Celebrated my sweet Courtlynn's birthday today. She will be three this week. It was a good day. I made it through without breaking down... without needing to excuse myself to have my moment of tears.... I did it. Six months ago we celebrated Noah's birthday and I could hardly handle my emotions. I was truly at my lowest that day... it seemed so wrong to be celebrating life when death was all I thought about. It was hard to give Noah a birthday worthy of him when I was just so sad... today was different. I was sad, yet I felt genuinely happy inside. I was filled with so much love watching Courty open her gifts and play with her little friends... seeing Noah help her open her presents, painstakingly getting the Barbie's out for her to play with... seeing the two of them play together (even if it was 'guns'). And having our friends and family here to help us celebrate... I was overwhelmed... how could I feel so lucky when I feel so unlucky most of the time? It's an odd sensation... knowing I have a million things to be thankful for, but ONE huge reason to say, "yeah, but..." I actually feel an internal fight with wanting to give thanks and praise for the life and gifts we have, but wanting God to know that it's not ok that Declan isn't here and that I'm thankful, but not that thankful... that doesn't make any sense, but I don't know how else I could put it... Sometimes it feels like giving praise and thanks is like saying "it's ok that Declan died, I'm over it..." and that IS SO not true. I am not over it... in fact, I don't plan on ever being 'over' it. I know I will get through it, but never OVER it. I think the healing process is like that... feeling like once I start to feel better, I am forgetting my son... but that isn't it. Some people are just not made to live in sadness... I am one of those people. I would not, could not thrive in a world where I didn't see more positives than negatives, where the glass is half empty instead of half full... that is me. I am learning to balance my life with a broken heart and allowing myself to feel joy again... to be happy again. Today showed me that I can do it... I can celebrate the wonders that life has to offer while reflecting on Declan... his short life had HUGE impact and I am moving into a position where I can start to see the beauty in that... even in my hurt. I am learning that I can be thankful for the many gifts God has bestowed upon us and still be sad... I know He understands.