker to see about making a special red-velvet cake (or maybe red-velvet cupcakes, we shall see. I have some ideas). Red-velvet is a tradition on her birthdays. Another tradition is to eat at my favorite restaurant, Cracker Barrel, on Lily's birthday, so we will be doing that as well.
A talented musician friend of my grandmother and aunt/uncle is going to be playing her guitar and singing "Beauty Will Rise" by Steven Curtis Chapman (some of the lyrics to this song are on Lily's stone). I spoke to her on the phone this afternoon to discuss details. Isn't that so kind of her? It means so much to have others remembering Lily with me on her day. I would love to have a butterfly release at the cemetery, but the weather may still be too cold for that... so perhaps we will have a balloon release. I also really want to finish her two scrapbooks by her birthday to share with everyone on that day!
Since a lot of these plans are outside, please pray for good weather! I am praying for blue skies and sunshine and no rain. Also, mid-March weather has the potential to be cold or spring-like in Virginia, so please pray it isn't so cold for us to be out there. I really want to be at her special spot on her special day.
I am missing my sweet girl as usual as her birthday gets closer, but am happy to be planning special things in her honor for her day. I am happy that I will be able to spend the day with my grandmother and other loved ones who I've never gotten to spend March 16th with. I don't know how I will feel on that day, so I pray I won't be too sad and not wanting to do anything and that I will have the energy to visit with people.
Anyways, these are the main plans as of right now. There are other traditions and things that will come together I'm sure in the next couple weeks. I would love to hear input from anyone with ideas for how to honor Lily on her day. I of course will be taking lots of photos of her day and blogging all about it. :)