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How I'm Celebrating My Son's 4th Birthday

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On September 10, 2016, my little man turned 4.

4! How did that even happen?

As I sit here typing, I find myself wondering what most 4-year-old boys would want for a birthday gift and what type of party themes are popular.

I wonder, but I don’t really know…

There will be no gifts. No 4-year-old themed party with handmade decorations. No house full of rambunctious little people singing happy birthday to the man of the hour. No adorable party guests asking for “just one more piece of cake.

Yes, it was my son’s birthday, but it was also his heaven day — the day he died. These days are one in the same.

Although this is a sad truth, and a difficult part of my reality, I choose not to dwell or let my focus live there.

Instead, I choose to find joy.

I remember what an amazing little boy my son was, and how his brief life had an amazing impact. I think about all the things that have happened in the past four years because of him. I recall the ways he has changed my life and the lives of others.

I choose to celebrate… and invite others to join the celebration.

Instead of a dirt-and-dinosaurs theme party (or whatever a 4-year-old boy might want), this year we celebrate Amalya Nathaniel (our Work of the Lord, Given by God) and his one hour and 20 minutes of life by asking people to “Do 4 Others” — instead of gifts or cards, we want people to pick one (or more) of the following:
a paining of a birthday cake with four candles. Text reads: do 4 others

1. Purposefully do something
special for a family member, friend, or acquaintance.

2. Give blood at your local Blood Bank.

3. Register as an Organ Donor.

4. Give four things to a local food pantry, or give $4
to your favorite charity/ministry/church.

Today, I choose to embrace my son’s forth birthday with
excitement. I am so proud to be his mother. He accomplished so much during his time on earth and I hope that this year his legacy will grow even more and his impact will be even deeper.

Today my little man turns four! Happy Birthday, sweet boy, with all my love…

An original version of this article was first published on

Originally published: September 11, 2016
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