Thursday, April 23, 2009

gabe's day

Yesterday ended up being a beautiful day - weather wise and Gabe wise. It was a tearful day for me, but definitely more sweet than bitter. We lugged Jonah around town for about four hours. It was a day of many firsts for him, and I have LOTS (116 to be exact) of great pictures of the day, but I can't fit all of it into one post. So, for now, I'll just post some Gabe related pictures.

We bought three blue balloons and each wrote (I may or may not have helped Jonah with his) a little message to send up to Gabe.




We then drove out to Gardens of Memory, the cemetery (I hate that word) where Gabe is buried. Here are the pictures I took while I was driving. They were just hold up and snap pictures. Don't worry, I didn't use the view finder.


See? I told you it was a beautiful day. After arriving and a quick back-of-the-car diaper change (one of the firsts), we let our balloons go. It may appear as if these balloons flew directly into the trees, but I can assure you that most certainly did not happen. Er... (We also have a balloons flying out of the car accidentally, getting stuck in a really tall tree, Matt having to climb down a steep incline into the woods, putting all his weight on a tree, bending it completely backwards, me putting a screaming Jonah into his car seat in the bright sunshine without wind protection to cut the entangled balloons out of the tree, all to let them go - right back into the trees again - story, but I won't go there.)

At least one of the balloons made it. See? We didn't see the remaining two in the trees, so we're pretending those made it too. It was a funny moment, and I was glad that God blessed us with some ridiculous, this-can't-really-be-happening sort of humor to lighten the day. Humor is kind of our way of dealing with things, so it seemed fitting.


Then we spent some time taking some pictures with Jonah at Gabe's spot. I don't know where the pot of yellow flowers and birthday hat came from. They were there when we arrived. Matt, Jonah, and I added the sunflowers.


Jonah - really excited to be at Gabe's spot in the wind. This was just a short-lived moment of weakness. He recovered quickly.


Daddy and a recovered Jonah at Gabe's spot.

After we left there, we went to Lowes, and I picked out a bird feeder for Gabe's garden. I also got two cool decorative garden stakes. One says "Live" and the other is a butterfly. We're going to put all that out this weekend, and then I'll take some pictures. The flowers are beautiful right now, and BOTH of Gabe's dogwoods survived the winter and are looking great.

And then, after dressing change last night, we had some of Gabe's birthday cake. I want to do balloons and a cake every year, and when Jonah is a little older, I'd like to have a picnic out at Gabe's spot. This year we couldn't do it because of how windy it was. It just wasn't practical with Jonah. I also like the idea of adding something to his garden every year. If I keep adding plants and trees though, we'll never be able to move. I wonder how easy it would be to transplant a whole garden???
Anyway, we enjoyed the day very much, and Jonah did great. It's as if he knew it was a special day. We had a great time as a family (I love that word), and it was a great birthday. I look forward to celebrating every year, especially as Jonah gets old enough to understand what it's all about.
Thank you for praying for us. We felt God's peace and a sense of joy as we spent the day celebrating the life of both our sons. And the great news is - GABE LIVES - Praise God!!!

62 comments:

Kirsten: said...

So sweet! Happy 1st Birthday Gabe!

Katherine said...

I think Gabe blew the balloons into the trees. I think he knew you needed the humor, and he decided to inject a little Candid Camera moment into your day. That GABE ... he always knows the perfect thing to do.

Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick said...

Looks like a wonderful day. I love the balloons and yes, "family" is such a wonderful word. :)

mary said...

Yesterday was my daughter's second birthday, so it was a good reminder to be praying for your family as we celebrated here. We will always think of you and Gabe as we celebrate on April 22nd too!

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

Thats great. I'm so glad that you are doing something to remember your Gabe. I'm glad that Jonah is able to take part in the memories of his brother until you all meet again.

melanie said...

Balloons in the trees. Ha! Glad to know Gabe inherited the sense of humor & mischief genes. So happy that it was a beautiful day for you all.
Love you,
melanie

Misty Rice-Baniewicz said...

Tears and smiles from reading this post. Thanks for sharing.

Nicole said...

So glad you had a such a special day and that you were able to celebrate Gabe's life... Know that we have been and will continue to pray for your precious family!

Anonymous said...

The balloons were great, they do have a mind of their own, when the wind is blowing like it was at Gabe's spot yesterday. (yes I did visit with Gabe yesterday, and together we lifted up a bunch of prayers for his adorable baby brother, and awesome mommy and daddy!)
Praying for a healing
Love ya
Gina

Beth said...

