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Because there was no way I could post Aaron Jr's birthday parties at the normal time, I am backtracking so that his birthday is recorded. Thanks April... for taking these photos with my camera. I just couldn't bring myself to pick up a camera yet.
Here is Aaron Jr. His 2nd birthday was 2 days after Aaron passed away. I can't even describe the sadness of that day. I put a smile on my face for Aaron Jr. His birthday needed to make him feel special no matter what had just taken place. It was very difficult. I could tell he knew that his Daddy was missing. He still seemed to have a good time, but I just keep picturing what Aaron would have been doing during that day. Just a couple of days before Aaron died, he and I had discussed what we should do for Aaron Jr's birthday. We discussed going sledding, but Aaron Jr had a runny nose, so we weren't sure if he should be out in the cold. Aaron suggested taking him to the zoo... we had never taken him and we had wanted to for a while. We decided to play it by ear depending on how Aaron Jr was feeling later in the week. Well... later in the week, Aaron passed away. We never got to take Aaron Jr to the zoo.
There was a distinct void that evening as we celebrated Aaron Jr's birthday. The hole left from Aaron's absence that day was heartbreaking.
Grandma Harkness and Aaron Jr.
This was the best photo to try to see the belt that Aaron Jr is wearing. The reason he is dressed as a cowboy is because his Daddy was a cowboy. His Daddy was a jack of all trades... he enjoyed so many things, but he LOVED being on his horse in the mountains. A little over a week before Aaron passed away, he came home with this belt. He said that he thought it was perfect for Aaron Jr. It is a cowboy belt through and through. I told him that since Aaron Jr's birthday was coming up, we should save it for his birthday. So that was agreed to. So, Aaron never got to see it on Aaron Jr. Aaron also bought the black vest for Aaron Jr WHILE I was still pregnant with him. I don't think he even knew that he was going to be a boy yet. I know he just hoped.
Grandpa Harkness and Aaron Jr.
His second birthday cake at my parents' house.
Bath time in the kitchen sink.
Thank you everyone... for helping to make Aaron Jr's birthday fun for him.
Since this posting is about Aaron Jr... I thought I would take a minute and talk about him. It took Aaron and I a while to get pregnant. All I ever wanted in life was to be a wife and a mother. It took a while, but I finally got to be both. I have always been so grateful for Aaron and when Aaron Jr came along... I couldn't believe how blessed I was to have my dreams come true. To be a wife AND a mother. What blessing is more treasured? I always pictured lots of kids running around our house and Aaron and I growing old together. Well... it was cut short. Our time with Aaron was cut short. I cannot begin to explain the heartbreak I feel for myself... but the heartbreak I feel for Aaron Jr... it is even beyond that IF that is possible. At least I understand what is going on. I understand where Aaron is, what he is doing, and that we will be with him again someday. But Aaron Jr... two years old... he doesn't understand. I truly believe that there have been angels around him guarding him, protecting him, helping him grieve in his own little way. The last few days, he has been a little more clingy... he comes up and wants to sit on my lap and will just stare at the photos of Aaron. When he says 'Daddy'... it rips my heart out, but I am so glad he does say it. I want him to remember his Daddy. I want him to know his Daddy. I want him to be like his Daddy. I pray that he gets to have great dreams about his Daddy every night. Who knows? Maybe that is how Heavenly Father is helping him through at this time... to have wonderful dreams about his Daddy.
The song that is on my blog. It is one of 'our songs'. It always has been. Whenever I have my blog open the last couple of days, Aaron Jr will come up next to me at the computer and will start singing along. He doesn't say all of the words, but he will just sing along and then the last word of each line, he sings that word more clearly. Yesterday, he was singing with a lot of heart. He had his eyebrows furrowed and he was giving it all he had. It was so precious.
One more thing I have noticed about Aaron Jr. More than ever, he carries stuff around with him like he has to hold on to it and not let it out of his sight... or else. He will carry a cookie around for an hour and never take a bite... it is almost like he is protecting it. He has a couple of new toys that he tries to carry around all at once and even though his small hands can't handle it all, he tries so hard to make sure he has all that he wants. He protects his 'stuff'. As I have sat and pondered on why he is doing this... the thought has kept coming to my mind that maybe he realizes that he has lost something SO important to him and maybe if he protects his 'stuff'... then he won't lose anything else. I don't even know if that makes sense. It makes sense in my head, but it is hard to explain.
Two years old. That is so young to have to go through the grief and pain of losing his Daddy. I know he will be grieving at different times throughout his life, but right here, right now... I am watching him grieve and it is almost unbearable.
I love both of my cowboys. This little cowboy of mine that is still here is now the most important person in this world to me. I pray that I can help him with what he needs and help him to know who is Daddy is. I love you Aaron Jr. You mean the world to me.
We love and miss you, Aaron. You are our everything.
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