It definitely wasn't something I was totally looking forward to.
Sometimes it takes every fiber in my body to just get out of bed and look semi-presentable. How would I have the energy or courage for that matter to celebrate my son's birthday?
My son who is no longer physically with us.
How do you muster up all the qualities necessary to 'celebrate' when all you are currently equipped with are qualities of grief and sadness? It is hard I tell you. The hardest thing I've ever had to do. So hard, but yet, with the grace of God and Ryan by his side we were able to do it. Like really do it. Dan and I blew celebrating our son's birthday our of the damn water! (enter fist bump emoticon here)
Happy Birthday to our dear Ryan Cruz.
Our baby sure did love Disneyland. I love Disneyland and it was a pure joy of mine to share that love with my son. We took it to the next level by going at least once a week...but seriously the smiles and laughs (and copious amounts of churros) we shared within those Disney walls are priceless. They bring tears to my eyes now, but I hold onto those memories so tight and think of them often.
It was a no brainer that we would celebrate Ryan's birthday at Disneyland. We planned a few things, but really we just all donned our Ryan shirts and let the day fall into place. It was truly magical. My son had saturated Disneyland...I mean he seriously was everywhere. I saw him in everything and most importantly we all saw him shinning through our smiles and laughter. We did everything Ryan would have wanted us to do and then some. We bought bubble guns and ate lots of churros. We rode Ryan's favorite rides and never waited in a line longer than two minutes. We ate his favorite candy, Ring Pops. We ran through the park flashing 'Happy Birthday Ryan Cruz' signs. We hugged one another tight and looked up into the bright blue sky, constantly wishing our little man a Happy Birthday.
In the afternoon we sang Happy Birthday to Ryan and released red balloons. We all cried. We cried and held on to each until we couldn't see his red balloons in the sky anymore. There were a lot of tears swept up with waves of calm and happiness. It was as if Ryan had his little hand on each of us. He kept saying " Guys, it is ok to cry, but I want you to have fun too. I want to have fun."
Overall, it was Ryan's biggest birthday yet. I'm so proud of my Ryan, he is finally four. He has been wanting to be four since he turned three. "When I turn four..." he would always lead with that and then ask for something outrageous. I'd always say "We will have to wait and see once you turn four dude." Oh wow, what little did I know then. Never did I imagine this...
Up in Heaven Ryan is telling everyone "When I turned four my parents celebrated me at my favorite place, with my favorite people doing all my favorite things."
We all had 'Ryan' leather bracelets made. That poor lady deserves a medal for dealing with all of us! She had twenty of us all asking for different things and they were all perfect. A few of us also got Olaf keychains because Olaf is Ryan's favorite. Ryan sings 'Suuuuummmmmeeerrrrr' and just adored that dorky little snowman. And now we love Olaf too.
Ryan's favorite candy are Ring Pops. We had them at his service and we had them on his birthday too. My sister brought a giant bag and we took a group photo with all of us eating them like he used to. Of course I can't find the photo...I'll have to share it when pops up.
Happy 4th Birthday Ryan Cruz.
Mommy and Daddy love you and will continue to celebrate you with every step forward we take.