When you turned 30, I threw you a surprise party. Not just because you were newly diagnosed with cancer and every year, day, moment seemed precious and worthy of celebration; because….yes, that was why.
But also, I threw you a surprise party because I knew you would hate it.
You hated that kind of attention.
But there were so many, SO MANY, people that wanted to shower you with attention that day. You were loved. You are loved.
I lured you away from the house by talking you into getting a kitten.
That took some strong negotiating on my part. You were completely against getting a kitten right then. But I got the girls in on my scheme and you could never quite tell them ‘no’.
The look of pure surprise and disbelief when we pulled back into our driveway after picking up the new furry family member was worth every minute I stressed about the party.
I got you.
And there I was; lucky. It was your birthday and I felt like that lucky one.
You later joked, “All these people just showed up because they think it’s my last birthday or something.” And part of that may have been true. But I think that is the moment it hit you that YOU were so well loved. The calm evening after your party was one of the few times I saw you cry since IT came into our lives.
It wasn’t just our heart-wrenching situation.
It wasn’t just another birthday to celebrate.
It was you. They were there for you.
Fast forward these past 11 years.
You would have celebrated your 41st birthday today.
Happy, happy birthday, Chad.
I wish you were here. We would celebrate with carrot cake and birthday cake ice cream.
The girls & I will still do that today. Just for you.
I hope you know how much you are loved today and every single day after.
Skye & the girls