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Today is April 17, 2009. Brett would have been 5 today. I woke up this morning and immediately started to cry. This is THE most difficult day I have yet to experience.

My day was suppose to go like this - friends meet at my house at 11:00 a.m., go to the cemetery, proceed to lunch. How did my day really go? Well the good old Texas weather messed up my plan and everyone knows that I don't like when something doesn't go exactly as planned. I feel like I fail. The rain started to fall about 10:45 a.m. and it was pouring buckets. My girlfriends and their kids hung around my house for about 45 minutes in hopes of the rain passing. We were out of luck - it just seem to rain even more.

Plan B in effect. I decided we would go to lunch first and then head to the cemetery. We went to Cotton Patch, which seems to become a favorite of mine and Mom's (Eileen). The place was packed, but fortunately we were able to get tables. We enjoyed our lunch and left about 1:40 with the rain still falling and the wind blowing about 40 mph. I was going to the cemetery and nothing was going to stop me - not even mother nature.

Just as we got to the cemetery and bought our flowers, the rain stopped and the winds died down. Someone was watching over us. It was an unexplainable feeling to be at my son's grave on his birthday and what was even more surreal is I was there at the time he was born - 2:03 p.m. We cried. We laughed. We prayed.

I was told by a friend to make sure that I take time to myself today to remember my sweet boy, this would be my only "first" birthday. I did just that. As everyone left I had time to talk to Brett - mother to son. I knelt beside Brett's headstone and sang him Happy Birthday and told him how very much I love him and miss him as I felt his pictures on his stone.

My heart breaks today - again. My life is like a roller coaster and I am waiting for the day that I can get off of the ride. It might be a long ride.

As I sign off today, I thought it would be nice to share some pictures of Brett from his 4th birthday. Happy Birthday Baby, I Love You!

This is Brett at his favorite pizza place, Peter Piper Pizza. He had his party here.

Here is Brett on his actual birthday at Chick-Fil-A eating his favorite meal. He was so happy to be 4.

And here is My Little Man and I enjoying his special day.

I haven't written in about a week, although there were many times that I thought about writing, but honestly I just didn't have the strength to sit down and type it.

April is going to be an excrutiating month for me. A month of many "firsts". I have my "first" Easter and my "first" birthday - both without Brett, within a week of each other. I also had some "firsts" that some people wouldn't think about.

Last Saturday was the Easter Eggstraganza Egg Hunt with my mom's group. My assistant organizers and I put a lot of time and preparation into this egg hunt and we were ready. I personally was getting ready to face another "first". My "first" egg hunt with Brett. I had such pain in my heart knowing that my little man would not be there gleefully running around scooping up eggs and showing me what he got in his basket. What made things worse is that I didn't have any of my children with me that day. Andrew decided he would rather do a sleep over - ok, I would still have Dani. Um yeah, not exactly - 101.7 fever. I managed to muster up enough energy and head to the park and do what I said I was going to do. The entire way to the park, I thought of Brett. My heart ached. I mean really ached. The day got even worse when I was about two miles from the park and the damn car ran out of gas! Ugg, could this day get any worse! Thankfully my friend Christie was behind me and pulled over and helped get me to a gas station. The day didn't get worse, it ended up to be a beautiful day and everyone enjoyed themselves. I made it through the day with a happy go lucky smile - although those that are closest to me knew it was a day from hell for me.

Andrew had his first baseball game of the season last Friday. It was a bittersweet day. I got to see my son that went through four surgeries on his right leg after the accident, hit a baseball and see him run a triple. What a miracle he is! I am so grateful for him. But I did have that ever so present pain in my heart again when I sat in the bleachers and watched two of Brett's friends play, bicker and fight with each other. My baby should have been there. It was my "first" litle league baseball game without him.

Danielle has been sick most of this week and I really did not get out of the house much, which was almost a blessing because I had no desire. None. That is not like me at all. I am usually a "mover and shaker". My desire this week was to sit my rear on the couch and fall asleep. I did manage to go to a local craft store and spend my gift card that my mom got me for Christmas - it only took 3 months, but I need the house to be ready for Brett's Celebration.

Today, I took Andrew and Danielle to the mall to get Easter pictures taken. We didn't do the traditional Easter Bunny picture because Danielle really didn't want to and I didn't have the energy to stand in a line for two hours for her to scream her head off after being placed on the bunny's lap. So I took them to Picture People and I do have to say, that I got some really great pictures of them. Both together and individually, but again I had another "first". My first time to have the kids pictures taken without Brett being in them. As I stood behind the photographer to get their best smiles, Brett was constantly on my mind.

This entire month is really sucks. It's like feeling the pain all over again of the night I had to let my little man go. Constant stabbing of my heart - I wonder how much a person is suppose to take. Does this really get any easier? At the present, I just don't see how.

I do know that my most difficult day is still ahead. The day I gave birth to Brett - April 17th.

I am looking forward to his Celebration. I am looking forward to honoring my little man and seeing a couple hundred people in my back yard with toys for Brett's Blessings and many memories that will be shared.

Today, I ask everyone to say a little prayer for me and my family for the upcoming week. I am going to need a lot of strength and it has to come from somewhere because at the moment it is not within me. I am going to need help.

I heard something on the television today that had absolutely nothing to do with my situation, but it totally related to me. "I am strong, but a strong person also has to allow themselves to be vulnerable." A lightbulb went on.

I was a very shy child - (yes I know some of you find that hard to believe) - until my life came to a halt. I experienced what I thought was the most pain in my entire life - the loss of my father. Jim Perdue was a wonderful father of six children. He was happy, young, full of life, a good husband, a great provider. He cared for me, he loved me, he was my daddy and he was not blood related. He was my step dad, although those words never crossed my lips. He was my daddy. He passed away on a cool California night in January of a heart attack at the age of 44. I thought my life was over. There is nothing that can replace that special bond with your father.

With the passing of my father came strength. I told myself that if my daddy wasn't going to be there to protect me then I had to do it myself and make him proud.

The strength has helped me get through a great deal in life, but for some reason, my strength seems to be deteriorating within. It is hard for others to grasp this, but I do because this is my life. My own personal hell.

I cannot hear, see, touch or smell Brett. I cannot hear his sweet voice. I cannot hold his hand on his way out from preschool. I cannot hear him breathe as I cover him up at midnight before going to bed. I can only see his sweet smile in pictures instead of right in front of me. The only way I can touch him is to go to his gravestone marker and touch the pictures we had placed on it. This by far is the greatest pain I have EVER felt in my life. I still wake up EVERY morning thinking it was all a bad dream.

People look at me at being that strong willed, out spoken person and that I am just going to bounce back to being my "normal" self. I have no idea what normal is, I cannot just sweep this under the rug and move on. This is my life. I lost my child. I AM vulnerable. I looked up vulnerable in the dictionary and I read "capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt." Yes, that is ME. I need others to be my strength until I am strong enough on my own. Sometimes the strong need to be carried, held, loved.

I have always been the one to give. For me to receive so much from so many was not an easy task, but I have learned to accept it because I NEED it. I have learned that I am on a downward road that I need help climbing back up and am hoping to do so in time - with lots of help.

I have learned that to be vulnerable is to be human.

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