Only 8 candles
As a mother, celebrating any of your children’s birthdays is more than just party invites, balloons and adding candles to a cake. Every birthday becomes a day of memory and a celebration of the miraculous gift of life; a moment to pause and reflect on that joyful day as your newborn’s helpless cry initiated a powerful connection of love that you didn't know your heart was capable of.
Year after year, birthdays are meant to be remembered and celebrated. With each passing milestone, you get to marvel at how your children grow, change and entwine their becoming around your family; changing and growing you.
The 4th of October is one of those days in our family.
Rewind to the year 1996, when a tiny pink bundle of sugar, spice and spunk (aka Laura Nicole) made her appearance and coloured our world for 8 delightful years.
Only 8 candles.
And so, for the past 17 years, Laura’s birthday has become our ‘Thanksgiving Day;' the day we are grateful for the gift of sweet and precious memories.
Special memories of loved ones are meant to frame our stories because they have enriched our lives in colourful and unforgettable ways.
No truer words have been uttered than those of Isaiah 49:15, ‘Can a mother forget the baby at her breast?’ I realise the OT context and imagery are related to Israel wondering if God had forgotten them and God reminding them that He cannot forget His children; they are engraved on the palms of His hands. But the reality rings true for every mother.
From an earthly mother’s perspective, I cannot forget Laura’s life - short as it was. Even though her name is engraved on a plaque on a wall of remembrance (4th October 1996 - 30 December 2004) - every year on her birthday, we get to celebrate her life - bittersweet as that may be.
Despite the fact that we never got to celebrate beyond 8 candles, each 4th of October is now a welcome reminder of her endless heavenly celebration because of her simple, childlike faith and trust in Jesus and how that was lived out throughout her 14 month battle with cancer.
I am thankful to God that although we live with a Job 1:21 testimony, our tearful hearts can rest in His continued love, faithfulness and goodness. He has not forgotten us. And as the passing of time naturally dulls our memories, we must make sure we do not forget. Birthdays are one of those times.
Laura is part of our story and every year, on the 4th October, we get to celebrate her 8-year legacy and how that has moulded and transformed our family. We are forever grateful for these treasured memories.