Made sense to me, but I took it to a whole new level with Matthew's first birthday. In so many ways, Matthew is our "rainbow". I cannot emphasize enough how much he is absolutely NOT a replacement for Grady. He never could be. Grady was his own person. He had his own heartbeat. He lived his own life. Granted he lived only inside of me. But he lived. And that's so, so very important to me.
While Matthew is not a replacement, he has brought such immense healing to our hearts. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't wonder what life would be like with a 2 1/2 year old Grady running around. And it's strange...I don't often think about what if Grady was here and Matthew wasn't? I think that's because Matthew is physically here, and Grady isn't. (I hope that's not confusing) I think about having them both here. But the reality is that if Grady had been born alive, Matthew would not be here because my husband would have gotten neutered, and we would have been done.
But that wasn't God's plan.
And I'm so, so very grateful.
As Matthew's first birthday approached, I contemplated the theme we would use for his party. I've mentioned before that he absolutely loves racing, so I definitely thought about a racing theme. I even ordered some race car invitations from Sam's with his picture on them, but when I went to pick them up, they looked awful. They were supposed to have an oil spill on them, but it made them look just dirty. So, I didn't buy them and chose something different. And they turned out great! This is the picture that was on his invitation...
The caption said "Roll on over to have some fun, Matthew [last name] is turning one." It had a baby wagon on it and was super cute.
A wonderful local woman makes the best cakes, so I contacted her for the job. I knew I didn't want to buy a store-made cake because I gave Matthew some of Jessica's icing from her birthday cake, and he broke out around his mouth. I'm hoping he doesn't have a peanut allergy!
I decided to go with a rainbow theme because it's his first birthday and I could get away with it! We have plenty years ahead to celebrate whatever he's into at that time, and a rainbow theme made me happy. Because, he is our "rainbow baby".
I'm a member of a facebook group for bereaved moms called Hope Mommies. Just the other day, a mom posted the following about "What is a rainbow baby?" I don't know who originally wrote it, but I want to share it with you...
I just think that's beautiful, and a great description of our Baby Matthew. Matthew brings such love, hope, energy, laughter and joy to our lives. But it doesn't mean that Grady's death didn't occur or that his death doesn't still affect us in many ways today.
So, I had Tracy make cupcakes in a rainbow fashion for Matthew's first birthday. And, to bring a true element of personalization, I had her make his smash cake with a race car. I think they all turned out GREAT!
There's a story behind the next picture.
When I was pregnant in the fall of 2008, Emma Grace colored that picture in her 5 yr old class at preschool. It says, "The rainbow reminds us of God's promise to Noah." I was working at the preschool, and she brought it to me and said, "Mommy, this is for Baby Grady's room." I told her how beautiful it was and that we would definitely hang it up in his room.
Unfortunately, it never got hung. I did laminate it, we put it on the table at Grady's service and obviously still have it (and I do still have plans to hang it in Matthew's room...I've just got to get a frame!). It was sitting on Matthew's bookshelf in his room, and as I was dusting one day, I thought it would be a great thing to talk about at his party. I used Emma Grace's picture to try to explain what a "rainbow baby" was to our guests. I made it a point to say that a rainbow usually follows a storm, and that every time I see a rainbow it reminds me of Grady, and God's goodness, and the hope and promises we have in Jesus.
Grady's death was definitely a storm in our lives, but Matthew is certainly our rainbow. More later...