Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Heavenly Birthday

Dear Candace,

Another year has past. It seems to have both crawled and flown by at the same time. Has it really been 2 1/2 years since I last saw your face? Last heard your laugh? Last felt your hug? Is your son really almost FOUR YEARS OLD? All these things are true, no matter how hard it is for me to wrap my head around them. I still have your cell phone number programmed into my phone. I've yet to delete your email from my contacts. I used to call your house about once a month....just to listen and hang up (Sorry Wade!) because your voice was still on the answering machine.

Oh Candace, how I miss you so!

Truly not a day goes by that I don't think of you at some point. Most often it is when I see your son and his Nanny at preschool. I see them together and I put on my happy face for Owen (not hard to do as he is always happy and smiling, waving emphatically at me and my girls.) But once I am back in my car alone, on my way home, I am sad. I think to myself...."I should have seen Candace just now. We should have talked about book club and Bible study and playgroup and how we'd meet at the park with a picnic on Friday after school and let our kids play...I should have seen Candace just now!" What fun that would be to run into each other each morning as we dropped off our kids. I miss that I don't get to do that. Then it hits me how many times a day your husband and son, parents and siblings, must have similar thoughts and feelings.

A few weeks ago when this happened, I returned to my car after seeing Owen and thinking so vividly about seeing you, and a song was playing on my radio. The words seemed like they were coming right out of your mouth to me and my heart. It made me tear up. I pulled over and just took it all in. This has happened to me before. Where I've been thinking about you, and then I feel you speaking to me thru music. It's comforting and pacifying....so please don't ever stop doing it! It took a little investigating to find out the name of the song, but a friend found it for me and told me the title.

And get this...this friend, her name is Jennifer, and I met thru my blog. Today is her 34th birthday too! (Wait, it's gets weirder...) She lives in Chandler and is a teacher too! (Wait, it gets weirder...) YOUR MOM was her mentor teacher! Small, small world. Jennifer named her little daughter Avery Candace after your memory. Can you believe it? All these coincidences and a blog (and you) bring us together... after you've gone. Now we share recipes, mommy experiences, party planning ideas and of course - thoughts about you! It's brought me closer to your Mom too, which is fun. The three of us always email each other whenever you've visited and share our experiences with each other. It constantly amazes me how truly present and active you still are in the lives of those who loved you.

So my dear friend, I woke today wondering what birthday parties are like in Heaven. I hope it's a good one! We are celebrating down here too. Joanna, Ali and I are going to dinner tonight. We've celebrated your birthday together every year you haven't. I think it helps us get thru a day we'd otherwise hate. We bring pictures we have found of you to share with each other. There are sometimes tears, but mostly just a lot of laughter - because girl, you were funny!

Happiest of Birthdays, Funny Girl.

You are always remembered and dearly missed.

I love you,

Alan Jackson "Sissy's Song"
(playing now if you turn up your volume)

Why did she have to go
So young I just don't know why
Things happen half the time
Without reason without rhyme
Lovely, sweet young woman
Daughter, wife and mother
Makes no sense to me
I just have to believe

She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me

Loved ones she left behind
Just trying to survive
And understand the why
Feeling so lost inside
Anger shot straight at God
Then asking for His love
Empty with disbelief
Just hoping that maybe

She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me

It's hard to say goodbye
Her picture in my mind
They'll always be of times I'll cherish
And I won't cry 'cause

She flew up to Heaven on the wings of angels
By the clouds and stars and passed where no one sees
And she walks with Jesus and her loved ones waiting
And I know she's smiling saying
Don't worry 'bout me
Don't worry 'bout me


LauraC said...

Really really brought tears to my eyes. You are such an amazing woman. I am so sorry that any of us has to go through loss like that.

Anonymous said...

Please give a cheers for me tonight when you girls celebrate. I will be thinking of Candace today!

~love said...

what a beautiful, heartfelt letter to candace. i love that you all get together to celebrate her birthday, and that you get to see her son so often. hope you all have a great time remembering her together & knowing that yes, she's probably had a pretty awesome party today.

Avery's mom said...

Your letter to Candace is absolutely beautiful, and I think it's so wonderful that you and Candace's friends celebrate her day.
I don't think it is ironic or a coincidence that I was reading your letter to Candace on your blog when my doorbell rang and was handed a beautiful vase of flowers sent from Mary. Candace is definitely here celebrating with us!

Greeting Card Printing said...

What a sweet, heartwarming letter. I'm sure your friend Candace is celebrating not just because its her birthday, but because she has such wonderful and loving friends like you.

Jennifer said...

wow, that was such a beautiful letter, Erin!!! I hope that you have a nice celebration tonight. My thoughts are with you on this difficult day!

Anonymous said...

Candace would smile and probably cry reading your blog, but most of all, she would say "thank you" my friend for loving and remembering me.
We celebrated her birthday tonight as well...we cried, laughed and shared the love we have for our daughter and sister. We hope she is dancing on her birthday....

Kelly and Jake said...

Thinking of you Candace and praying for your family! God Bess..

Joanna said...

Wow. Amazing song. The words brought chills.

Brooke said...

Wow, Erin.....that is an amazing letter and crazy song.

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