Each year for Joshua Paul and Kaleb Stephen’s birthday, I wrote a post that I make sure goes out on the day of their actual birthday, May 15th. But this year as their birthday approached, I began to look back and think out what grief milestone I had made, and I realized that I hadn’t made that much of a milestone because I have crossed so many in the past 8 years. When I heard “time will heal,” I didn’t not believe it, but I also thought “But each day – each MINUTE hurts so bad! How can time help me when it is time that makes it hurt?” But that statement does speak truth. We have made it through the years after we lost them, and I am grateful for the grief milestones that I did not want to cross, but did.
I think this year, the biggest milestone could be in our two girls. Isabella is 7 and Gracelyn is 5. We have always talked openly about their brothers in heaven. We have pictures in our house, and one beside their bed, and we do something as a family to celebrate their short lives as each May 15th comes. And as the girls have gotten older, it has settled in to their growing understanding, that they have two brothers.
Gracelyn once asked me “when are my brothers coming back?” I told her through my tears, that they were not coming back. To which she held my face in her little hands. One day I was tucking the girls in to bed and Isabella asked “were my brothers born at the same time?” Then I realized that because to say the word “twin” it meant I would get that pang of hurt deep in my chest, I had never told the girls that their brothers were twins. I have just said “your brothers.” So I explained to her what “identical” meant, to which more questions came such as “what color is their hair? What color are their eyes?” I told her I did not know. Thing that pang in my chest came back.
As I drove Isabella to school the day of the boy’s birthday, Isabella asked “Do they know it’s their birthday today, Momma?” I simply said “I don’t know. ” Because I don’t know what heaven is like or if birthdays are celebrated, but I do rest assured in my own Mommy mind that misses our boys deeper than I ever wished to know, that heaven is a much better place than here.
This year we made ice cream sundaes and Gracelyn drew her brothers a picture and Isabella drew them a picture and told them what it was like here.
Her picture reads ” Dear Joshua and Kaleb. Aunty is here a lot of people are here. “
She told me that the stars are heaven and she said that she made her brothers the same because they are twins.
This is Gracelyn’s picture and the big people are Mommy and Daddy and the kids are Isabella, Gracelyn, and Joshua and Kaleb.