How To Celebrate Kailen’s Birthday Tomorrow?

Good morning everyone. As some of you may know, tomorrow will be what would have been Kailen’s 26th birthday and our first time experiencing Kailen’s birthday since she went to be with Jesus on September 15 2015. Being completely honest with you, we have all been dreading tomorrow for several weeks now; however, one thing we didn’t anticipate was how her birthday would affect us, not only on her birthday, but during the week leading up to her birthday.

On Sunday night, Jeff and I both began experiencing an overwhelming feeling of what felt like ‘impending doom.’ This came as a tremendous surprise to both of us and very much caught us off guard. As Jeff and I sat in our family room on Sunday night and began trying to talk about how we were going to spend our day as a family trying to ‘celebrate’ Kailen’s birthday, the tears began to flow and the feelings of ‘impending doom’ became stronger and stronger. We tried to talk but couldn’t as the tears of grief began to take over. At one point, I looked over at Jeff and said, “You know, 25 and half years just wasn’t enough time with her…only 25 and a half years…” And, when I said that, Jeff barely eeked out the words, “No, it wasn’t” as he shook his head and got up and left the room.

This sort of scenario has happened many times with Jeff and me since Kailen’s passing. Jeff and I will be talking about something to do with Kailen and he will suddenly disappear into another room. When this first began happening, I truly had no idea what was going on. Then, one day, I finally asked him why he would sometimes leave the room so suddenly when we were talking about Kailen. He looked at me and said, “So I can go and cry in private.” I was very surprised at Jeff’s statement and asked him,”But, why do you have to leave the room to cry? I cry all of the time in front of you when I talk about Kailen.” He looked at me with his eyes filled with tears and said, “Kim, I leave because I cry so loud that I need to bury my face in a towel to muffle the sound so I don’t scare anyone.” So, on Sunday night, I knew where he was going when he left the room except this time I heard his weeping like I’d never heard it before. As Jeff was weeping in the other room, I sat there holding our grandson and began having overwhelming feelings of not wanting this February 24th to come. I just could not imagine how in the world we were going to get through this as a family.

As I said in my last blog post, Kailen absolutely LOVED her birthday and it was always such a fun and special time for us together as a family. Then, after she and Bryan were married, if we weren’t together on her birthday, we would always look forward to her phone calls or texts telling us about her day and how wonderful it had been. However, Kailen’s last birthday was what she described as ‘one of the worst days of her life.’ Last February 24, because Bryan was doing one of his pharmacy school rotations in western Kentucky, we planned a special birthday party for Kailen in Ohio County at Bryan’s parent’s house with all of her immediate family being together to celebrate Kailen Olivia Mae Combs Taylor. Jarrod drove from Georgetown to Lexington and picked up Bryan’s sister, Alyssa, from UK; Audrey drove from Kentucky Wesleyan; and Jeff, Kristen, and I drove from Louisville to Ohio County with our vehicle filled with birthday presents and some of her favorite foods. However, on our way there, Bryan called and said Kailen had not had a good night and was in tremendous pain. Jeff and I were so deeply saddened for many reasons, but, one of the biggest reasons was because Kailen had been telling us how much she was looking forward to having ALL of her family together for her birthday. We did our best to celebrate her birthday last year and Kailen did her best to enjoy her birthday; however, I’ll never forget her sitting in the chair as Bryan’s mom, Lesa, held her special strawberry birthday cake in front of her with candles lit and us singing our ‘Combs Family Birthday Song’ to her as tears trickled down her face. While we were singing, Kailen looked at Bryan and she tried so hard to smile as she (and we) all knew she was not going to be able to fully enjoy her 25th birthday and the time she had so anticipated having all of her family together on her birthday.

So, now, here we sit on February 23, 2016–the day before what should have been Kailen’s 26th birthday–wondering how in the world we are going to get through tomorrow. Jeff, Jarrod, Kristen, and I have talked and cried over these past few days as we’ve done our best to put together a plan for tomorrow that will honor Kailen, yet, we truly have no idea how the day will go. All we do know is that we miss Kailen SO terribly and we SO wish we could be celebrating tomorrow with her as we have for these past 25 years. So, if you think of us tomorrow, please pray for us. We take great comfort in knowing Jesus already sees tomorrow and He will be faithful to lead us through tomorrow as He has so faithfully led us through each and every day.


16 thoughts on “How To Celebrate Kailen’s Birthday Tomorrow?

  1. I will definitely take time out of my day tomorrow to say a special prayer for Kailen
    And the family as well. God bless, Diane Gearlds

  2. Our family will join with your family in prayer and in celebration of Kailen’s life. She showed Christ’s light and love to everyone. ..even to those of us who only knew her through her blog. God Bless Your family, my friend.

  3. Kim. You don’t know me but I began following Kaileen’s blog and, like so many others, was touched by her struggle and her faith in God. Part of the reason is that my family also suffered at the hands of cancer and we watched my husband fight for his life just as Kaileen did. He also shared her great faith and was such a wonderful testimony of how to live and also how to die. He went to be with our Savior in March of 2009 just 3 days after his 49th birthday. I can so identify with you as you prepare for her birthday tomorrow. Even after 7 years I still feels waves of grief and melancholy come over me as we enter this time of year. My children struggle with the same thing. I wish I had great words to share with you of how I manage. All I can say is that God truly carries me through it. I am not a particular strong person but God in sweet ways that only God can do, manages to touch me and lift me up in ways that I can not even begin to describe. So I know that tomorrow you will feel Him in a special way, as he is the only one who truly knows how your heart is breaking. I take such great comfort in the promise that one day very soon my grief will be replaced by a joyous reunion where we will never have to say goodbye again. I really believe it’s coming soon! I have learned to live each day in anticipation that this might be the day. May God bless you in a special way tomorrow as you celebrate the life of your precious Kaileen. I know He will!

  4. Jeff and Kim rest assured that we here at our house are much in prayer for you guys. I will try to write more later on. If you feel like it send me your phone number and i will give you a call some times.only if ok with you.we thinkof ypu folks a lot.God bless

  5. I only met you briefly, but your story has remained in my heart and in my prayers. I wish I could have know your amazing daughter. Your family will be in my prayers tomorrow.

  6. This is the day, February 24, God blessed us with your sweet baby girl Kailen, Kim and Jeff! What joy it is to know that you surrounded her with God’s grace and mercy all the days she was with us here. It is a testimony to the blessings that flow from knowing Jesus. I celebrate today with you the birth of Kailen in our lives and that we were able to taste and see the goodness of Christ in and through her. Praying for the joy of the Lord to be your strength today. Happy Happy Birthday Kailen! Love you all…Bryan, Kim, Jeff, Kristen, Nicholas and Jarrod dearly.

  7. Kim, you all are thought of and loved everyday, but especially today as we remember the gift of Kailen. She was an extraordinary girl who lived an extraordinary life and we will never forget her! Feel strength and love from our prayers. We love you and your family so very much!!

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