The first sentence that comes into my mind is, I can't believe today (would've, could've, should've) been your 9th birthday. That is how most of my current thoughts start when it comes to you because really, I can't believe how much time has passed since you were born and since you have died. This was the 5th birthday we celebrated without you here. The last age you were was 4. I have so many unanswered questions about who you even are. It is difficult to honor someone when you don't know them, and it is even doubly hard when they were someone you once knew better than yourself. I still have to ask myself, how is this even real?
Today I woke up and started my day looking at February 11 in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. I skipped 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023. I came across a not-at-the-forefront-of-my-mind gem that was aba feeding you frosting from 2 cupcakes for you to indicate your preference. That 2nd birthday of yours was miserable. You cried in 100% of the pictures taken, and babysitter Paige did a family shoot for us with our cute matching outfits. You really could have cared less, and that you did. You clearly were bothered by the seizures and pain.
It is funny, how aba reminded me how much I hated your birthdays during your life. I can promise, I hate them even more now in your death. There was just something so painful about reliving your birth and those first few weeks afterward every year while watching you suffer and miss every age-appropriate milestone. And now, well now you miss everything. I, however, do not miss watching you suffer, but I do miss not knowing the little girl you would be. Let's be honest though, it was a challenge to know who you were when you were alive too. It's not ideal either way.
Noam, Tzviki, aba, and I went to your grave and gave you your birthday rocks. Your sisters didn't want to come. I was torn in my mind over whether I should force them to or not. On the one hand, if they don't want to go maybe it's because it makes them sad, or maybe their grief is indicating they want to honor you a different way. On the other hand, what if it is just them wanting to put something else above you, and then I feel that isn't fair. I am all for variations in grieving, but it hurts my heart too much to have them just pretend today isn't a family day or that it isn't an important day. After visiting you we felt we should go to Starbucks and I bought myself a pretty tumbler as "your gift". Then we drove all around Scottsdale picking up your siblings from their previous night's sleepovers.
We were supposed to go watch a show, but it was canceled last minute, so I spent the afternoon getting addresses together for Tzvi's bar mitzvah save the date invitation that have to go out (once they come, after I fix the incorrect date (and aba thinks I have it all together, HA!)) We then went to bubbies and pop-pop made pizza's and bubbie made pasta and a wonderful red birthday cake for you with the perfect bear center! I couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate your birthday, well except if you were here.
Anyway baby girl. I hope wherever you are everyone made you feel special and that you had a spectacular day. I have no idea what I will have to plan to honor you turning double digits, so it's a good thing I have 365 days to figure that out.
I love you and miss you beyond words!
Until next time.