Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Happy 1st Birthday Belle

Pink Birthday Lantern
At 00:08, at the moment Anabelle was born one year ago, Jon and I were on 'her' mountain.  The mountain we'd so often driven across for our antenatal appointments with her, the mountain where we'd written her eulogy.  It seemed appropriate we should start her birthday there.

We took pink chinese lanterns with us, hoping we'd be able to send one to heaven on the minute she was born. Unfortunately the weather wasn't kind enough to us; we were able to light the lantern and watch it glow, but the wind was too high and the rain started and it couldn't fly away.  We've saved the other lantern to have another go maybe next Tuesday; the anniversary of her funeral and goodbye day.

So after going to bed in the small hours, we got up to remember Anabelle in everything that we've done during the daylight hours too.

Today was remarkably calm. Surprisingly calm, peaceful.

After the anguish and pain I felt for much of last Thursday I expected the same today. Instead we've been able to celebrate our daughter. I'm glad we got the being in a complete state out of the way last week. Despite the tears for the birthday we wish it was today, the one where Anabelle would be here to join us, we've been able to make the birthday it is so very special.  Anabelle's 1st birthday.  

Birthday flowers from Mummy and Daddy
With a white rose for each of us xx 
Dinner time we collected her posy of flowers and went onto buy balloons. A pink star balloon which we released into the sky and off to Anabelle in heaven and another big pink 1st birthday balloon to decorate her garden.  We spent lots of time making it just perfect for her and I read Anabelle her story, 'Guess How Much I Love You' just as I promised I would do every year on her birthday.   After spending time in her garden we went to the garden centre. We've been given beautiful things today and wanted to make Anabelle a home garden. Something in her quiet place, and something at home with us now too.  Isn't it pretty?

Anabelle's home garden, outside our house!
Throughout the day we've opened the thoughtful gifts and cards that our friend and family gave to us and Anabelle for today; a personalised photo frame, pretty girl bunting with her name on, a solar lantern plaque, a heart shaped outdoor tealight holder (identical to a pink one we'd bought for her!), an angel shaped oil burner.  We've seen the beautiful floral tributes on her garden and opened lots of beautiful messages of love, support and happy birthday wishes to Anabelle on email, my pink place, Mumsnet, facebook, text message, our just giving page....

We really have been overwhelmed by kindness today and in awe at the reach of Anabelle's birthday across the country and many different people.

Today Anabelle's just giving page reached our £1000 target. Not only did it reach, but it has ploughed straight through! Birthday donations flooding in from friends and family and lots of strangers too.   Stangers donating to Sands because of my daughter on her birthday - amazing! For this I have to thank Mumsnetter MmeLindor who this morning wrote a beautiful blog post in tribute to Anabelle and started a thread to rally the support of the boards and implored people to donate. And donate people have. We can only thank you a million times over to everyone who has given today.  

What a perfect day to reach and smash a target. On her 1st birthday! 

As of tonight, as Anabelle's birthday is about to end, the JustGiving page alone stands at £1182.44! How incredible!!! Today over £200 online alone has been donated to Sands.  And get this; almost another £500 was handed to me in cash after a fundraising day in Anabelle's honour took place at my friends workplace.

Already we've raised more than I ever thought in my wildest dreams. I am gobsmacked and really have absolutely know idea at all what sort of figure to even hazzard a guess anymore of our final total sometime next week.

My beautiful girl has inspired all of this; her little life achieving so much to hopefully have some difference to families in the future. I'm touched and honoured by everyone who has got on board behind us. 

Tonight we finished Anabelle's day by visiting her garden again before it closed for the night and by lighting up our house and her home garden with flickering candles, and wished our girl once more a Happy 1st Birthday. 

Darling Anabelle, we hope you have had a very special angel party day. 

Birthday balloons

Beautiful pinkified garden for Belle's birthday...

Pink heart tealight holder,
flickering candles to finish her birthday in her home garden. 


Marie said...

Not the day any of you should have had, but it sounds like an amazing day in any case. Love to you all x

kim23 said...

Happy Birthday Anabelle! Your birthday flowers from Mummy and Daddy are very beautiful! what an amazing day!

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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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