Monday, August 3, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday Drew!

Happy Birthday Drew!!! 2!!
We LOVE YOU!!!!!!

Reminiscing... 1rst Birthday Joys
Good friends
Some valuable snuggle time
Mr. McGillicuddy Jr. and Papa
Happy 2nd Birthday Baby Boy!

Yesterday was Drew's second birthday and we celebrated the miracle of his life. While it was an emotionally charged day, it was also a magical day and Drew was a part of it in so many ways.

We started the day out by visiting his memorial plaque in the Garden of Angels. That was the first time for us, as we don't feel he is really there, but everywhere else. It was not as difficult as I imagined it might be, but it was definitely a very bittersweet experience. Peyton seemed to be alright with the idea that it was simply a place for us to remember Drew, one of many. He liked the idea that it was a place where others could remember him too, and that even people who didn't know him would be able to remember him. It was a very peaceful experience and we enjoyed our little Sunday service made up of our little family, surrounding Drew and surrounded by Drew. We are so glad we went.

Peyton brought a Transformer for Drew as well as a lucky penny he found, and as a family we brought the little frog for him. We chose a memorial marker with the little boy on the side because we wanted to be able to tell Peyton that we saw that as him, praying for God to keep Drew company.
Drew gave Peyton a kaleidescope as a special gift.
Peyton loves you so much Drew.
Peyton made himself right at home...
Showing Drew the treasures.
My boys...
Mommy's moment with Drew
Mommy's cause for so many smiles in spite of sadness!

The next part of the day was Peyton's favorite if you ask him. He was so excited about Drew's birthday party and wanted to make sure we invited people his age and decorated everything to the 9's. It had to be just right!

We weren't sure of the weather - they were predicting thunderstorms for the afternoon, but the afternoon turned out absolutely perfect. We couldn't have asked for better weather. The atmosphere was almost magical and our prayers for guidance navigating this experience seem to have been answered better than we could have asked for.

Some of the highlights of Drew's party for me were the lighting of our "Drew Candle" that stayed lit until the last person left and we blew it out with kisses, singing Happy Birthday to him while balloons floated on the breeze up to heaven, watching Jordan paint the expectant faces of the children, and most of all, the clouds at the end of the evening. Thank you to everyone who joined in the tribute - it was an experience I will treasure. The hole in my heart throbs with these words, because I so wish Drew was physically here to enjoy his day, but I felt the joy of knowing him and the peace of his new comfort as a salve to my heart throughout the day. It doesn't slow the tears from falling though, and I realize over and over how much I miss him and that I will love him forever and forever.

Balloons for Drew - his favorites!

Our Drew Candle
Upside down, but then you can read it!
Some of the creatures you could have encountered at the party:

The best part of the evening...


Drew's feet topped my list of most loved spots to kiss, aside from his fuzzy head. If you look closely, you can almost imagine chubby baby feet in the bottom of this photo of the clouds. One with the toes, the other, just the back half of the foot. It was unmistakable in person, and I wish I could have captured it better with film. What a gift.

The baby foot again, surrounded by a hand. I would have needed a much bigger camera to capture this, but have you ever seen clouds like this? My Drew is loved, by both his family and by someone so much greater than I. I cannot imagine the depth of love my Creator has for us if He is willing to remind us in such a tangible way. I am so glad my Drew is in the lap of someone who loves him even more than I.

Thank you God.

I love you Drew. Mommy.


Greg Ashby said...

Jordan, Kari, and Peyton...
thanks again for sharing so openly. You are in my prayers today. May God continue to comfort you.

Love you guys.

CB said...

Oh Kari,
Thank you for sharing. What a beautiful day you had. I'll be keeping you in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for allowing us to share in this special day. It was a wonderful evening.

Love Jason & Leigh-Ann and family.

Anonymous said...

Oh, one more thing I meant to add. Jordan has to be the best face painter i've ever witnessed. James ... not so much :)


James said...

Jordan, Kari & Peyton...
Thank-you for sharing this very special day with us. The evening was perfect except for the face paint removal before bed. hehe
Those clouds were magical and a perfect cap to a full evening of celebrating Drew with the kids.
We Love you guys!!!
James, Nicola, Maggie & Lyla

James said...

I agree with Jason about the face painting. You're a pro Jordan and the kids loved it.
Jason & Colin were good sports. Maybe I'll have Jordo teach me a few things for next year so the two of you don't look quite so crazy.
And Jordo... there is no getting out of it for next year. You're getting the full facial.. haha
Love Uncle Mooney

Aisling said...

I've always known it, but seeing the pictures, reading your words and watching the video reminds me that Drew is very much alive in your lives. We thought of you on Sunday while we were away. We love you guys so much. So wonderful that you had the most beautiful day for Drew. And the clouds...just amazing.

Anonymous said...

Jordan,Kari and Peyton...Your day was absolutely awesome!!!You are an amazingly wonderful family...much love and continued blessings, David and Shirley

Davis Family said...

Gee - words fail me. Love you all!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Drew!! You are SO lucky to have the family you have!! That looked like an awesome, fun-filled day. I think we will have to mark a day on our calendar where the boys can visit Drew's memorial too.


Kerrie said...

Thank you for sharing - what a beautiful day you had!

Love to you all,

Nicole said...

As usual, I'm smiling and crying at the same time. I'm so glad your day was amazing. What a wonderful way you spent your day. You guys are incredible.
Love you,

Kevin and Laura said...

What a beautiful celebration. Drew continues to shape me into a better person. Can't wait to see you all tomorrow.

ps- When we sang Drew happy birthday, Landon said that we should look up to heaven while singing, it was a moment I'll always remember.

dorinda said...

What a birthday party!! And the ending! Don't we have an awesome God?! Those pictures are priceless. I wish we could be at the golf tournament tomorrow-possibly next year. But David and Alison bring you hugs from us and we know it will be an awesome time. Thank you for sharing your day with us-I knew it would be special. And Father God, thank you for sharing Drew's foot with us. I know you both were looking down at everyone and saying "hi" :)
Our love, Mike and Dorinda

Cathy said...

That was so sweet of you guys.. I love having parties for kids.. They would really love it even how simple it is.. For them, that moment will be unforgettable..

Happy Birthday!!!

Gena said...

I smiled when I saw your "Drew candle" - 24yrs later and I still lite a candle on our sons birthday, every year. Our son was sick for 10 days, so the candle stays lit for those ten days, then is put away.
I am happy to hear that you know where Drew is; he is in the lap of Someone who loves him more than you do. Hard to imagine being able to love him more isn't it!? The hole left behind is so painful!! God is good though, He blesses us with such special moments and memories, and is always there when we just need to "curl up in His arms" and cry. He promised to always be our Comforter, such an awesome promise, one you will need to hold on to for many years to come.
God bless you both!
<>< Gena