Happy Birthday to you! Today has been filled with some not-so-subtle reminders of you. Li Na and Tai had their first soccer game and they were randomly assigned numbers 6 and 8 (68 your age!) and their assistant coach was Laurie (your name). Sean went to a blood drive in memory of a little boy named Connor (your grandson’s name) who also shared your birthday (August 16th). It felt so special to have these reminders of your presence.
In honor of your birthday, a whole slew of people donated blood at the American Red Cross. From Raleigh to Charlotte, family and friends came together to give blood. Mike even found your old Red Cross volunteer badge which made me feel like a physical piece of you was present.
My emotions have run the gamut today, from happiness to sadness, gratitude to hope. I am proud that Li Na was brave enough to try to play during her first soccer game. To some that is an easy feat, but for my anxious little girl, it is a huge achievement. I feel like you were with her today, cheering her on with your soft voice. I am grateful for all of the people who donated blood in your honor. You are still so loved and continue to make this crazy world a better place. I am heartbroken that I had to witness all of these amazing experiences without you physically present. I am relieved that you are no longer suffering, but always longing to hear your voice, share a story, or give you a hug. Lastly, I am hopeful that each day will be a little easier than the last, and that I will continue to feel your beautiful spirit around me. I hope that you were somehow able to witness all of the people who thought of you today through blood donations or a quiet thought or prayer. I love you so much!