Journal entry by Trish Richhart

Today is Samuel's 11th birthday.
How does one celebrate a birthday for a child who is no longer here?   I don't know.   Nothing seems quite right because all I really want to do is wrap my arms around him in a giant hug, but my arms find only emptiness.   I want to hear his laugh, make him birthday breakfast in bed, and watch him blow out 11 candles on his cake.  And I am sad that I can't.  I know that this sadness is not shared by Samuel.  He is enjoying the good life with no pain or sorrow.  I am so thankful for my Hope that promises our great reunion.  
"We grieve, but not as ones without hope." 1 Thess 4:13
Perhaps this grief has a beautiful purpose to remind us there is so much more than this life and to keep our focus forward on our future glory with Christ.  It keeps us from wallowing in the here and now and moving forward one step at a time.
As a family, we have decided that having a cake and doing traditional birthday things would feel like a sad reminder of Samuel's absence.   Instead we are going to prepare many of Samuel's favorite foods which will include sushi, corn dogs,  egg salad, baked potatoes, salmon, and warheads candy.  Together as a family, we will enjoy a unique and eclectic dinner that Samuel would have loved.
Still trusting in His mighty hand,
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