Garden Parties in Heaven: A Tribute to Kezia
Happy 8th Birthday Kezia. I know that today is your birthday. And I know that you are having a wonderful birthday celebration in heaven with Jesus, your friends and whole hosts of angels singing and rejoicing over you. Maybe there is a grand lavish banquet with a magnificent cake. I can picture swirls of pink icing and eight flickering candles. I can imagine dainty butterfly cakes, bright coloured lanterns, balloons and streamers swaying in the breeze. Maybe there are pink marshmallows, juicy olives, warm blueberry muffins, and sparkly juice. All the things that you loved.
I know that it has now been two and a quarter years since you went to heaven. It isn’t long really. And I think of you often and of your Mum and Dad too. Most espcially on your birhday and at Christmas time too because that is a painful time for those that love and miss you. I remember your farewell, a beautiful garden party celebration that I know that you requested for your sixth birthday. But because you went to heaven just before your sixth birthday, your Mum and Dad arranged a party for your friends and family to celebrate your precious life. It was heart breaking and so many tears flowed. But it was also the most beautiful farewell that I have ever attended. Many people wore different shades of pink, and pretty pink flowers were plentiful. After the service your friends bounced on a princess bouncy castle, there were bubbles and lots of lovely pink cupcakes. Some of your friends sang touching songs and danced with streamers, and there were many moving and heartfelt tributes paid to a percious and wonderful girl. You were a very beautiful little girl with golden ringlets . And God blessed you with many gifts to share with others such as your intelligence. But most importantly, you possessed a gentleness of spirit, a thoughtful nature and a kind heart.
I’ve known your Mum since we were fourteen years old. I also remember when your Mum told me that she was expecting you, and at my wedding she displayed a very round and beautiful bump, with you inside. I was in England when I received the phone call with the joyful news that you had been born in Auckland. When I returned home a few weeks later I got to meet you for the first time, and what a beautiful baby you were. You had so many lovely knitted jumpers that your Nana lovingly kinitted for you. I was at your dedication and heard the encouraging words that were spoken over your young life – that you were a perceiver, and one who is very insightful. And though I didn’t know you very well as we moved to the South Island when you were eighteen months old, those prophetic words did seem to be true. Samuel enjoyed many playdates with you when we visited Auckland.
We were living in Alexandra when we received the news that you weren’t well. It was just after you celebrated your fourth birthday. We were very troubled to hear this, and we prayed for you often. Samuel would often pray for you at night before he went to bed. And when we came up to Auckland when you had been sick for around six months, we saw how brave and courageous you were. It was very sad to see how much you had suffered, and how your Mum and Dad had suffered too. And I know that after this time, you celebrated the arrival of a new baby brother. You experienced a good year with a good quality of life. You had so many wonderful precious moments with your family that loved you. Outings to the museum with your Dad, home school activities with Mum, seeing your Nana and and Poppa around the corner and your other grandparents close by also. A lovely last Christmas with piles of pavlova.
And then almost two weeks after Christmas, I remember the day that I received the news that you had gone to heaven. I remember standing in my bedroom shaking with sorrow. Because it was still somewhat of a shock to me as you had been doing so well up until Christmas. It was a very sad time for so many of us that loved you and loved your wider family. But we had a peace knowing that you weren’t suffering anymore, and that God had prepared a very special place for you in heaven. We all so dearly wish that you were still here with us on earth, but we know that you get to grow up in heaven where there is no sadness, or pain, nor suffering. On the mantlepiece in our home is a very special book that we treasure. It is called ‘Princess Kezia and the Shining Light’ and your Mum and Dad published this as a tribute to you. Because you were a light to all who knew you. As it is mentioned in the book, even though you faced a great battle during your short life, you now have complete freedom. Just as your prayed, the King of Forever rescued you from sickness, all in one day.
Princess Kezia Carol, know that so many of us think of you often, that you haven’t been forgotten, and that you will be forever in our hearts. And to Adrian and Rebecca, Petra, Zachary, Elliot, Wes, Carol, Hayley and Adrian’s family, there are no words to describe your pain. Know that you are still in our thoughts as you grieve, that God is close to the broken hearted and He holds your tears in a bottle.