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We are all in different places in our journey, but have taken a step forward in our life story without our spouse. The support you get from someone who has been down your path or some variation of it is irreplaceable.
I want to commend all of the men and women that take the time to give us a glimpse of their reality. The words they share can bring a whole realm of emotions and that is when you know it is written honestly from the heart.
When I became a widow in 2010, I experienced the pain of losing my husband, but what was even harder to go through was my children losing their father. It was important to me that my children got the attention they needed to grieve.
Be sure to visit JCC Banter to read the rest of my guestpost on Parenting Through Tragedy.
As my late husband’s birthday gets closer, he would be 34 years old this year, I think about the tradition my children and I started on his 33rd birthday. As he would have neared 35, I think about all the grief I would have given him for getting another year closer. Then the look that he would have given me and the roll of his eyes, then the laughter would have begun.
On July 5th, 2011, the boys and I went to the store to pick out their dad some balloons. They chose one balloon that said happy birthday on it and 2 green mylar balloons (green was Mike’s favorite color). Quincy wrote a message to his dad on one mylar balloon, the note read, if you have a house in heaven please put these in it. Rhyan drew a picture on the other. Quincy wanted to attached a picture that we had just recently taken. It was a picture of the two of them and me. He said that he wanted his dad to put it up in his house in heaven, so his dad could look at us when he wanted and see how much they have grown. I wrote a letter to Mike and attached it to the string. When we finished we took them in our backyard and released them. The boys and I watched as the balloons floated up to their dad in heaven.
This did a lot for the boys and myself. I wanted to share it with all of you. We will be doing it again on July 5th. In an odd way, we look forward to sending their dad balloons to his house in heaven on his birthday.