Today was Bryon’s second birthday in Heaven. You might have read my blog yesterday when I wrote about how it was one year since the funeral and you must be confused as to why I am writing about his birthday. It’s true. His funeral was a day before his birthday. I had to experience a painful first the very next day after the funeral. And the firsts just kept coming. My birthday is in two days, my daughters is next month and our wedding anniversary is at the end of September. This corner of the year will probably always be the roughest five weeks of the year for me.
It seems so unreal that we are celebrating Bryon’s second birthday in Heaven. At times, I am still stunned that this all happened. But I decided that last week that the anniversary of his death will be the sad day. His birthday will be a happy day. So I decided to have a party for our friends to get together and share stories. Instead of dwelling on Bryon’s death, it was time to celebrate that he had lived.
Last year, the day after his funeral, a few of us had dinner at hibachi because that is what we had done for his last living birthday. I was thinking of doing that again but I wanted to include more people and it would be hard to have a lot of people at a hibachi table.
I decided that I wanted to release balloons at the cemetery and then have funfetti cheesecake at my house. I wanted to buy a whole cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory. Bryon would have loved that. He loved funfetti cake and cheesecake. It would be perfect. But my friend called the local Cheesecake Factory, they said they couldn’t sell whole funfetti cheesecakes. But that’s okay. I found a recipe online that worked well.
A few of my friends met at the cemetery. One of our friends brought a pennant from Siena College to decorate the grave. The same friend read the prayer of St. Francis which worked well because I did not prepare anything to be said. St. Francis was Bryon’s favorite Saint so he would approve.
My daughter and I brought a bundle of balloons to release. I was very impressed with my daughter. She is not yet three but she understood that the balloons were going to be released and sent to Heaven for Bryon. I was worried that she wasn’t going to understand the concept and that she would get upset but she let the balloons go and seemed happy that they were going to Heaven.
After the cemetery, we went back to my house for pizza, funfetti cheesecake and stories. There also may have been some Moxie tasting. Kimmy Gibber did not like it.
This might be the start of a new tradition. Maybe it won’t. But for the time being, it is comforting to know that I have a group of friends who are like family who want to remember Bryon’s life. And I hold my Albany family close to my heart.