We are celebrating the birthday of one of our sons tomorrow. Not just any birthday… a 10th birthday. A decade of loving him. A decade of missing him. A decade of sharing his life with the world. It’s Caleb’s birthday. Caleb is our son who lives in heaven.
I’ve been pondering how to make his birthday special, since we hope to make all our son’s 10th birthdays a little something more than the others. For Josiah’s 10th birthday we spent the night at a hotel in Toronto and had 12 hours of fantastic fun at Canada’s Wonderland on a beautiful summer day. For Elijah’s 10th birthday in a couple of years maybe it will be Darien Lake or some other fabulously fun event.
Marking a decade of life is no small thing! Entering the double digits, passing a milestone, growing that much older (because have you noticed how much they grow up once they hit that 10th year?!). It seems like I blinked and somehow Josiah went from little boy to young man once he turned 10. Amazing how that transformation happens.
Every year we release a helium balloon for Caleb’s birthday. Sometimes we add a note to it, and one year we added a couple of jelly beans. We all get to make it special in our own ways. We sing Happy Birthday and we kiss the balloon, and we let go and watch it soar into the heavens. We play a game and see who can keep the balloon in sight the longest. Josh always wins. We picture Caleb grabbing hold of the balloon and playing with it for a while, like any little boy would do.
But I suppose Caleb may look a little different in my mind, when I picture him now. No longer a little boy, but a young man.
Once in a while I’ll meet another Caleb, who is about the same age as my Caleb would have been, and it is such a blessing to picture what he may have been like, how he would have talked and played with his brothers, what he would have looked like.
So I invite you to join us this year – anyone who is interested – join us in our special balloon launch that marks 10 years of loving Caleb. That is one way to make the day special – inviting others in. Maybe Caleb will have so many balloons this year that he’ll have to share them around with others who are special to your heart.
A big party in heaven. I don’t know how else to throw him a big bash.
And if you do release a balloon, can you post here about it? Can you share the experience with me? Pictures, comments – whatever you want to share.
I also want to share that I have been working on Caleb’s book for a few weeks now, polishing it up, changing it around, adding, deleting, editing – and I am going to enter it into a Canadian publishing contest. If nothing comes of that (I would find out in the fall), then I will self-publish and make the book easy for others to order a copy for themselves or friends who may need to know Caleb’s story to help them get through their own stories of loss. Many people have contributed their own personal stories for the book, and I know God will use all the words He’s given, to bless other healing hearts.
I wonder what colour we’ll pick for our helium balloon tomorrow… maybe we’ll release 10 balloons!
More to come tomorrow…