Her Birthday

I had it all planned out. I knew that I would be meeting some people for the first time today, in a professional context, and when asked “How many children do you have?” I would answer honestly, the way that I always answer in my head. “I have five children. I have three at home and we lost two.” It is Iris’s birthday today and what better way to honor her than to say those words out loud. As I drove to the meetings, I practiced the scenario and the words over and over in my head.

Then I never got the opportunity. The one time I am not asked the question. It was almost a disappointment, after I had so mentally prepared for the moment. But maybe next time, even if not prepared for the question, I will at least be prepared with my answer.

We went out to dinner for Iris’s birthday. We ordered a slice of red velvet cake and a slice of chocolate cake for dessert and brought them home. Lit a candle and stuck it in the red velvet. I left it burning long enough to snap a picture. If my baby were here, I would be snapping dozens of pictures of her birthday.

Right before bed, Theo asked if he could say a prayer to Iris. We lit a candle and he knelt down, clasped his hands together, and closed his eyes. “Dear Iris. I hope you had fun playing in heaven today. And I hope you enjoy the cake of the dead.” Best prayer ever.

Happy birthday, baby girl. Two years later. It feels like so long ago and just yesterday. I still love you and miss you and it still hurts.