~ August 21st, 2008 ~
Travis would have been 22 this year - this is the 3rd birthday we have celebrated while he has been in Heaven. It was a pretty sweet & gentle day - we tried to make it a celebration of HIM & the knowledge that he is rejoicing in the presence of our Father in Heaven & so many others who are there with him! Travis is on our minds every day - several times a day, and constantly in our hearts.
As it worked out, our celebration this year was with our sons, Brandon & Jared, and our daughter-in-law, Joanna and niece Andrea.
Here's how the morning started & how the day went:
Two of our sisters sent cards for Travis's birthday. On the front of Willene's envelope she said "she doesn't have the address for Heaven yet" - I wish God would provide the address or at least the e-mail address for Heaven - but then, maybe we wouldn't have the urgency to talk to HIM, if we could talk to others in Heaven.
Willene's family sent a beautiful, peaceful picture of Trinidad (on the coast). A few tears dropped when I read the message that "Travis's time on Earth is over". . . But it is a reality.
My other sister, Corine, delivered me a little brass coin box for the coins I receive from Heaven from Travis and also gave me a beautiful red glass heart shaped oil burning candle/lamp - because the only gift she remembers Travis giving her was an oil lamp - and this also matches the "Bleeding Heart Plant" she gave us in Travis's Memory in March of 2006.
Mom sent $ for us to buy something for our garden for Travis's birthday so we bought 'Sweet Memory' flowering plants/bushes for our deck, and bought some for the boys as well. . .
I dedicated the morning to watching the sunrise, but it was not spectacular - just like it was not spectacular, but peaceful the day of his first birthday in Heaven - I had my camera, but decided I didn't need to take the picture. I had coffee (something Travis enjoyed first thing in the morning) and did some reading that morning - treating myself to some solitude and quiet time. I found this comforting . . .
"He is always here with me. He is in my life every day, all day."
To live in hearts we leave, Is not to die. . . (Thomas Campbell)
The lasting gift that any loved one gives us is their presence in our hearts. The memories and the very spirit of the person live on in us, and in the things we cherish and do, long after the person is no longer physically here. That is something no one can ever take away from us.
~~ I will feel sustained knowing that my loved one is with me now and will be present always in my heart. For that presence I will be thankful~~
How the day progressed. . .We were all working the day of Travis's birthday, so we came together for dinner at a little BBQ place ~ Smokin' Mo's in downtown Chico ~ we put the candle Corine gave us on the table and lit it while we ate.
From there we went to the Farmer's Market - a big Thursday Night event in Chico. We also walked down to the square with water fountains that children run through - it was a very warm evening - but beautiful. There were flowers bought at the market, in Travis's memory/honor. We had some iced tea, and just experienced the beautiful end of summer evening in Chico - something Travis loved as well.
Then we decided to write birthday messages/notes to Travis and tied them to the string of a balloon that said "Happy Birthday from all of us!" and let it go into the night time sky while we sang Happy Birthday to Travis - As we left, we took our Sweet Memory Plants with us - the beautiful purple blooms will bring thoughts of Travis often (not that we could ever forget him)!
We miss Travis so much, but he will always be with us all in our hearts and memories & the reunion will be like none other, when we see him again!! I hope he might see that we celebrate him when we are able.
A week or so after Travis's birthday, Randy had a wonderful dream about him. He said Travis was giving him a hug ~ as if he had just returned from a trip he had been on for a long time ~ It brought him some strong emotions! We are always grateful when God provides an opportunity to get a much desired hug or message from Travis.
'Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.'