What a beautiful day for a beautiful family!!

I just LOVE your spirit, your faith!! Give Jesus a hug for me seriously made me cry, but also laugh! HOW wonderful to KNOW that your precious baby Gabe is sitting on God's knee, tucked in every night by our Saviour!! HOW exciting to KNOW that one day you WILL see your sweet boy again and that you will have ETERNITY together!! Our time in this world is SO short and the JOY we experience is SO minimal compared to the life we have waiting for us in Heaven!

God Bless you guys!!

Rob and Nicole said...

I have been reading your blog and am so touched by your faith! Happy Birthday Gabe! I have an idea for your (Gabe's) garden. My parents own a monument business and make personalized garden stones. I am not sure where you live or how we could get it to you, but I think it would be great for Gabe's garden. My parents are in Seguin, TX. Let me know what you think! Love, Nicole

Anonymous said...

Your letter to Gabe yesterday had me in tears. Now I am crying again but they are tears of joy. My kids are looking at me like I fell off the stool and hit my head. HMMM!. I am glad you had a good day yesterday. I prayed for you and for your FAMILY (I love that word too!). I am so glad that you have some traditions in mind to do each year to celebrate and remember. Yes, you can move an entire garden. My mother has done it more than once through the years! Jennifer in Southeast, NC

Candi said...

Im so glad that Gabe's day went well :) I see you decided to try the balloon release,we do it every yr to remember lil Raylynn.

I hope this post finds you & your family well as my fmaily & think about & pray for you often.

take care :)

Claire said...

What a sweet, sweet day. I'm so glad you had a great day together.

Cxx

Sandy said...

What a special day. And yes, Gabe lives! Praise Jesus.

Wanda Willkinson said...

Of course Jonah knew it was a special day, remember Gabe & Jonah plot against you...2 boys against one mommy :)....in a few years Jonah will be telling you what kind of birthday cake Gabe wants.

I agree, Gabe had a hand in the balloon humor, He knows what mommy & daddy need.

so thankful your day was great.

Hugs & kisses

Kellye said...

You know what you might do for Gabe's garden, in case you move? Add a plant, but also add something that can be moved, like a special statue, windchime, etc., and that way you'll be able to take a piece of the garden with you.

Blessings to you on this day!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Gabe. He does live ann in a mighty big way! The pic of Jonah is so cute. =)

Melissa said...

I cried so hard yesterday when I read the letter you wrote to Gabe...it was so sweet, and so heartfelt. I love the pictures, and I think you have found some wonderful ideas for celebrating Gabe's birthday every year.

Sweet Gabe...happy 1st birthday...you live on in the hearts and minds of all those who know and love your parents, your brother, and you. We may not have gotten to experience your smiles and laughter, but somehow we just know that you are smiling and laughing now while you watch over your family.

Jennifer said...

I glad the day turned out so beautiful so that you could all go and celebrate Gabe's birthday at his spot.

Lorraine-bo said...

What a beautiful day for your beautiful boys!

I have been on vacation for almost two weeks and stayed up late last night to catch up on Jonah! I missed the little guy! I am not a wife yet or mother yet, but you are a kindred spirit. I relate to you through your writing and your faith. God bless you!

Leedra said...

Such a sweet post and tribute to Gabe. Still praying for Jonah and your family.

Karla said...

What a beautiful way to honor Gabe on his 1st birthday. You are all such an extraordinary family! Happy 1st Birthday Gabe!

Amber said...

I've been following for awhile and figured I should come out and say that I love your little family and the way you honored Gabe. I think Jonah is adorable and think of him (and you guys) often.

avbernat said...

Happy 1st Birthday Gabe. What a joyous way to celebrate the birth of your eldest son! I'm so happy that Jonah did great and nearly pee'd my pants when reading about the balloons, personally I think Gabe had a hand in making sure you all smiled before coming to visit him :D

Analiza

mbo said...

you guys are awesome! your 2 sons are so blessed to have you as parents:)

Sara Kelly Onufer said...

Patrice, I check your blog every single day. You just crack me up and lift my spirit. Praise God for the gift God has given you to write. I love your baby boy and we love and pray for you and your family. God is incredible in what He can do with our hearts. Consider yourself and your family prayed for.
Happy Birthday Gabe!

Sara

Our family page said...

