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Yesterday my son turned 5.  It is a big number in our house.  He knew when he turned 5 he would be ready to go to kindergarten soon and he would get to chew gum.  What none of us knew was that it would also be his first birthday without his dad.  We have been talking about his birthday for a while.  A month ago I bought invitations... Power Ranger themed and I even looked into having a Power Ranger character come to our house.  I managed to get 6 invitations out to the preschool kids at his school.  I just couldn't manage to invite everyone else.  It has been a hard month for me, earlier this month I barely survived our anniversary and have dealt with a cold, strep throat, a sinus infection, bronchitis, then asthma which developed from the cold, and then strep throat again.  It hasn't been easy.  Fast forward to last weekend when I started freaking out that I had not planned the party and had not invited everyone as I usually did.  I scrambled to send out text invites, assigned my sisters to various tasks such as food prep, decorations, and coordination.  I even managed to find two family friends willing to dress up as power rangers for the party.

As of Friday my daughter and I were still on antibiotics for our second round of strep throat.  I was holding my breath and crying all day worried my son was going to come down with it too close to his party to be able to still have it.  Thankfully he didn't get sick and the party was one.  It was amazing.  He was so excited and when the power rangers came he told me that they really are real.  He hadn't been sure if it was just a show or not, but they really are real and he was so thankful I asked them to come.  He kept hugging me and kissing me to thank me. Somehow I held it together.  It was the first time most of the family has been to my house and they didn't hold it together as well.  I had put up pictures from the memorial on our walls and in the play room per the kids requests.  There were a lot of tears all day, but not from our son.  At night as I got him to bed I told him I missed his dad today, but that his dad would be proud of him and happy for him. He told me he missed him a little bit (to me he has been adamant that he is fine and doesn't miss his dad and I don't need to worry about him).  Months ago he asked me if his dad was able to hear him when he talked, how would he hear his dad?  I told him while he was dreaming he could hear his dad from time to time and that is how his dad would show him he was visiting.  He told me the night of his party that he had wished for his dad to tell him Happy Birthday while he was dreaming.  I don't know how I didn't fall apart right there because internally I did.  Yesterday I asked him if his dream came true and he said it had and his dad had told him Happy Birthday.  'I am just not sure why he talks so quietly now mom.'  I replied with, 'maybe in Heaven everyone talks quietly.'  The his sister came up and our conversation ended.  

He is such an amazing boy, he looks just like his father and acts like him in ways I can't even describe.  He asked for a watch for his birthday because his dad wore one and he needed on too.  He wears a belt now everyday, because dad used to.  He is growing up way too much and even though I tell him about every day that he doesn't need to take to care of me, he does every day. His name means Strong Healer and he heals me every day.  

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Comment by Doug02122014 on May 13, 2017 at 9:28am
Glad things went as good as possible under the circumstances. I especially like what you told him about hearing his dad while he was dreaming. I have had some amazing things happen in my sleep after loosing my Darlene.

I can still remember vivid the 1st birthday after loss for my youngest daughter. I was singing happy birthday song and literally forget the words. Talk about a gutwrenching moment for me. Was hysterical to my daughter though.
Comment by on April 27, 2017 at 6:30pm

This is beautiful. I can relate to birthday without dad. My husband was killed in a car accident while I was 7 months pregnant with our daughter and he has a son from a previous marriage that I still have a relationship with. We have always celebrated my step sons birthday separate from his mother. My step sons 7th birthday was the first without dad. It was hard to open presents and read cards without dad. It was hard to hold back the tears when we sang happy birthday. For my daughters first birthday it wasn't as bad. We had an outdoor pool party with a ton of stuff to do, we sang happy birthday and did presents where some people payed attention but others did their own thing. so happy your son had a great birthday. life with a loss sucks and children handle better than us adults at times!

Comment by only1sue on April 25, 2017 at 4:17pm

My husband Ray's father died before he was born, his older brother was two when their father died and says he doesn't remember much about that time. Ray always said he wished his Dad had been there and he had got to know him.  Your little boy will do well if others share their stories about his Dad with him.  You are doing a great job raising him and I'm impressed by the effort you put into the party.  Just keep on doing what you are doing.  

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