April 10, 2015

What We Did

This past Wednesday was Austin's birthday.
He is not here to celebrate with us.  And, that's not something to celebrate.
However, we do like to mark the day.  Make it special in order to remember.

It feels strange to let the day pass by without some acknowledgement.
And, so we don't.  We can't.  There is comfort in the remembering.

Austin's first birthday after being called home to Heaven was last year.
We took the children to his grave and shopped for something special
for each of them in honour of his memory.
We went to Austin's favourite restaurant for dinner.

It was hard, but, it was good.

This year, (the second without our Austin physically here), 
we decided to do something a little different.
And, this is what we did to mark the day.

At first, we planned to just walk around the Stanley Park Seawall ~
one of our favourite things to do.  But, then I remembered a friend's suggestion
to bike it ~ all the way from Granville Island (see map above), around Stanley Park,
and back.  It was a great idea!  And, the perfect day to attempt it.

So, we (the boys) loaded all the bikes on the
back of the van, and we were off.

This was where Howie and I had our fancy date
just a couple of weeks ago.

Before the ride began ~ still feeling fresh and energetic and optimistic.
(Next year, I think I will do a little training before attempting to tackle it.)

See the row of blossoming trees in the background?
That was where we were headed for the start of our journey.

It was a beautiful day!  Emma took this shot ~ isn't it pretty?

It took two hours to complete the loop (with a few breaks here and there).

Howie and I lost the children (on purpose) for a few minutes ~
it was a little bit like a date.  :)

See the Granville Island Public Market sign (above left)?
The yellow building on the far right (on the other side of the water)
is Bridges Restaurant ~ the location of our recent fancy date.
It's near where our van was parked for this excursion ~ we were almost finished.

Howie and I think this may be the start of a new tradition
in honour of our Austin's birthday each year.

It was such a lovely day together and a wonderful gift from the Lord.
We are so thankful for the prayers of our precious family and friends.
Thank you to each one of you who have lifted us up before the Throne of Grace.

All the love and kindness shown to us has been such a great blessing.
We sensed the Lord's strength and grace with us throughout the day.
How good and gracious He is!  We so appreciate His loving care
manifested to us in tangible ways through the love of His people.

May He bless each of you abundantly!

With Love, Camille

**Photos in this post are a combination of mine and Emma's ~
thank you for sharing with me my little love.  xoxo


Debbie Harris said...

Aww Camille ~ what a lovely way to spend the day in remembrance of Austin. I would agree with your husband, in that it would be a beautiful way to remember him every year, just your thing as a family.
That is quite the gorgeous park! And those blossoms, just lovely. I especially like the photograph of the children with the blossoms just above them.

May our Gracious Lord continue to strengthen, comfort, encourage and lift you all up with each new day.
What a joy it is to know that He is right there with us in the midst of it all.
To God be the glory!

Sweet blessings, my friend.
Joy! Debbie

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that you could spend Austin's birthday doing something special as a family. I lost my youngest brother to cancer five years ago ( he was 15) and ALWAYS remember him on his birthday. One of the saddest things for me is how many of my children never knew him. ( He loved babies.:)) I enjoyed all your pictures soooo much as always.

Intentional Living Homestead said...

What a beautiful memory that you are creating of Austin. My eyes fill with tears as I read and feel how your heart aches for him. I'm sure that never goes away...maybe a bit easier..but always in your heart. Praying.


Katy said...

I think that is a beautiful new tradition to start. I love the photos too...the one emma took with the blossoming trees in the forefront and the buildings in the back is beautiful! :)

Love to you and yours!!!
Katy :)

Camille said...

Dear Debbie ~ Thank you for your sweet encouragement my friend...I appreciate it so very much! :)

Dear Nikki ~ I am so sorry for the earthly loss of your brother...he was the same age as our Austin. Thank you for your kind words. Hugs to you! :)

Dear Connie ~ It's true my friend...we always remember our precious boy and always will. Thank you for your prayers and sweet encouragement. You bless my heart. :)

Dear Katy ~ Thank you so much for your kind friendship and thoughtful words. Hugs to you! :)

With Love,

Grandmabeckyl.blogspot said...

What a beautiful way to honor and remember your beloved Austin. I love the photo of all of you before you left to ride. And the photo that Emma took of the flowering trees that framed the city! Good eye, girl! I have good memories of Stanley Park when we were in BC. We were there for the world's fair 1986 in Vancouver and our kids were so young then! I was somewhere yesterday where the trees were snowing pink all over my car!!! Hugs and love you all!!!

Hopes Handcrafts said...

How special and precious that you acknowledge Austin's birth day as a family Camille. I got all teary-eyed reading about it and can imagine how hard it must be to "be happy" on what should be a celebration of his life. And it is, it's just that Austin's not here to share it. :o( (I'm sure he's looking down from heaven though)

Your post has inspired me to get my daughter's bike up and running again. Once I've finished treatment I want to make the effort to ride again. I miss it.

Hugs and blessings,
Julia xo

Nadine said...

What a wonderful way to remember Austin! (((hugs)))

Pam said...

What a wonderful day, and a great idea. I can imagine Austin smiling down from heaven at you all and loving you so much. Love all the pictures. I believe I've seen some of those spots; when we took our Alaskan cruise a year and a half ago, we began in Vancouver and did a little tour of the city while we were there.
Love and blessings,

Camille said...

Dear Becky ~ What fun memories you carry of our city! Thank you for entering into our remembering of our Austin. Hugs! :)

Dear Julia ~ Thank you, my friend...for your kind words and encouragement to our hearts. Yes, get going on that bike when you feel well enough for it! Hugs to you! :)

Dear Nadine ~ It really was a lovely day together. Thank you for your sweet encouragement to our hearts. :)

Dear Pam ~ What fun that you have been in our city!! If you ever come again, you must let me know so we can connect! Hugs to you. :)

With love,

Esther said...

What a blessing to do something together to remember Austin's birthday. Such gorgeous weather for a ride. Love all the blossoms! Hugs, my friend!!!

Camille said...

Dear Esther ~ It really was a perfect day. Thank you for your sweet friendship...I appreciate you! Hugs, Camille

Heather said...

I absolutely love this post. Of course, tears come in reading the first sentence, but you create such a beautiful way of celebrating your boy. Glorious photos of spring blossoms in the foreground of the city, Emma! Makes me want to come and ride the course along with you :)

Heather@Cultivated Lives said...

What a beautiful beginning of a new tradition. Love the pictures.

Camille said...

Dear Heather in ON ~ We were so blessed to have had such a day. The Lord is so very good to us, isn't He? :)

Dear Heather in TX ~ It truly was a blessing to have been able to do it...we hope to repeat it each year. Hugs to you! :)

With Love,