I joked with my brother tonight that birthdays are better when your husband isn't around, because everyone tries to make it extra special for you. Today is my 40th birthday and it's actually been a lovely day. The last two birthdays without Aaron and Noah have been really hard. The first one after they passed away I dreaded, but my beautiful friends made it special by surprising me with a lovely cooked breakfast.
This time last year I was really struggling and I had thought that the grief had really caught up with me, but I now realise that I was severely depressed. I remember my birthday last year, and how hard it was to just get out of bed and to have lunch with my friend Simone, and go out for tea with my boys and Mum and Dad. I just wanted to ring them up and tell them to not worry about it, as I just wanted to stay at home in bed. I remember forcing myself to go out for them, because I didn't want them to worry about me. Last year I dreaded my birthday and tried everything I could to make it okay. I even went out and bought myself a birthday present, thinking how depressing it was that Aaron wasn't here to do it for me.
This year I hardly even thought about my birthday. I wasn't looking forward to it, but I wasn't dreading it either. Every six weeks or so I go out for tea with my girlfriends Pip, Bec and Lynne. We went to school together, and love catching up regularly. The best thing is that I now have a live in babysitter as Jay is old enough and happy enough to look after the boys for me when I go out. The girls and I arranged a night out for my birthday, and decided we would go out the night before my birthday, as I wanted to spend my birthday night with the boys.
Last night Bec and Lynne picked me up to go out for tea, and we went to meet Pip at the restaurant. When we walked in I saw a table full of people with some helium balloons and flowers on it, and it took me a few seconds to realise that the table was full of my friends and Mum and sister in law Steph! I felt myself go bright red and can't even remember what I said, but it was a lovely surprise to have so many good friends there.
Mum organised a beautiful cake for me.
Thanks for letting me steal your pic Alison :)
My cheeky cousin Toni always calls me Nan because she thinks I look like her, and she put this photo up on her Instagram last night. Aaron used to love teasing her that she looks like her Mum and used to call her Aunty Ann all the time.
This morning Jay left to go to school, and a minute later he came running back inside yelling 'there's a sign at school for your birthday!!!'. I straight away yelled 'Lisa!!!!' as I guessed straight away that it was my friend Lisa who would've done something so cheeky. Kobe and I walked to school and saw this huge sign out the front. Kobe thought it was awesome and was so excited to read it to me. I started to rip it down, and poor Kobe was devastated :) The damage was already done and I had students and teachers all day saying 'happy birthday Mrs King!.
The Prep/One class that I work in a lot, made me a special card and sang 'happy birthday' to me, and one of my colleagues organised a birthday cake.
A lovely teacher organised for my EAL (English as an Additional Language) students to sign a birthday card for me. We have been talking about birthdays a lot over the last couple of weeks as they have never celebrated a birthday before. I told them that in Australia your birthday is a special day and for one of their birthdays, we had some cake and I gave him a present.. It was lovely to have them come and say 'happy birthday' to me this morning when they got to school.
I said to one of my students today 'I'm 40 today! I'm soooooo old!'. She looked at me with a funny look on her face and said '40!? You're not very old!'. I told her that I loved her :)
I finished work at lunch time, and just as I was about to leave and she came up to me with her class teacher, with a big smile on her face. She yelled out 'Mrs King!' and handed me this beautiful card that she had spent all morning making. I love it so much, and told her it was my favourite card I got all day. We are wearing some pretty groovy clothes! I love that she has her headdress on.
Naomi (who helped fund raise for us when Aaron passed away) as well as friends in the USA who I haven't met yet, but feel very close to for different reasons. My friends Becky and April were on there - both of them have beautiful boys who both had hydranencephaly like Noah, but they have both passed away. Other friends who were on the video were all of my widow friends in the USA, who I dream of meeting in person sometime. It was SO good to hear and see them all 'in person'. Simone and I kept commenting about how stunning and beautiful they all are. It's so hard to believe that they're all widows too and hard because I know what they're going through. It was such a special, thoughtful present. I have watched it many times tonight and love hearing them all talk. I just hope we can all really meet in person someday.
On the weekend I gave the boys some money and told them to go and buy me some little presents. I don't care at all about presents, and I didn't even buy myself one this year, but I knew the boys would want to get me something. I told Jay to not worry about what the boys wanted to get me, and to just let them choose something. Harri asked for some suggestions so I told them that chocolates are always good or some nice warm slipper socks.
This morning the boys came in with their presents and I got chocolates from Jay, slipper socks from Harri and Kobe came in with a 10 pack of soap behind his back. I couldn't help but laugh, because it was exactly the same present he bought me for Mother's Day! He obviously thinks I smell or something ;) He asked me if I loved it, and I of course told him that I do and he was so happy all day saying 'you love the soap I gave you don't you Mum?'.
Tonight Kobe said 'I wish it was your birthday every day Mum, because it's so relaxing'. I'm not sure what that meant, but it has been a very nice day. I had to work till 5.30, so we got take away for tea and had a quiet night at home.
I have been very spoilt with lots of lovely cards, messages, texts, calls, flowers and gifts from so many people. Another special gift was a present from my friend Reeve. We were friends as teenagers, and when he went on his mission for our church I wrote to him at times, and in one letter I mentioned meeting Aaron and how he was a 'cool guy'. Reeve cut out that part of the letter and put it in a frame with a pic of Aaron and I at our engagement party. It was such a special gift - thank you Reeve.
I've decided that being forty actually isn't that bad. I think it hit me more when I turned thirty. I definitely don't feel forty, and they say it's all down hill from here, but I feel like I've definitely hit the bottom of the hill already, and am hopefully on the way up.
I wish so much that Aaron and Noah were here every day, but I'm sure they were so happy that this year was a lot easier for me, and I know they would be so grateful for beautiful friends and family who helped make my day very special. Aaron is probably up there right now stirring me that I'm now officially older than he was.