A Birthday is Always Special


I wrote the words below seven years ago. I pause as I write *that.* I can’t believe it has been seven years since we welcomed two girls into our family and then said goodbye to them so soon after.

So much has changed. So much is still the same. 

Our family will always hold a place for our girls now in heaven. We will always be a family that has experienced loss. We will always have good days and some bad, and that will never change.

But we have changed. We are not the same family in the rawness of grief. We have found our groove, being open that our family includes two beautiful girls that we hold in our hearts.

We laugh about those early days of me cooking cabbage on my boobs while trying to stop my milk. We tackle the hard conversations with our kids. “Why do babies have to die?” gets me every time. We celebrate that when asked how many kids we have, our sassy three-year-old responds, “A LOT!” We celebrate their birthday every year with a special family day and party.

Charlotte and Vivian’s birthday is a special day. It will always be a special day for our family. Just like the planning those goes into bounce houses and party favors, we all choose something special for our traditional beach birthday. And most families that have walked a path like ours have often echoed the words below.

It is a day. But it’s a special, beautiful day. And we would love to share it with you. 

(A special thank you to Sara from high school, who every year sends me a short FB message wishing them a “happy birthday.” It means more than you will ever know that you choose to remember them…us. Thank you.)


Today is a day. For our family, it is a special day – but it is also just a day. Our special day should be filled with pink cupcakes, candles, presents, and two rounds of “Happy Birthday.” Our special day should be celebrating Charlotte and Vivian’s first birthday. Our special day should be recognizing that a year ago, Zach and I became parents to two beautiful girls. There should be a lot of things on our special day.

But today is just a day. It is a day where life goes on with more tears than normal. It is a day when our hearts hurt because our arms are empty. It is a day when Mommy gets special pink flowers from Daddy. It is a day when we remember that we have been forever changed by our two girls. Because of them, today is a day where we love more, where we lean into our faith more, where we have more hope for the tomorrows, and where we live more fully today. We may not get to open gifts in pretty paper today, but we relish in those gifts that our girls gave to our family.

Don’t get me wrong, today sucks because it is not your traditional “special” day. But we wouldn’t change that we have two beautiful daughters that have made every day of the past year its own kind of special. Happy Birthday to our girls, Charlotte and Vivian. You are forever “our girls” that we love and miss.


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