You guys are a beautiful family and I love all of your ideas! Gabe and Jonah are so blessed to have you both as parents! I was praying for a great weather day, so I am glad that He answered! I am in agreement with Katherine, I think Gabe knew all of you needed some humor in your day! I think I would definitely look for humor on every birthday from here on out!Still praying! Love from Mexico, Missy

Oh, about what "they" say about learning languages, I am on my third, and it AIN'T true!! Just thought I would share! ;o}

shoutingforha said...

Your sweet messages on the balloons brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful way to remember your son. It looks like your day was just perfect.

M J said...

You are such a beautiful soul! You just seem to handle things with more grace and dignity than I think I could ever manage. Gabe and Jonah are so very blessed to have such amazing parents!

Beth said...

i'm so happy you had a lovely, and hopefully peace-filled, day. i pray for both of your boys every night. the garden is a lovely idea. you are truly amazing parents.

Valerie said...

What a perfect day to honor Gabe & celebrate his 1st birthday. I'm sure he was smiling down at his family (& wanted to make you smile as well!).

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful day to celebrate Gabe's first birthday. Thank you for sharing.

Gail
Annapolis, MD

Lindzerelli said...

What a sweet way to spend the day! I saw two rainbows yesterday and I prayed for your family each time.

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

what a wonderful day you had in Gabe's honor.

I pray for Jonah daily. He is on my prayer page and on my prayer cards that i keep with me at all times.

I thank you for sharing your life with us. You are amazing parents.

Beth

Katie Reynolds said...

I admire your strength and desire to honor Gabe and the Lord in your life. The joy you possess in your writing and pictures is a true testament to God and His faithfulness in your life. I will continue to pray for healing in Jonah and many years of happiness and birthdays this side of heaven. May God bless your "family".....

The Mind of a Mom said...

Ohh how sweet a party hat!! Happy B'Day Gabe.
I love the balloons that was such a nice touch for him.
Sounds like a good day for everyone.

Mendy said...

Your family is absolutely precious!! How blessed both your boys are!

brightleigh said...

Matt and Patrice, I can't believe it's been a year. Praise God for a good day yesterday. You were on our hearts and continue to be. I am sure that Gabe was smiling down at all the festivities planned in his honor. Glad you were able to get Jonah out as well. Continue to take care and know that we continue to pray for you and your FAMILY.

Much love and prayer,
The Brights

Anonymous said...

Awesome post...Happy Birthday Sweet Gabe! I love how you guys celebrated it. I know you have heard it a million times, but you and Matt are AMAZING parents. Love you!

Nathan, Lindsey & Mason

Anonymous said...

I check your posts daily and think of you often, as do many people I know. Your family is thought about often and I am glad that things are going great for you and your "Family." That is a great word isn't it! :) I will continue to pray everyday for your son and hope that he lives a long and happy life and may you celebrate many birthdays with Jonah!

Becky, Minnesota

The Goodman Family said...

You and Matt are such amazing parents with such a sweet sweet spirit. Gabe & Jonah are both so lucky to have you both. I am so glad that yesterday was a good day for your family. God Bless!!

Michelle said...

look at that picture of the sky.

GABE SENT YOU A MESSAGE.

the upper left corner... the clouds say, "hi."

at least that's what i see.

- michelle

Anonymous said...

Love the balloons. Praying for you and your family!

Take care,
Amy
www.crumbsonmyfloor.com

Melissa said...

First of all, happy birthday to sweet Gabe! He got to celebrate his first birthday with the angels singing "Happy Birthday" to him, I would imagine.

Secondly, what a beautiful spot where he is buried. That is truly a blessing to be able to go somewhere that is so beautiful. Praise God for the great weather (minus the wind).

I am so pleased for you that his dogwoods have blossomed. I'll share with you that just a few days ago, my husband and I had the opportunity to visit the cemetery where our first three boys are buried, as well as our former home (350 miles away) and were heartbroken to find the two trees we had planted in our front yard had been cut down. Words can't explain how difficult that was to see. I can totally relate to your joy over Gabe's dogwoods. Plant, plant, plant all you can in his garden. It brings a strange sense of peace to see something growing, even if you can't see your child growing on this earth. But, as you so aptly concluded your post, GABE LIVES. Thank you, Jesus.

Someday, you'll hold him in your arms again, and he'll give you the tour of the wonderful place he's been able to call home. Our future home, thanks to Jesus.

Love and blessings to you and your beautiful family.

Stephanie said...

Cried reading the balloons! What HOPE we have in Christ...

MissingLandan said...

