Every year we raise caterpillars to have butterflies to release around Cora's birthday. This is the 6th (or 7th, I can't quite remember when exactly we started doing it) year we've done butterflies for her, and have only actually released them on her birthday maybe twice. This year, the forecast called for rain on the second, and cooler temps (which was accurate) for the 2nd, so we ended up releasing the butterflies on May 1st. Which was actually good. Because May 1st is a really hard day for me, being the day that we received the news that she had died. I usually do something that day to distract myself, but since May 1st this year was on a Sunday, and I try not to go out or purchase anything on Sundays, releasing the butterflies ended up being good.
I then allowed myself some time to sit under a tree and cry while the kids were playing. I do a "photo of the day" thing on instagram and May 1st's prompt was "blue," which perfectly described my feelings. I don't normally take pictures of myself crying.
And then the day of her birthday we went to IHOP for dinner. A few years ago (maybe 2013?), Erin decided it would be Cora's favorite place to eat, so we have eaten there for her birthday every year since. Owen was hiding under the table yelling "No pitoh!"
And then we came home for cake. It was a strawberry shortcake, made on a homemade angel food cake. And it was delicious. And while I was at the store, I passed those candles, and it felt like Cora was yelling at me to get them instead of the normal numeral candles I usually do. It made me happy, to feel like she is participating in her birthday.
It's hard. I feel like I walk around seeing holes in my family. But I am so glad her siblings know her and do things to honor her. They talk about her, and it is so sweet.
Happy birthday sweet Cora.
I love you so much.