Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We Remember

Today, we remember...remember the day we spent with Branson...remember the moments we shared, the emotions we felt...remember how it felt to hold him in our arms. Some of those moments are so fresh, it seems as if it was yesterday, and others have slowly started to fade. One thing is for sure...we love him more today than we did yesterday, and we have no doubt we'll love him more tomorrow than we do today.

There are no words to express how much we miss Branson. There's not a day that goes by that we don't think about him, and wonder what might have been...

We woke up this morning with heaviness in our hearts and an aching in our arms. We drove to a beautiful park nearby where we spent an hour walking and talking. We shed tears as we shared our favorite memories of that day, and smiled as we remembered how perfect and beautiful he was. There were moments that day that were full of sorrow, and others where we were consumed by peace. If I could relive it again...I would. But, because I can't, I just cherish what we had that day.

Our goal over the last year has been to celebrate what was, and not let ourselves get lost in what was not. At times, that's been extremely hard to do...and there have been days when I've let the "what if's" and "why me's" win. But, there have been many days and many moments when we've been able to start amazing traditions and celebrate his short life.

As his birthday approached, we again wanted it to be a day we could remember the heartache, sorrow, and lonliness we've felt...but a day we could celebrate the hope, joy, and anticipation we feel in knowing that we'll be with him again. We wanted to start a tradition we can carry on in future years with our other children.

So, on Sunday, we were in Richfield with many family members and friends...and we wanted all of them to be a part of his party. We planned to have a BBQ at my parents home and a balloon release at his graveside. It was hard to accept that this was cake being destroyed by a little boy, or presents being torn open... However, it was beautiful for what it was.

Family BBQ

At the Graveside
Our dear friend Tyler put together this beautiful video of that day for us.
(Make sure your sound is on, and give it a few minutest to load. If you have problems loading, the video can also be seen on Branson's website by clicking on the Happy Birthday Button at the top.))

Thank you Tyler for putting together such a touching tribute.

My little brother Ryan wrote the song that's playing in the background for Branson's funeral. It's called "Waiting"...amazing and perfect. He sang it at the graveside after we let the balloons go. Thanks Ry.

Thank you to all of our family and friends who were there, some of them drove long distances and it meant so much to have you there. Thank you for realizing and validating how real and special Branson is.

And last...Happy Birthday Branson...we love you more than you'll ever know.


Daisy said...

Happy Birthday Branson!

Kara said...

What an amazing way to remember your little guy. The song is so beautiful and the video evokes so many emotions. You are in my prayers, and I thank you for the strength you have given me in my own battles.

The Perry Family said...

Happy Birthday Branson! You are so loved by all of your family!

My thoughts and prayers are with you guys today. May you feel lots of peace.

Karm said...

Happy Birthday Branson! You are sooo loved and missed!

Sarah Garner said...

Happy birthday Branson!

The Holland Family said...

Happy Birthday to your little angel Branson. What a tribute to him. Comfort and Peace to you today. Love, Nicole - Mia's mom ^i^

Jed and Kimberly Anderson said...

Happy birthday buddy! We remember your spirit this day and all that you have brought to your parents. We love and miss you tremendously and know that we will be with you someday. As the song says we will keep waiting, I know that it will be worth the wait! To Natalie and Rob we have you in our thoughts and our prayers. Love Always

Michelle said...

Wow, what a beautiful video. I would love to read the lyrics to the song.
Happy birthday to sweet Branson! So glad you could be with so many beloved family members that day!

Candi & Skeet said...

Happy Birthday sweet Branson! We are thinking of and praying for you and your family.

Candi & Skeet

Brittanie said...

I didn't realize that Branson shares a birthday with my husband.

((hugs)) Cora's first birthday was in turns hard and peaceful for me. I'm glad you could have family there with you. I'm glad that the day was a good one.

Much love to you, thoughts and prayers, and Happy Birthday Branson!

Amy said...

Beautiful post and tribute to sweet Branson! Happy Birthday Branson!

Kandie and Steve said...

Happy Birthday Branson. We miss you, and can't wait to see you one day dig into your birthday cake.

Rob and Natalie, that was a beautiful video and song. Way to go Ryan. You are in our thoughts and prayers. We love you all. Love the Carpenters

Jill said...


I don't know how I stumbled across your blog but I have read it in it's entirety over the past several days. You are an incredibly gifted writer, and even though I have never lost a child, your posts leave me with hope and profound thanksgiving for the Gospel. Thank you for sharing your story and for lifting me, a complete stranger.

Branson is one beautiful little boy and so very blessed to have you as his momma.