You guys know what we do on birthdays and we'll do that but I wanted to share a little about Carys' story first. I woke up thinking about it and wanted to share.
In 1998 my girlfriend and I had our first miscarriage. It was one of the hardest things that we've ever gone through together in our married life. Most people, honestly, could not relate or understand or help us in our grief. It's one of those things that you have to experience to really understand.
To some people it's hard to understand how that can be so devastating. We never held our child. We never loved on him or even saw him but it was our child and we loved him as we love all of our kids.
We were on a family vacation when it happened. We've never wanted to go back to that city again. Too many bad memories.
My parents came to the city where we were and picked up Bronwyn, Ansley and Garrett and took them home so my girlfriend and I could spend some time together and grieve.
It was a hard time. It was a dark time and I felt a shadow over me. After a few days we went back home. I went back to work. My boss was amazing. My co-workers were awesome. They took care of me but I felt like I was walking around in a daze. My boss told me to go home and take more days off. I felt like I needed to work to help with my sadness so I stayed. I think my boss was right. I broke down at my work and a nurse I worked with took me out of my patients room to comfort me. I can remember walking the parking lot just so I could cry. God and I had some long conversations.
At church I can remember getting furious with a brother who tried to help with his words but said the most incredibly insensitive thing at the time. I know he meant well and any other time it probably would not have offended me but at that time a silent hug would have done so much more for my well being.
I remember being in the funk for a while. Feeling like only my girlfriend and myself could understand the feeling.
After my girlfriend left the hospital we were told, by her MD, to not try to get pregnant for 3 months. Honestly, the thought of getting pregnant again wasn't anything we thought we'd ever want to do. Who would want that kind of pain again?
But God began to heal us during those 3 months. Really heal us. He did His best work spiritually.
When those 3 months were over we both knew in our hearts that God wanted to grow our family and almost one year to the day of when our baby died our Carys was born.
It was the most perfect thing God could have done to heal our hearts. It was so obviously His doing that we called her our "miracle baby" for a while. Here was this little healthy, smiling, spunky, fun, adventurous and happy child and she stole our hearts.
She brought so much joy and happiness into our lives and we all instantly fell in love with her.
That continues today and here is what we share with you, Carys, on your very special day:
Gi: "I want to play Emblem 3 dolls, The Wanted dolls and One Direction dolls with you. You are a great sister. You are a great sister. I love you! That's all."
Anderson: "Carys I love you. Even though we fight just remember that I'm always going to love you. You're funny. You're brave and especially happy every day of your life. Happy Birthday!"
Garrett: "Happy birthday Carys! You are so awesome! I hope you have a great day! I love doing pretty much everything with you, especially wrestling (even though Im way stronger than you)! Muitos gatinhos pra ti! Just kidding, I loveee you! Happy B day!!"
Ansley: "CARYS!!!! It's adwee here. I miss you so much! I am so sad I'm not there for your birthday, but I know you're having a BLAST with your friends:) I loved talking with you on the phone the other day, I miss talking about cute boys and nice friends and music with you!!! I hope this birthday is the best you've ever had! I love you, thank you for being YOU! Don't ever change!! LOVE YOU AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"
Bronwyn: "Hey Keks!!! Happy birthday!!! I know I say this for every birthday, but I can't believe that you're this old. At least I'm still taller than you. Whatever. Anyway, I know you're going to have an awesome birthday today! I so wish that I could be there with you...I love you so much! When I see you in a few weeks, in return for missing your birthday, I allow you to leech on me for 5 minutes, and I'll give you a piggy back ride and give you ice cream. Okay? Okay. I love you and I think you're so sweet and cool and awesome! Believe me, you are way cooler than I was when I was 14. If you don't believe me, just ask mom and dad to show you pictures of me. Way to be cooler than the rest of us! I love you Keka!! Have a good birthday!"
Stephen: "Carys, first of all thanks a lot for getting your family hooked on One Direction. The saddest part is that I think I'm starting to like them. Sooooo what do I think is awesome about you...definitely your wrestling skills. I still have nightmares about you beating me up from almost 2 years ago!! I also think that you should appoint yourself family ninja/biter/leech to get the dirty work done that your ninny brothers are too scared to do. Keep being awesome! Happy bday teen teen!"
Girlfriend: "Happy Birthday, Carys. I seriously can't believe you are 14 today. I guess in my mind you will always be my funny little baby girl. NO MORE GROWING UP! Seriously, I love that even though you are a teenager, you are still fun-loving. Your laughter is my favorite. I love to hear you giggle. You are super talented - you sing well, you are a great artist, and you are good in sports. I know God has big plans for you because you are a person who everyone loves to be with and He will use you to help a lot of people. I love you so much and love doing things with you. Hope your birthday is super special!"
Me: "Happy Birthday Vivi! Thanks for being so much fun, for having an awesome laugh (you tie with Ans for best family laugh), for being way cooler than Bronwyn and Ansley (okay that's not so hard to do) and for being such a good big/little sister. Me and mom love all your friends and I love the example you are to them. People love to be around you and that's because you are so much fun. You live for Jesus and that draws people to you too. I love how you aren't scared of anything. You are my family daredevil. Maybe one day we can skydive together. That would be cool! I hope you have an awesome day today and have a bunch of fun with your family and friends. You are the coolest 14 year old that I know!! I love you and am proud of you!"