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Friday, November 2, 2007

Happy Birthday Baby

A year ago we were celebrating Chelsea Rae becoming a teenager. She was stoked, she could no longer be called a “pre-teen”. At the time, I thought that my biggest battles were going to be those of her being a teen and all that would come as a result.

If only I could trade back for those battles now. What I wouldn’t give for a good back talking, head butting argument with my girl.

It was actually becoming quite fun, her becoming a young lady and all. We would shop together, and tease each other because our taste in clothes were so different. Purses and shoes though, now there’s something we agreed on!

I found myself going back through my journals of last year, trying to remember exactly what we did for her birthday. She had wanted a cell phone - a pink razor. We were still saying no (of course, she did get her pink razor with unlimited texting not long after…).

It was sweet as I reminisced on the concert that we took her and Lele to - Jeremy Camp, Adie Camp and her favorite (until she met the guys of Kutless) - Hawk Nelson. It was a good birthday, one that she was very excited about. I remember that we had kept the concert a surprise to her… having the tickets months in advance. I remember the silly yellow Hawk Nelson shirt she had to have with the lyrics from their song “Tried to Be” that she would sing all the time. I remember her black shoes with stars on them that she had me write “Hawk Nelson” on the fronts. I don’t think we could have made it any better, even if it we knew then that it would be her last birthday with us. What a relief that is to me… what a relief that we didn’t slack on the birthday with the assumption that we would make up for it next year. We celebrated, and it was great. What a blessing.

As I came to the journal entry from Easter, I was reminded of just how well she handled her cancer battle. It had been a rough day for me. Later that night, she comforted me saying, “Don’t be sad, God doesn’t want you to fix this or you would.” She knew how as parents we felt so hopeless that we couldn‘t make her better, and yet she was the one who’s faith encouraged me. I am thankful for her trust in God even when we didn’t understand, and I am thankful that she knew that we would do whatever we could to take away her pain and suffering if only we were able.

I am so thankful for my baby girl. She taught me so much about unconditional love. There’s something about being a parent, of holding your baby for the very first time - a love that words just can’t describe. In the years when I was discouraged, I always knew that at least my baby loved me. Because of her I am a better person, a better mother, a better friend. God gave me such a precious gift 14 years ago today - a gift that would forever change me, and so many others.

Happy Birthday Baby.

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10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chelsea was truly a beautiful gift to many! I wish I could have met her, but I learned so much from her without physically meeting her. She was a strong young woman. I am sure she is having a wonderful birthday up in heaven and looking down on you and smiling because you are such a wonderful parent and you were such a great support to her! I will be praying for you and your family today as these special holidays are always rough reminders.

Beth Winegar (Lori's aunt)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post (and all the others).
What wonderful memories we have of Chelsea! I remember being at your home when she got the tickets and how excited she was. That was one cool birthday party! I also remember last Easter Sunday at Uncle Gary's and Auntie Barb's home. One of my most precious memories was that Sunday. Chels was beginning to feel tired so I sat down on the couch and she lay down next to me with her head in my lap. Cameron came over and began to "entertain" us (as only Cameron can) by dancing for us with his headphones on. Next thing I know he's sitting on the floor with his head on my lap next to Chelsea's and they're playing with her phone. We were alone in the room and I kept wishing someone with a camera would come in to take a picture of this but I knew if I called out to get someones attention it would disturb the two of them and the moment would be lost. That is one memory this grandma will cherish forever. I think of it quite often in fact. There are many other precious times we had with Chels and grandpa and I are so blessed to have them to call on when we need a "Chelsea fix" (you know what we mean).
We say along with you,
Happy Birthday Chelsea!
Love you guys,
Grandma McIntyre

Barb Majors said...

What a joy it was to wake up so early on this day 14 years ago and come and meet Chelsea for the first time just after she was born. She changed my identity that day...I became an aunt! To be able to watch her grow through the (brief) years is one blessing I'll always be thankful for. We had a cool, special bond that only this soon-to-be white haired aunt and niece could have. She has a very special place in my heart and will always have it.

We're praying for you guys today, as we always do.

I love you!

Lisa Ward said...

Happy Birthday Chelsea. I can't wait to meet you at home with Jesus one of these days.

Celeste, I can't even understand how hard today is for you, but know that I and so many others are praying for God's comfort and peace for all of you. Heaven is such a sweet promise - it's the wait that's so hard for us! I'm so thankful with you for the great memories.

Love in Him,

Lisa

SharonK said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAREST CHELSEA!!!
We are so glad you came to this family. We are so glad your were born to us!
Such a bright shining star, too bright to stay long, like a comet flashing through our lives, so stunning in your faith it took our breath away as we watched you soar beyond us to the heavens and your true home.
We will always love you and your family who is such a blessing to all of us.
I love you, Aunt Sharon
p/s can I just say I love Lori too...(smile)

Lori said...

Happy Birthday Chelsea!!! I set a reminder on my computer after her memorial service to remember her birthday. But it wasn't needed. I woke up thinking about her. I remember meeting all of you in the hospital. Chelsea was patiently making a football field out of clay for her dad. Each blade of grass lovingly crafted. I was amazed at her talent and at her patience. But most of all, I loved her HUGE smile and sly sense of humor.

It's a blessing and a burden to be told your faith is an inspiration. I know that Chelsea struggled as all of us do but your stories of her consistency and encouragement can only be described as inspirational. I think of her when I hear the Mercy Me song "Bring the Rain". (a portion of the lyrics are below)

At a cancer event, Megan Woods said that she was glad she had cancer because without it she would have never met all these wonderful people. I wish with all my heart that Chelsea and Lillian did not have cancer. But I am thankful that our special girls brought us together.

I'm sending you hugs and prayers today and always!!!

Lori

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You

Anonymous said...

Celeste, thank you for sharing your heart today on Chelsea's birthday. I just can't stop the tears running down my face. I'm thankful that God knew that her 13th birthday had to be great for Chelsea... and now for you... the "whew"! God is good for helping you make it perfect. I'm so sorry for your breaking hearts... especially, today. :( What a beautiful gift she was to you and to our world. God is good to have blessed our lives with your beautiful daughter. I love you and your family. I just want you to know... I'm praying for you, especially today. Jesus wrap His arms around you and comfort your broken heart. Hugs- Denese & family

Joey Schaefer said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHELSEA RAE! Her 13 birthday party last year was the best for me. She is still so precious to my heart and I am so glad that she came into my life! I love her so much!

Love Always Joey!

emily said...

Hi Celeste,
Oh, I love you so much! I always think of you, but you and your family were in my thoughts tons these last few days, especially yesterday. I thought of Chelsea so much and I kept thinking how she was having the best birthday party of all, I only wished we could all have be there to share in it. I asked Jesus to tell her Happy Birthday for me and to let her know how much I love her. I am so glad that you have the blessed memories of last year's party, I know it still hurts but I'm glad you are blessed with many sweet memories of your girl. I love her so much and am so thankful that God blessed us with the gift of her. He knew we needed her. I love you as always and you are in my prayers continually. Love, Em

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.

Lisa Peterson said...

Hey there Celeste!

I am so sorry I didn't send this yesterday! You were in my thoughts and prayers all day. As I told you before I am a much better talker than writer! I had so much fun yesterday with you and Kennedy. I would like to take some time for it to be just about you soon. Just know that my heart aches for you and I love you! May God give you peace each day and each milestone you cross. PS. 91