Last Friday was Elyssa's 11th birthday! I can hardly believe it because it doesn't seem like that long since she was born. What an incredible gift given to our family... Not that every baby born or a marriage that takes place aren't wonderful gifts, but there was something special about Elyssa and the timing of her arrival. Our family had a lot of problems at the time and Elyssa seemed to bring us closer together and we were able to let some of the anger and bad things go. Then later on, as she grew, we discovered her developmental delays and all the testing and heart ache that was involved made us even closer.
What she lacks in development, she more than makes up for in other areas and she is a very special girl with many spiritual gifts and I have no doubt she has an understanding of what life is all about more than we will know until it's our time to leave this earth. She teaches me something every day and it is me who is blessed for having her in my life, not the other way around. Caring for her is a privilege, not a duty.
As we thought about Elyssa's birthday and what we'd do to celebrate, it dawned on us that she'd never had an actual honest to goodness birthday party with kids so we decided it was high time she had one. We invited her cousins and one friend from her class. Not all of her cousins could come and that was a disappointment but we understand that life is crazy... but actually, the number who came ended up to be just right, even though we missed the others.
They played games with balloon animals, bubbles, and a piñata filled with lots of goodies. I think the adults had as much fun as the kids did! Then after the games, we had worked up an appetite and had some yummy pizza. Then despite being full of pizza, we broke out the cake and ice cream! It was nice to sit around and catch up with how the kids like school and I had fun taking photos.
Sunday morning, Elyssa woke up and the first thing she said was, "More!" Of course, that meant she wanted another party! But she was really perfectly happy to play with all her fun gifts she received. She couldn't decide what to play with first so she got everything out to play with and she played with a bit of everything.
After the birthday party, my brother J Dee and SIL Patti were on their way home and they stopped by the cemetery, just to see if my dad's headstone was there. They'd checked three or so days before and it wasn't there yet (just the base) so to their surprise, the headstone was there!!! He sent me pics and called Mom right away with the news and we were really excited and relieved. Now I can stop cussing the headstone guy out every day ;-) (just in my head...).
After Elyssa got out of the bathtub, Mom and I put her in the car and I drove us up to the cemetery so we could see the headstone first hand. Finally, after months of waiting and stressing, and wondering if it would ever get done, it is. The last great tribute to Dad's final resting place is complete. It's just perfect, sitting right by Kathy and Elyssa's bench headstone.
I feel very blessed and grateful for all I have in my life, even though I grumble and get fed up at times, it's the happy times like these that get me through the tough times.
I just need to remember to be patient and things will usually work out... and although I am positive most the time, being patient is not one of my strong points... one of those things I'll probably always be trying to over come. But if we didn't have those things to over come, then life wouldn't be a challenge.
I know I'm weird... but I like a challenge.