Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Still here...

Well, I'm not sure where the last 9 months went! Having a baby can be pretty all-consuming, I guess. But June is almost 9 months now, Holly is 4 and summer is here. I am so thankful for summer and pool days and lots of sunshine. Here is Holly going to her last day of school:

June playing with her "schoolhouse":

Both these girls continue to bring us lots of joy. It is hard work but oh-so worth it. June's little personality is really coming out and it is so interesting to see how every child even within one family is so unique. She is very sensitive and loves Holly. If Allen and Holly are playing and Holly screams laughing, June cries. She thinks Holly is hurt and gets very upset. We keep telling her, "It's okay, June. And we smile and say "yay!" but she still cries if she thinks Holly is hurt. And Holly is equally as protective of her (most of the time). I think she cannot wait till June is walking and playing with her on the playground. She is really careful to pick up tiny little parts to her toys "so June won't swallow them" and showers her with hugs and kisses. Many times these hugs have ended with June toppling, but the intention is sweet.

We still miss Joseph a lot. I was really distracted for many months after June was born and just didn't have time to grieve and be sad. But I think now it's hitting me again how much I miss him and wish he could meet June and be Holly's big brother, etc. Holly also misses him a lot. The other day she was saying how much she wanted to go up to heaven and bring him back and then he could never leave again. We finally decided she could draw him a picture and put it in an envelope with some candy and send it up with some balloons "to heaven." This really made her happy and she did enjoy doing it. As she's getting older she asks many many questions about heaven and dying. One book that has helped so much is "What About Heaven?" for kids. If you ever need a resource for children who are dealing with death and eternity this one is great. It asks a bunch of questions at the beginning of the book, then at the end answers them. Holly thought it was great that it never was night and always is day! She saw in one of the pictures that there was a bed in a kid's room and she asked a great question: "Why do they need a bed if it's never night?" She's always thinking!! If any of you have other good resources please let me know. I know she will continue to ask questions and we are going to need wisdom!

We are drawing close to Joseph's birthday (and the day he died) and that brings so many memories and emotions. I will sometimes go back and read through this blog to look at pictures and be reminded of certain things and I'm always blown away at how loved and prayed for we were throughout Joseph's illness. I have no idea why God caused so many people to care for Joseph and our family. We were (and are) so blessed. Thank you to everyone for showing us God's love in a very dark time.

Allen and I will celebrate 9 years of marriage tomorrow. I simply cannot believe what all life has brought us in our 9 years. We were looking through our honeymoon photo album and we were marveling at how young and carefree we looked (and skinny!). We had no idea what lay ahead of us. Lots of fun and great memories, but also a lot of sadness. But I am so grateful and proud to call Allen my friend and husband. He has been God's good gift to me throughout all the ups and downs. He has made wise and sacrificial choices for his family and I'm so thankful for that. We have had our fair share of struggles and hard times, but I have to say I'm still pretty fond of him. :) And he's still the funniest person I know.

This is how we feel at the end of each day (and after Holly's birthday party :)).


Jason said...

Love you guys. Happy Anniversary! We pray often and think of your whole family.

Jean Joiner said...

good to see you today! happy anniversary!!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post Gillian. Congratulations to you both on your 9th anniversary! Marriage is more lovely and real when there are the good and the hard times. Chas and I often say that if God had not taken us on the path to seminary and the pastorate, we would be happy as clams to be at Intown with the great friends and community you all have there.

Love you guys,

Anonymous said...

I thought about you all day today...and then here is a new post. I have been overwhelmed with sadness today with missing Joe P. so much and in my sadness I know God wanted me to pray for you and Allen. That was a great idea about having Holly send Joe a letter...I think it's so important for her to do things like that. She is an amazing girl, so full of insight for such a young soul! I know God blesses you through her.
I also thought today about your anniversary and how I forgot to send you a card...so HAPPY ANNIVERSARY...to two very special people who have had to walk through too much sadness in your short marriage. I can honestly say, your love for each other is a blessing to everyone. And the laughter...music to my soul.
Give the girls a kiss from Mimi...and I hope you and Allen have a nice day tomorrow...even if it looks like the last picture!!
Love, Kathy

juliette said...

Happy Anniversary. We love you all.

Kate Etue said...

y'all are hilarious. the other day annie lost her balloon in the parking lot, and she was crying hard about it. Grey went over to comfort her and said, "It's alright, Annie. Joseph will get to play with it now!"

Christy said...

Holly sending Joseph precious gifts with a balloon is pretty much the most adorable thing I've ever heard ... and it made me cry. When I lost my brother, I remember praying, "Jesus, I'm not sure how heaven works, but if you could give a message to Andrew from me, that would be really great." Wish I'd thought of sending treats with a balloon. :-)

I hope you have the happiest of anniversaries. I think enduring such suffering and sorrow together should add at least 10 years to your time together, so happy 19th! Maybe the next 20 years hold few tears and tremendous laughter.

Anonymous said...

What great pictures! Happy Anniversary! The girls are precious and we have no doubt they bring you so much joy. The other day I was unlocking the door to get in my house. A lightning bug was on the door and it reminded me of watching Joseph and Holly run through your yard catching lightning bugs. When Joseph died I prayed that God would remind me of the joy and happiness Joe P. had in life. He gave me the lightning bug! Now when I see one I am reminded to pray for you and to also remember God's faithfulness through great pain. You are loved dearly.
Vann & Norma

Sarah-Jane said...

love you guys.
Happy Anniversary.
I had no idea when I called you last night, that you had posted.
I know...spell check.
you editors:)

I love you sista.

Randi said...

Beautiful post...The Booth family loves Joseph's sisters and thinks of sweet Joseph every day.
Happy Anniversary!

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you post! Still thank of you guys often - still pray for you.

Ashley said...

9 years?! I remember ya'll's wedding so clearly. I was 18 and when Allen spoke at the rehearsal dinner my mom whispered to me "Allen loves her so much, just look at the way he looks at her!" And I thought that I hoped someday my groom would look at me like that! :) Anyway, may have embarrassed Allen, but I wanted to share that little memory.

Lynn T said...

Dearest Gill, Happy Anniversary and thanks for sharing. I know you miss Joe P so much. I love love how Holly sent Joe P treats to heaven. So sweet and what a great way for her to still express to him how much she misses him. I miss you all and we miss Joe P too. Will still, many times tells me how he misses him. We sent a balloon to him last month...Will's idea and we both kissed it. Love you

John and Sue Burch said...

Allen and Gillian - We do celebrate with you God's faithfulness and love He has shown you all the way through these past 9 years! Continuing in prayer for your fam! Thanks for sharing your heart!!! Sue and John

Sissy Kimbrell said...

Thank you for keeping us updated with your family! It is great to see beautiful June and Holly growing up! I still pray for your grief to ease. Congratulations on 9 years!
Peace be with you and your family!

Sissy Kimbrell (Jennifer & Matt's friend from Memphis)

Anonymous said...

Congratlations on your 9th anniversary. When I think of our Liam and Emma, I also think of Joseph. Now it is not with sadness but with a knowledge that they may well be friends. Hope all going well for you all. We are all fine, Miriam seems to be doing as well as your two little ones. Love always, susan and brian

Sue said...

I still think about you guys and say prayers for you. Your girls are beautiful. That is so sweet that Holly sent Joseph a picture and candy. I just wanted you to know I still remember Joseph.