Sacred Sorrows introduces "Roberta," our newest contributing writer. Roberta Bazaldua resides in Arizona and fills her days servicing the marriage preparation pastoral needs of parishioners at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church. She is also privileged to serve in many ministries within the Diocese of Phoenix but is especially drawn to serve families and women. Roberta is the proud grandmother of 10 grandchildren, including Erin, her eldest granddaughter, who was received into heaven August 3, 2020.
Tomorrow would have been your 19th birthday. The second birthday without you. If you were here, I would be shopping for the perfect gift and buying your favorite snacks for your treat bag. There would be many, many phone calls with your mom making plans for your dinner and birthday dessert. Your uncle would ask me what he should buy for you; as usual waiting until the last minute because that's just what your uncle does. You and I would make plans to get away, just the two of us, for a meal and some girl time. I can see it all playing out in my head.
Our plans are different now. We will come together to mark your day, as is our new tradition in our family. We'll go to Mass, where your brothers will serve, and I will read. We'll go to the cemetery and adorn your headstone with balloons and decorations. And we'll leave your favorite snacks there too. We will pray together and then grab a bite to eat at one of your favorite restaurants. There will be a birthday dessert. There will be tears and hugs and shared memories and laughter too.
The ache is a bit duller this year but it's still there, erupting into a swell of tears and intense emotion at the most inconvenient times. I'm glad for the ache, though. It reminds me of the love we shared while you were here and the love that will always be in my heart for you.
May 14th will never be the same for us without you. You remain in our hearts forever, and we will never forget you, sweet girl.