The 9th of August marked the one year anniversary of Mike's death. It's been a difficult year for our family. However, it has also been a year of learning.........growing closer.........and a lot of living.
We wanted to honor Mike by having a celebration in his honor. He would have loved that. We fixed all his favorite foods (well, maybe not all of them. lol)
BLT's, cheesecake, german potato salad, salami/cheese/crackers, and peach cobbler. I couldn't possibly remember all the things that were there. One of Mike's greatest joys was food. Pam says that he would make his plate like an artist paints on canvas.
Eric said some words before he ate that had everyone in tears. I'm going to try my best to summarize it.
He said that we came together for three reasons........
#1. This is the last of the firsts. Meaning that we have went through a year of first holidays without Mike, a year of the first birthdays without Mike, and a year of memories without Mike. This day marked the last time that we will say, "This is our first Christmas without Mike", or "This is the first birthday I've spent without Mike", or "This is the first trip that we have taken without Mike". There is no doubt in my mind that we will still have firsts without Mike, but it seems that the first 365 days are the hardest. Things are still so fresh in your mind.
#2. Gathering together as family and friends is exactly what Mike would have wanted us to do.
Yes....everyone is busy. Yes....I know it is a Tuesday night. Yes.....I have to mow my yard too. But this was important. This was something you can't miss. These are the moments you cannot recreate.
#3. Our kids. We need to do it so they remember their PaPa or their Ungle Mike. We need to this so they understand what family is. We need to do this so they recognize the people who will always be there for them. When Mike was gone, one of the hardest things was seeing the kids upset. I spent countless hours talking to my kids about it. I know that my cousins did the same thing with their kids also. Just because they are half the size of an adult does not mean that they have half the feelings.
Then Joshua prayed over our food and by this time there was hardly a dry eye.
If the above picture isn't a reason to celebrate, I don't know what is?
This was taken one year ago after Mike's funeral. Wouldn't you agree that much has changed in a year!
I really really love my family. They aren't just family to me, they are some of my very best friends. The little people make my heart swell. They make me want to pinch cheeks. They make me want to put bricks on their heads (so they will stop growing up so quick).