This year Gabriel’s Angelversary fell on a Saturday. We had talked about going to Idaho to visit his resting place but decided that since our Backyard grass was in then it was time to put in the “Gabie Garden”.
Saturday morning Isaac had a Baseball Game so we went there then we went to Hallmark. We were asked by Grandma Saville to go to Hallmark and pick up some Christmas Ornaments for her. While we were there we bought a new Lightening McQueen Ornament for Gabriel. (We thought it was fitting since it was his Angelversary). Then we went to Home Depot’s Garden Center. We bought Lily’s, Daisy’s, Zinnia's, a Climbing Clematis, a Fox Glove, Silva, Lavender some Lupine, Hosta and Ground Cover. Then we came home to plant. We unloaded the Van and then David and I ran to Wal-Mart quickly to look for Forget Me Nots and Peppermint but could only find seeds. (I still haven’t had time to plan those). Then we bought 12 Balloons for Gabie and went home.
It took some time to get everything arranged then planted but we all pitched in and I feel like it turned out fantastic. This week we added 2 light up Dragonflies and a Hummingbird. The small one’s change colors through the night. As of today the Daisy’s are looking pretty sad. I’m not sure if they will make it but we planted a lot of them so even if only 1 or 2 make it that would be fine. The Lily’s have bloomed beautifully. I love Lilies and we were given 1 Lily for Gabriel’s Funeral that is still living in Lava at Grandma Egley’s right now. One day we will move it into Gabie’s Garden.
When the garden was all planted we wrote our messages to Gabriel on his Balloons and had our neighbor Brother Maia come and take a family picture of us. Then we released the Balloons. This is our first Balloon release from Utah and I had worried about not being in Lava but it felt good to be at home. We all sat on our new grass and talked a little bit about forgetting. Madison was pretty upset when she wrote her message so I read it and she was feeling very disappointed in herself. She mentioned that she had recently walked by Gabriel’s picture and for a second she didn’t recognize him. She was feeling like she had betrayed her sweet baby brother by forgetting him. So we talked to all the kids about forgetting. As hard as it is, it’s natural to forget things. David and I both struggled with it a lot in the first few years and at time it still tears me apart when I realized I can’t remember the way it felt to hold Gabriel in my arms and when I really try to remember it’s usually remembering how he felt limp in my arms when I first found him now breathing (not a pleasant memory). But then trying to remember his little laugh and all his features gets difficult as well. We told the kids that’s why we are so thankful for his memory books and videos. Later that day I got all those books out Madison and Jenna both took turns sitting quietly alone looking through them remembering all the good memories and some of the bad ones. They cried and laughed but I think in the end it helped them to feel reconnected to their brother. I still struggle when looking through his albums and poor David doesn’t even attempt it. But I’m so glad we have them and one day maybe it won’t always be painful to look through them.
As I anticipated this 4 year Angelversary I actually felt calm and at peace. I’m usually a wreck most of July but this year was different. I’m not sure why. I felt sad, I felt unable to believe it’s been 4 years since I held my baby, it still seems so fresh some days. But I also felt happy that I know he is happy, I felt peace knowing that I’m 4 years closer to holding him again, I felt gratitude to my Heavenly Father for giving me the opportunity to be Gabriel’s Mother, what an amazing gift! I felt so much love for my Savior in his great Sacrifice so that I can be with Gabriel again. All these wonderful feelings out weighed the bad feelings this year. The flashbacks were not as intense as the years past (those are memories I will probably never forget and yet they might be nice to forget). I know every year may not be like this so I’m recording it and praying that this great loss and void in our family continues to lessen year by year.
2 of my sweet sister in laws did make it up to Gabriel’s resting place and released balloons there with Gabie’s Cousins. I’m very thankful they support us in this and know how much it means to us to have that support. I’m very aware that this is our life and not anyone else’s for most people we know July 12th is just another day but when anyone remembers the significance of that day for us and does or says even the smallest thing to let us know that they remember us on that day and more so they remember our sweet Gabie it really does mean the World to us!
Sunday was emotional for me they sang songs that really spoke to me at Church and our Ward was split and our Stake President, President Willden spoke. All of the above brought me to tears most of the meeting. Mostly I was just feeling the spirit so strongly I felt that everything that was being said was being so strongly verified to me that it was right. Then there were also tears of pain and sadness when I related so many of the beautiful words in the songs sang to Gabriel. David too struggled with the last song Come Come Ye Saints, that song gets us every time. And although they were relating “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go” to our split I totally related to Gabe. Anyway needless to say I was exhausted when I got home and went to bed early.
The rest of this week hasn’t been too bad. The 20th will mark 4 years from Gabriel’s Funeral and I sometimes struggle on that day as well so I guess we’ll just wait and see but I’ll be here with my family so I’m sure “All Will Be Well”.
Side note to Stacy: We Love the Frog Balloon!!