The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Monday, May 06, 2013

Peaceful Birthday Celebration

Yesterday was our angel baby Matthew's would-be sixth birthday.  Sixth.  That is really hard to believe.  Time continues to swoosh on by in all its weird little ways.

Happy birthday, sweet boy. I swear I can almost see you on the edge of my thoughts some days and though I can't quite capture the look of your face, I can almost snatch a glimpse of curly brown hair that I am sure is yours.  You seem tall and still and wise.  And watchful and smiling. And I so look forward to knowing you better.  You are very much a part of our family circle.

I don't think we have ever had such a tender and peaceful celebration of Matthew. Having our little kiddos around always makes things hectic; it can be very difficult to find a moment to do any quiet reflecting or pay loving respects.  Of course I wouldn't have it any other way; celebrating a child who is not here is made sweeter by giving my time to the kids who are here.  But of course I also crave the sacred chance to ponder and wish and grieve in peace as well.  That is why I am very grateful that yesterday was a perfectly sunny and clear day, both in our hearts as well as outside our doors.  

The kids, the girls especially, had a few ups and downs - Bitty gets the teariest and weepiest when we talk about her younger brother.  Bundle this year seemed to grasp a little of what it means that she has a brother not here.  This has got to be partly due to the fact that she is very taken with thoughts of our doggie Alex who left us almost three years ago.  Surely she has no memory of him; she wasn't even a year old when he died.  But she talks about him constantly and includes him in many a prayer, the sweet gal.  And she got pretty sad too.  Sweet.  But really for the most part the kids were kind and gentle with one another, playing together happily for several hours. I couldn't have wished for anything else.

We had plans after church to put together a picnic dinner and head to a quiet park for a few hours but before we could get Troy home from church meetings and get all the food ready, our three munchkins had already headed out to the back yard together and played in a mud puddle for two solid hours.  We got our things ready and then just let them enjoy each other.  What better celebration could I enjoy than my kids loving each other? After a rather arduous cleanup session we did load up the car and head to a serene little park high on the hill behind the capitol building.  As we drove through the sunny streets en route I saw all the families out enjoying the spring afternoon and I wondered if we would have any quiet spot to ourselves; it seemed as though no one could bear staying inside and who could blame them.  However, when we arrived at the park there wasn't a soul in sight; we had the run of the place, complete with a grassy hill and the grandest view of the Salt Lake Valley you've ever seen.

We decided to write our notes to Matthew first - the wind was brisk to say the least and it seemed best not to toy with disaster and lose our balloons before we had a chance to prepare for their departure.  We all attached our messages and sent them off, and then enjoyed a calm and yummy picnic complete with birthday cake.  The breezes were so strong that we had to gather in a pretty tight little circle around our cake and sing as Troy hurried to light the candles - we had about a millisecond to blow them out before the wind took care of it for us.  I loved being shoulder to shoulder around our lemony treat and singing together.  Great moment.  Then we got to romp around for an hour.  And guess what.  The kids did nothing but enjoy us and each other.  A birthday miracle.

I absolutely love celebrating Matthew's birthday.  I don't care how many years go by; we will always do it, partly just to bring into focus the precious lives that we have, and partly to remember our complete family.


bella said...

i mean this in the most loving way...i adore reading about your birthday celebration for matthew every year! i truly think your family is closer and has a better understanding of your WHOLE family because of how you include matthew. sharing your lives with him has got to be the best way of keeping you all together. it must be so sweet to see how not only you and troy, but also your kids, express their feelings to matthew as time passes and they get older and have different understandings and views of life and death. oddly, it helps me to read these thank you for sharing them. :)

Cullen said...

What a tender post. A great feeling of peace came over me while reading it. Thank you for sharing.

I'm so glad you had a beautiful day for Matthew's birthday. Love you guy tons.

jefferies said...

I am so happy that you had a peaceful celebration. I can't help but imagine Matthew right there, between your cute, growing-up kiddos. Thank you for sharing your celebration online. I too, love reading about it!