Sunday, October 5, 2014

Birthdays in Heaven

Learning the cartwheel :)
Today was Avery's birthday. She turned 13. Tomorrow is my birthday. I'm turning 28.

We bonded two years in a row over the fact that we were almost birthday twins. Not quite birthday twins… but it was pretty cool that our birthdays were so close together.

I think it was her tenth birthday that she got a perm. OH MY GOSH was she SOOOO excited to get her hair permed. We talked about her hair for weeks, and she typically refused to tie her wild curls back in a ponytail. I didn't care. Avery was so cool like that. She was her own person… and I LOVED that about her.

I know I've written over and over about how absolutely amazing she was. How she loved with a full heart. How she worked her tiny little tail off to improve at gymnastics. How she would help ANYONE with ANYTHING. How she'd blissfully talk about her celiac's disease and what she couldn't eat, and it sucked, but her mom can't eat it either, so it's not so bad.

I can hear her plain as day. That laugh. Oh, that infectious laugh.

And I can hear her sister's voice, sweet and steady and so full of love; and her baby brother's voice who still talks about his angel sister any chance he gets.

And then, there's Bridget. Avery's faith driven mama, who displays more grace than any human being on the planet. The woman who prays for everyone else before herself, and who confirms without a doubt where our God Girl got all of her most inspired qualities.

My heart broke as I was able to enjoy a wonderful "birthday dinner" with my beautiful family tonight, and I know another family should be doing the same. So I left my birthday dinner tonight, kissed my amazing Mom, hugged my incredible Dad and supportive siblings and drove.

I drove straight to Avery.

Because she is such an incredible soul, I know there were hundreds of people celebrating her life today… and who will continue to celebrate it for the next 19 days. Why? Because Avery died on October 24th, so to celebrate her life we (myself and anyone who will join me) will do one random act of kindness every day from October 5th- October 24th. 19 days of selfless acts, and giving to others. Exactly how this faith fueled eleven year-old lived her life.

So today, I hugged my family, thanked them for everything, and then I went straight to the real birthday girl so that she could hear a "Happy Birthday" in person.

"There's a feather in my hair and a wing around my neck,
I'm ready to fly away." - Jamie Grace
I've learned a lot since Avery went to be with Jesus. One of those things was how to really talk to God. I've always prayed, but it was more of a laundry list of things to ask God for. I now know how to have a true conversation of praise and thanks, and I have Avery to thank for that. It was a peaceful and beautiful evening, and we had a lovely chat. Sitting there, praying, overlooking the lake as the sun began to set, I could feel her. Maybe it was the sweet wind chime blowing in the breeze, but something tells me that she had a pretty fantastic birthday party up in heaven. And I'm guessing, that she's going to continue celebrating all of the random acts of kindness that occur in her name over the next 19 days.

Happy 13th Birthday, Sweetheart.

More Info on "The 19 Days"

Love True,