… a hard anniversary of two different dates with two separate meanings? Dates filled with memories and pain in so few days all bunched up together….when all your children talk about is their baby brother’s birthday coming up? Last week was so hard to get through… How do you celebrate it? Well, I guess you just plan a cake a celebrate, after all, following his birth-date was his feast day.
Well… this was new to us. With Luke, Mark, and Karoline, we’ve made angel food cakes and said Happy Feast Day. This was different. How was the week going to go? Would we hold it together or fall apart…Would anyone remember? As last Tuesday approached, we were a little quiet, trying not to plan too much for the next few days. It was a somber day in our home, but a day of rejoicing for our six year old nephew who shares this same birthday with Matthew. As we gathered the mail on those days, we were touched by some cards we received.. what was the most touching was that they were from what some may call “strangers” while others would say “friends.” They remembered.. they took time to send a card to us.. families we’ve never met, from states we’ve never visited…….. that was how the week started…. later we received a card from the NICU where Matthew was cared for, with little messages form various doctors and nurses who knew Matthew. Another card that touched us, was from the priest from the Trappist Monks. That was their job, to make caskets for families. They didn’t have to, but what was so special was that it was hand written with Matthew’s name in it. As the days went on, we were so touched by so many emails, comments posted, and blog posts from others remembering our son. Thank you all for the prayers as I am sure they helped hold us all together, especially the children. Cookie would say, “that was thoughtful.” (This is from a young girl who keeps her feelings to herself.) The children were all so aware of their baby brother’s short life.
We did decide over the weekend, we would celebrate on both Tuesday and Thursday with a Cheesecake. The day we discovered Matthew was in danger and needed to head over to the Hospital, we were at a Cheesecake restaurant having lunch. (My only “allowed outings” last summer were to go get a meal and return to my room to rest.) Ironically, we left before even ordering a slice of Cheesecake. If you know our family, you know that we only have dessert on the weekends or “dessert nights” unless there is a birthday or a feast day.. we certainly had that all wrapped into a few days. Our sweet neighbor from Poland surprised us with her homemade Cheesecake Tuesday morning. We celebrated Matthew’s gift of Life on Tuesday with Sundae style pancakes for breakfast, prayers at the cemetery, and one half of the cheesecake, singing Happy birthday . The second half of the cheesecake was enjoyed on His Feast Day on Thursday. We miss you sweet baby Matthew.