After a loved one dies you have to get through a year of all of those 'firsts' that they'll miss. The first birthday, Father's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas etc.
Our 'first' milestone event literally happened right after he passed away (July 12). Kayla's 9th birthday was July 15 (and the funeral was the 17th). And my birthday is tomorrow and I'm already missing his phone call.
I had planned a joint-birthday party with Kayla and a friend (her birthday was July 13) for Sat, July 14th. I left for FL the previous Mon. The birthday party could've gone on - Joe was here - but I felt stressed enough as it was preparing to go back to FL for a final goodbye and didn't have all those final details worked out for the birthday party yet. So instead of worrying about that on top of everything else we decided to postpone the party until we got back and things settled down.
Joe and my mom drove to FL with Kayla and Lucas on her birthday. Kayla knew it was her birthday. She kept saying she was NINE now. It was so hard having her birthday fall in the middle of all that was going on in FL; however since she was going to be in FL I still wanted to acknowledge her birthday. I wanted to at least have some cake and sing to her, but I didn't want to make too much of a big deal or celebration... because really, who felt like celebrating at a time like that? The first big event where family was all together in FL and my dad was absent? It was hard to do because his presence was definitely missed.
My extended family were all so sweet and nice though. They went above and beyond just having cake and signing to her ... she had presents to open too. Even though we were all hurting so much inside, it was nice to have those few hours of smiles watching Kayla excited about opening some gifts.
In the end I know my dad would have told us to celebrate her birthday. He would have said it was her day and she should have cake and presents. I'm so thankful for my family in FL allowing us the chance to focus on something happy and positive that night.