Yesterday was Aaron's 41st birthday.
It is hard to imagine him forever being 39 and not being here with his family. Last night just like last year, the Kings, Woodwards and us went to the Punchbowl for a barbecue and the cemetery to celebrate his birthday. I said to Lisa it was tradition now that we do this each year but at the same time, I wish we didn't have this tradition at all and instead Lisa was texting me from their house about something funny Aaron had said or done on his birthday this year, or seeing them banter back and forth on FB over what an old man he was becoming at 41.
At times last night I felt like I had to pinch myself that we were out doing something to remember Aaron's birthday... but without him there. Nearly two years on and it still doesn't seem real, to watch my friend go through this, especially at this time of the year when Aaron would be being such a big kid and all excited about presents and spending time with his family, that Lisa and the boys have to do it all on their own.
It makes me smile when Lisa tells me the stories of how Aaron would choose his own birthday presents online and he would ring from work all the time to check if the mail had come and pretend to be all excited about wondering what what is in the packages.
It was a beautiful warm night and the footy was out in force.
These two were cracking me up trying to wrestle the ball off each other.
Gaz doing the big bench press.
Lining up for dizzy wizzys.
Poor Harri on the bottom of the stacks on pile.
As the sun slowly started to set, we drove to the cemetery, where Lisa had organised some balloons for us to send up to Aaron.
We all had some of Aaron's favourite drink to toast. I think Pepsi tastes gross and one day I am going to tell Aaron that I always drank his gross favourite drink just for him. :) I could imagine him teasing me about not ever having tried Pepsi until after he was gone.
Often Lisa says how Kobe will do something funny to cheer her up and often at the cemetery and how he has helped her so much over the past two years by just being his beautiful sunny self.
This photo of his head stand just cracks me right up!
After spending some time at Aaron's grave we went over to see Noah and say hi to this amazing beautiful boy. This time of year, seeing Noah and other children's graves decorated with Christmas decorations just breaks my heart, wanting so much for them to be with their families but knowing that for now they have separate paths to journey on.
It was so lovely walking back to our cars. Watching the sun set over the cemetery as Aaron's birthday drew to a close, was beautiful and sad all at the same time. I can't wait for the day when I can see this funny man, inspirational teacher, loving Dad and most amazing husband to say the least, have the biggest birthday reunion ever with his 4 boys and beautiful wife.
Happy birthday Kingy!