Happy 5th Birthday, Anya.
We all came to see you this morning, cupcakes and a candle in hand, to sing you Happy Birthday. Your brother was asking about you. He said "Anya can't eat the cupcake, right?". I said "No she can't"... "We were sad she died, right?".. "We were".."But I think should would have really liked the cupcake because it's really really good, daddy".
Your sister said your name for the first time this morning. I think she's starting to understand that those pictures of you aren't her. It will still take her a while to grasp what your existence means, but she's getting there.
I enjoy our yearly ritual. Baking fresh cupcakes the night before (or the morning of). Going to see you. Singing you happy birthday, and sharing the cupcakes as a family. Going home, and re-reading the first few posts of this blog. Reflecting. Writing.
The last time I wrote, I mentioned how anxiety had gotten the better of me. Friends were kind to point out that I might have been a bit hard on myself. I didn't quite believe it, but after some friendly nudging by one great friend, I finally did seek counselling to discuss this residual anxiety. The consensus was that... yes, I was being a bit hard on myself given the circumstances. I suppose I needed to hear that from an objective party (but I'm thankful to those that took the time to voice it).
I am reminded in re-reading that post, and this blog, that progress is hardly linear. We've said this often, and yet it's never a comforting thoughts when things seem to regress. I hope I'll learn to internalize this a bit better over time, which will add to the warm legacy of yours that I hold in my heart.