The past few weeks have been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. Last weekend was Vivian and Annemarie’s birthday (July 12th) – and this year marks 7 years since their passing. This year was a hard one, and I wasn’t expecting it to be. Maybe it’s the distance of 7 years, or triggers coming my way when I least expect it – it’s just been emotionally up and down.
The first two weeks of July, I spent in a sort of anticipation of their birthday, all building up to the big day last week. Now here we are a week later, and I’m feeling much better. I am starting to accept that July will always be colored by their absence, and that’s okay. I know I am better than I was 7 years ago, and each year I do feel a little better. Ups and downs.
I am certainly grateful for the family I have here on Earth – and all the changes that have happened in 7 years. Ginger, Violet and Ellie don’t replace Vivian and Annemarie – it just doesn’t work that way. They are definitely rainbows after the storm, and I’m so glad they’re here. When I see a family picture, I always wonder what V&A would look like in the group – and at age 7, what their personalities would be like. It’s tough.
In the past, we’ve done balloon releases because I just didn’t know what else to do. I always felt a little guilty about that (the environment! – the birds!) – so this year, I decided to fly kites instead!
We love flying kites, and we’ve always used really flimsy dollar kites, and that’s resulted in frustration. So, this year, I invested in a quality, nylon kite (this is the one we got) – it’s even butterfly shaped! It’s well-built enough to last, and also way easier to use. I felt like if I’m not buying Vivian and Annemarie birthday presents, well…I can buy our family a kite. Ha!
Paprika, Ginger, and Violet were able to fly it by themselves! We went to the old school playground, which has a wide open grassy area, and also a playground nearby. We flew kites on both Saturday and Sunday – and it was great! Saturday (July 11th) was also a hard day because it’s the day we found out they had passed, and then the 12th is the day they were delivered. So, anyway – we had a whole weekend of fun anniversary kite flying, and it really did help!
Here I am flying the kite – and yes, I know I look ridiculous! Haha! I got this new hat to keep the sun off my face, and it’s a little big and pink – but it’s happy, and it works! I’ve got Ellie asleep in the Ergo, so she’s “helping me” here:
When the girls weren’t flying kites, they were swinging on the monkey bars!
Paprika kite flying! She’s getting so grown-up, right?
Ginger (6) has the hardest time with their birthday – she is very sensitive and emotional, and she gets so sad about her sisters in Heaven. If anyone ever asks her how many siblings she has, she will ALWAYS include them. She says: I have three sisters here, and three in Heaven…Vivian, Annemarie, and one small baby in Heaven.
If anyone asks ME how many children I have, and I say four – she will always correct me in front of that person and say: No, you have seven children – four here and three in heaven!
She loves to draw pictures about them, and talk about them – and she gets really frustrated by the division between this life and the afterlife. She wants to jump up to Heaven to see them and deliver their birthday cake. It’s so sweet, but I’m like…please, no! You are staying right here, dear. Haha.
I do understand how frustrating it is, and how especially long it feels that we will get to see them again. It’s hard to comfort her about it, because she feels everything SO deeply.
Ginger made this birthday card for Vivian and Annemarie all on her own and brought it to me. It even has glitter glue! 🙂
Outside of card:
Inside of Card:
Sweet, sweet Ginger:
So, that is the 7 Year Anniversary Wrap-Up! It is a hard line to walk – remembering them vs. being a Debbie Downer. I realize that after seven years, some people don’t understand why I mourn them still and how grief can be so strong at times. I am not living in the past – I am moving forward with my life and living in the present. It’s just a process. I still miss them, and I suspect I always will. I think about them all the time, not just on their birthdays, of course!
Sometimes, it’s just a quiet memory of them – or I will see twins and wonder what they’d be like now. Other times, like the birthdays, everything feels colored by their absence.
Living without them is a daily struggle, and I have to keep going on in the best way I know how. For me, that means staying mindful, living in the present, and honoring them in small ways, as they remain part of our family and always will. Families are forever. 🙂
Happy 7th Birthday, Vivian and Annemarie. We miss you and love you!!!