Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Anastasha - One Year Later

We celebrated Anastasha's 1st/Tonya's 37th birthday this week.  As you might expect, it was a bittersweet day.  We looked back with fondness on the gift of Anastasha's life.  But there was also a heaviness in realizing that she has been gone from us for an entire year.  The memory of her life is still very vivid, as is the memory of her loss.

The day began with the kids making Tonya breakfast (which is a tradition we've done for years). This time, instead of bringing it to her in bed, we brought it to the nursery, which is where Mommy has spent most of her free time these days...nursing the twins.

We gave Tonya her presents, which included a pendant that I bought her that has an engraving of a Anastasha's actual footprints.

From 12:39 PM till 1:29PM (the 50 minutes that she was alive), we all sat in the living room together as a family.  We prayed together, thanking God for the gift He gave us in Anastasha.  The kids then read cards and poems that they wrote for her.  After this time was over, we went outside and planted two Magnolia trees in Anastasha's honor.

Later that evening, we went to the cemetery to visit Anastasha's grave.  The girls made her a birthday cake, which we brought with us and ate there.  We sang "Happy Birthday" to her.

Finally, we brought and released some paper lanterns (like from the movie "Tangled").  The kids enjoyed this better than balloons.  We couldn't believe that it actually worked!  You can watch a short video of it below.

Overall the day was a blessing...filled with smiles and laughs and plenty of tears.  We are so thankful to our Father for our sweet little princess.  We can't believe she has been gone for a year already.  But we are so glad that she has spent every moment of that time in the Presence of the King.

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