Tuesday, August 7, 2012

1 Year

As I wrote about ...last week brought my mind back to the events that took place and lead up to Luke's birth. Because it was leap year this year the days things occurred were misaligned with the date by two days. So even though Luke was born on Saturday morning on the 6th, this year the 6th didn't happen until Monday. Nevertheless I thought through the events on the days they happened and continued to think about the events of last August through Monday.

We knew Luke's "birthday" was coming up and Trevor was supposed to be working out of town on the sixth, but he opted to not be gone and worked at the DC office so we could be together in the evening. We weren't really sure what we wanted to do. I felt like it was similar to planning Luke's funeral. We've never done this before. We don't know what's normal. This isn't something that's normally done. So there's no precedent. No expectations. No predetermined plans of first birthday cakes or presents. I've read about things other people have done for their baby's "birthdays," but we had to do what felt right for us, for our family.

If we had been  in Utah I would have gone to the cemetery. The cemetery is a quiet, reflective, peaceful place for me to be. I thought the closest thing to that here would be to at least be in nature and suggested we go on a hike. We're not familiar enough with the area yet to know about any trails. Trevor found a trail for us to go on 35 minutes or so from our home, but we didn't really know what to expect from it.

We were quite astonished to discover that this trail lead to a spectacular view, which we were able to catch just in time for the sunset. It was beautiful and we couldn't have planned it better. 

Reflecting on things I thought of these words by President Joseph F. Smith that are quoted in Richard G. Scott's most recent conference talk and was able to pull them up on my phone and read them: 

“I believe we move and have our being in the presence of heavenly messengers and of heavenly beings. We are not separate from them. … We are closely related to our kindred, to our ancestors … who have preceded us into the spirit world. We can not forget them; we do not cease to love them; we always hold them in our hearts, in memory, and thus we are associated and united to them by ties that we can not break. … If this is the case with us in our finite condition, surrounded by our mortal weaknesses, … how much more certain it is … to believe that those who have been faithful, who have gone beyond … can see us better than we can see them; that they know us better than we know them. … We live in their presence, they see us, they are solicitous for our welfare, they love us now more than ever. For now they see the dangers that beset us; … their love for us and their desire for our well being must be greater than that which we feel for ourselves.”

Luke, your dad and I still can barely wrap our head around the fact that all this unfolded a year ago. We may not have you with us here, but the influence of your brief life on earth has forever impacted us. We strive to live our lives so that we can receive the eternal blessing of salvation that are made available through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Oh how imperfect we are! But continually striving, indeed. Any help and protection you may offer our family, we may never really know or understand in this lifetime. Nevertheless we are so grateful that you are ours. We love and miss you still so much and look forward to the day when our whole family can be together . . .  and as per your dad's request, eat Wacky Chocolate Cake. It seems funny to call it a birthday because birthdays usually equate to an increase in age, presents, cake and ice cream; however, August 6th was indeed the day you were born. So in that regards, Happy Birthday Luke. We love you!


  1. Thinking and praying for you and Trevor. I know Luke is celebrating his birthday in heaven with our Savior and God. You are so wise Shelley, thank you for always being so open about your journey.

  2. What a perfect activity and thought for this day! Indeed he is watching over you and loves you. Support and love for you, Fitzgerald family. <3

  3. Love you Shelley. This is beautiful, and I'm glad you found a good place to hike and reflect. Where was that? It looks beautiful.

  4. You two continually inspire me. The way you have dealt with your grief has been humbling to witness via your blog. Love all of you for your shining example of faithfulness and hope. I think your celebration of Luke was both beautiful and appropriate.