Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Toby's birthday

Toby's birthday was celebrated a little late this year, but none of our kids ever really celebrate on their true birthdays so that was okay. We made it to the cemetery and that's what was important.

The night before, Sam made a birthday cake for Toby. He and Iris then put icing on it and blew out the candles together. It was a nice cake and we all ate some of it. I think Toby would have approved.

The next afternoon, we headed to the cemetery. It was a long ride and we had to make several stops because I kept getting sick. That wasn't fun. At about halfway there I was afraid that I wouldn't make it, but once you're at the halfway mark you might as well keep going!

At the cemetery, we cleaned off the grave and put our flowers on it. It was so incredibly hot that day that we all just about melted in the sun. Sam played under one of the trees. We took lots of colorful flowers and balloons and a toy car that Sam picked out for his birthday. We didn't light candles or sparklers this year due to the drought and the fire ban. Didn't want to set the grave on fire like we did last year!

I went around and straightened up some of the other nearby gravesites, too, and visited Uncle Lindon. I like the fact that my family has taken over the area and that most of the people who surround Toby are relatives.

Birthdays, to us, are even sadder than the anniversary of his death. Last year, I was so worried about August 21st and didn't know how I would make it through it. When that day came, though, it felt much like any other day. There are other days that bother me more. His birthday is one of them. Saturdays in general are another. I hate waking up on Saturday before anyone else. It's too much of a reminder of that morning.

I hate the fact that we have to celebrate his life at the cemetery and not at a party. It's like a slap in the face.

I try not to let my anger get the best of me, but it's really unfortunate that not one single relative (other than my dad) remembered Toby's birthday. I don't mind that my friends didn't. To be fair, I can't always remember their kids' birthdays, either. But you would think that Toby's grandfather, aunts, and uncle could have remembered it and said something. I'm sorry, but it frustrates me. It makes me feel as though just because he wasn't here for very long, his life was insignificant and therefore doesn't need to be acknowledged.

Never once have they sent flowers to his grave or done anything to mark his life or death.

I am very lucky that my mom, my dad, and our friend Ashley far make up for whatever he and my other kids lack from the other side of his family. They might have to work overtime to do it, but it's good to know that my kids aren't really missing out on anything.

I should also mention that on his birthday a woman I have never met but who also lost her child to SIDS made a little arrangement with Toby's name on it and posted the picture on Facebook. I had not said anything about Toby's birthday so I was touched that she remembered.

Now, we have Iris' birthday to plan for. Her decorations came in the mail today and I ordered her cake last week. We have a couple of family members coming and the one friend who was able to make it when we tried to plan a party. Since there are so few people, we're going to cook dinner and have a nice spread of steaks, corn on the cob, and some fresh vegetables from the garden. Her theme is My Little Pony. 

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