Sunday, March 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Johnny

March 17, 2010 marks what would be John's 35th birthday. It was a hard day, scratch that...couple of weeks. For some strange reason, I wasn't expecting it to be so hard, when in fact it was marginally harder than last year.

My sweet mother shares a birthday with my Johnny, which has always been tricky, but now it's just really hard. We went down in the morning to take her to breakfast. Mike, Lisa, their kids, and Danny met us at the restaurant. It was really great to be able to have that time with her, and have it be about only her. I still sat at the table and cried right in the middle of the restaurant.

Later, my parents came up to the cemetery, and me and the kids stood with them and re-lived our favorite memories of John. I found myself so chocked up that I couldn't even speak. Did I mention that it was a hard day???

In the evening, we asked Ivan and LuDene, and Shawn and Mel and the kids to come up and send balloons up with us. Last year we ended up with quite the party. I couldn't face that this year, but I knew I had to do something for the kids.

The very best thing that can come from really painful experiences like this is...I miss him fiercely because I loved him so completely. I am grateful for the little lessons in life that remind me of how far I've come, and how blessed I am.

Aunt Mel brought all the balloons, and generally takes wonderful care of us. We love you Mel!

Crazy Carters in action. Malorie and Savana came up last minute to help us. Love you guys

Ashton and Averie were so excited to write cute messages to their daddy.

Ivan, ready for the countdown

Ethan, has had a really hard time without his dad, but is doing well.

Shawn, writing his message! Such a great brother

LuDene, brave as ever!