What a sweet & precious little angel. I hope he had an amazing 1st birthday in Heaven & hopefully my angel celebrated with him. My son was 3yrs old when he passed away 2yrs ago.

On Landan's first Christmas in Heaven, the Christmas balloon I released got stuck in a very tall tree, shortly after a stiff wind carried it away. I'm sure Gabe received all your special balloons as well! We do the same thing, have a balloon release & cake on Landan's birthday. You should consider a candle lighting as well :)

God Bless you & your sweet boys.

-Lacey-
http://missinglandan0306.blogspot.com/

Linda said...

What a special day! Happy first birthday Gabe.....

Anonymous said...

Have you considered doing some of your plantings in large pots/containers? It's very popular right now and portable, if you move. I wouldn't want to leave behind anything either.

p.s. i love the pictures of you with no makeup - you are very beautiful.

The Burgess Family said...

So glad you had a wonderful day to celebrate Gabe!!! It took me 4 trys to actually get through the post you wrote for him. I know he feels all of the love you have for him.

Julie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julie said...

I'm so glad you had a great day remembering your precious first born son Gabe. Your post in tribute to him the other day was just beautiful. I've thought of Gabe...of you and Matt...of your gift of Jonah all week and prayed for a good day. So special!

Monica said...

Patrice, I have been following your blog since you had Jonah and it has been very inspirational for me. I feel lots of these blogs that I follow bring me closer with The Lord. You guy's are amazing parents and I know Gabe is smiling down gleaming with pride! Jonah is beautiful! God Bless!

Jennifer said...

So touching!

MelH said...

Patrice,
I thought about you, Matt, Gabe and Jonah all day on the 22nd. I am certain Gabe had the most incredible party and to imagine it brings me to tears...of happiness. My baby cousin passed away almost two years ago and when we had her birthday party last year I imagined the same thing and on Gabe's day I can see the two of them laughing and playing together during the most amazing party ever. Your pictures were beautiful. The words on Matt's balloon brought me to tears. I am certain that Gabriel is very proud of his daddy. How could he not be!

I am not sure if I ever told you but the day I found your blog was the day after Jonah was born. Patrice, I had a baby on April 25th of last year and we named him Gabriel Matthew. When I read your blog my heart stopped and I knew why I had come aross your blog. I felt an instant connection to you and I knew why from the time I saw pictures of Jonah of how I felt a motherly love for him. Its amazing how God works in our lives, how he brings us together, whether we know it or not but its even more impactful when you do realize it. This week we both celebrate the first birthdays of our Gabriel Matthews and I know tomorrow I will be thinking about your sweet Gabe as well. And for some reason I feel blessed by that. I feel blessed that God brought me to your blog and to your life. Reading your words over the last two months have meant so much to me, Patrice. Thank you for sharing your boys with us. Thank you for allowing us to love them. Thank you for letting us celebrate and honor them.

Happy Birthday, Gabe. Such a sweet name for such a sweet boy. I cant wait to meet you one day.

Love
Mel

Renata said...

I've spent the last few days crying and smiling at your posts. It is obvious that God is still blessing your family in this time of sadness.

Can't wait to meet Gabe in Heaven! I'm sure he's also hanging out with our little niece who went there a few Februaries ago.

We're praying for your continued strength and peace! Happy 1st birthday Gabe! Keep growing strong Jonah!

Martin Family said...

Very nice day! Happy Birthday to Gabe! How blessed he is to have his family love him so much! I am sure these celebrations will mean as much to Jonah as you when he is older.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Gabe! God bless you and your wonderful family

Anonymous said...

Hello..On April 6th, we celebrated the third birthday and third year without our daughter Sarah who arrived to us in the same manner...at 38 weeks..We miss her dearly and are thinking of you on this special day..We had our son Casey (EB affected) one year after her...I can relate to your feelings this day...
Beth
johnbeth91@aol.com

Magoon Family said...

Ok, I have been lurking long enough. I just want to say how amazing I think you both are. You have been through so much and continue to face challenges each day with a smile and positive attitude. God bless

Ashley Bourque said...

I'm a bit late on this comment since I just disovered this blog today. I"m sure it's alreay been noticed, but the clouds look like a happy face. Just thought I'd mention that!

Ashley Bourque said...

I'm sure this has been noticed already, but since I'm new to the blog and didn't want to read all 61 comments, I figured I'd just point it out again.... The picture of the clouds in this post look like a happy face...thought that was kind of neat!