Friday, March 13, 2009

March 8, 2009

I realized on Sunday, Alaina's birthday, that the anticipation of the day was much harder than the actual day. It's like when you're going to talk in front of a group of people and you feel nervous just before you're about to stand up...but when you actually start talking, the nervous feeling goes away and there's a calm. Sunday morning I kind of felt numb, like I couldn't be joyful or sad, I felt like I couldn't cry even it I wanted to. As the day went on, I kept thinking "I can tell many are praying for us today." There really was a sense of peace throughout our day. If I believe what the bible says about heaven, then there's no way any birthday party on this earth can compare. The problem is that I wanted to celebrate with her for many more years and then God could take me home first. But that's not how he chose our story to go and as hard as it is to accept, I can trust that He is God and I am not.

We went to church Sunday morning and I really didn't want to go because other than our close friends nobody knew it was her birthday. I've realized how much it means to me for others to remember her. After worship, all our close friends literally surrounded us and said they were praying and they loved us ....and at that moment we really "felt" loved. One friend said "I looked at your blog last night and I wish I could have known her. She seemed like so much fun!" Billy says he thinks this is one of the best things someone could say and I agree! I knew someone said something encouraging because I looked over at him (in another conversation) and he was sobbing. An "extra layer "of our grief that we have to work through is that no one here knew her. They don't "see" our loss as much as the families we've lived with the past three years....and now we don't live with those families anymore. Every time we're together with our friends here my natural tendency is to picture Alaina among them. I know they wanted to know her and I wish they had. She would LOVE our friends and their children.

Hurricane Creek Park was great....beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, and the kids loved it. I'm very glad we went.

Thank you so much to all of you who sent cards, emails, etc. as an extra reminder that you were praying for us on the days surrounding her birthday. Many of you have said to me that you wish you could take, or carry some of our pain. When you remember Alaina, when you send me an email or card or call me, or whatever you do to reach out to us, you ARE carrying some of our pain. You are helping to shoulder this burden. I know you don't feel like you are but I wouldn't say it if it weren't true. I'm beyond blessed and thankful that you have chosen to walk this road with us.



ann said...

Hey friends. I am glad the day went all right. I am so happy you let the kids play in the waterfall! Living life and finding joy is what I see in your pictures. Continued prayers for hope. Ann

The McNeill Family said...

We were thinking of you Sunday. It's so encouraging to hear how God is sustaining you. And "fun" is exactly the way Alaina looks to me too! I'm happy we'll get to meet her one day. :)
Continuing to pray for you,
Ken and Jen

April Brown said...

Sweet Hope! I've prayed for you many times this week. Your family is very precious to us. I know 5 years ago you did not think for one second you would be spending her birthday like this. I wish your story could be different, but I know that my wishing things were different doesn't help. So instead, I will continue to pray for you!!

I'm glad you were greeted with a peaceful day. I'm also glad you have sweet friends in Cullman loving you and embracing you right where you are!

I love you! And hopefully we can get together soon!!

Amy said...

I am glad the day was not bad. I am so thankful Hope that you have chosen to share this journey with us. Thank you for posting so soon and sharing your day with us. Still praying!!!!

Lindsey said...

so glad to hear how the day went. i thought about you all day long. and so thankful you guys are surrounded by loving friends. continuing to pray for you and billy and the kids.

Shea said...

I'm sad, humbled and glad to walk this road with you, Hope. If my praying for you and thinking of you helps in just a small way then I will continue to pray and think of you wihtout ceasing! What a beautiful day you had to celebrate Alaina's birthday! Your Alaina is changing lives! I've told your story to so many friends and led them to your blog. They may not comment but just know that your story and your sweet spirit are reaching out to more people that you will every know. God bless you! Love you all.

Anonymous said...

dear hope AND BILLY, i realized tonight as i write to you that i always write to you, hope, and never to billy. i guess that's because i've always known you. but, billy, please know that my prayers are for you too. i can see how much hope leans on you and you on her, and that inspires all of us. you are both so blessed to have each other through all of this. remember to cherish that relationship also. Tonight, my prayer is for you two as a couple, that God will continue to strengthen you two as a couple and return the joy to your marriage. HE IS ALL POWERFUL. BELIEVE!!! HOPE!! KNOW!!!
still praying for you in Butler.
mrs. cowan

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