As I prepare to celebrate my 25th Birthday, (ahem, again) this year is a tad bit different for me. This time around I am not only thankful for my life but this will be my first birthday I will get to celebrate with my son! I can remember as a little girl I always looked forward to my birthday because it was all about me. Now, not so much.

This year I’m focused on the people that have gone on to be with the Father and how their lives have affected mine. I believe that regardless of how we feel, God takes his children from us once they have fulfilled their purpose. This was not something I understood the day I got the call that my grandfather lost his battle to cancer. I was angry with God, out of all people why did it have to be my papa? He was one of the greatest men I have ever known. I felt like he didn’t deserve the pain and suffering that he endured, but not once did he complain20130909-185854.jpg

In honor of my Papa, I wore blue boots under my dress the day I married my love. Papa was a cowboy and his favorite color was blue so I could not resist! As the sun shined brightly on us, I felt a sense of peace as if Papa approved and was on the opposite side of my Daddy ready to give me away. It was now time for me to let go, he taught me to stay faithful to God, keep my family first, and work hard! I could not have asked for anything more.

Among all the other specials moments we had at our wedding, there is one I will never forget. One of our honored guests missed her opportunity to walk the aisle with the other honorees. She waved it off as no big deal but we insisted that she would be acknowledged. At our reception my husband shared his last dance with his very special Aunt, she lost her battle to cancer months later. We traveled to Tennessee for her memorial service and it was one of the most beautiful funerals I have ever attended. Many people stood before us to share their memories of her from childhood stories to her famous meatballs. I laughed, smiled, and cried happy that she was no longer in pain and yet still a little saddened that I didn’t get the chance to know her better. She left a legacy and touched many people, I aspire to live a life as hers so that when it’s my time to go I’ll be able to say I made a difference as she did. The memory of her life alone has changed my life.20130909-185810.jpg

We looked through our wedding pictures soon after she passed searching for all of the pictures we had of her, and this is what we found.  I felt like this was God’s way of showing us that she’s watching over us.  Just look at how the sun’s shining on her.  We didn’t lose her at all, we gained another angel!