Wednesday, March 26, 2008

1st birthday book

I'm remembering back in August last year when we were looking for hope just at a time when doubt was being cast as to whether Reuben's heart could be operated on, and in our family conference, Dr A said, I think the road ahead will be immensely frustrating, but in my opinion, I envisage Reuben playing happily when he's one year old.

That date is so close now and tangible, 2nd May and to commemorate it, I'm putting the final touches to Reuben 365, a photo a day project and would like to incorporate comments from family and friends here who have made this journey possible.

If you have anything you'd like to say about Reuben, we'd be very grateful for a few words for his little book in the Comments area below with your name and location if you'd like.

As for birthday celebrations, we have the best with Nana and Grandad coming over and beyond that, we have absolutely no idea!

With thanks
Catherine and Jason


Lori Pullen said...

My dear sweet little angel boy. It is hard to believe that you are going to be a year old so quickly. It seems like only yesterday that you were just a tiny little baby boy. You are growing up way to fast for Auntie Lori. I can not wait until the day comes when I can hold you for the first time and tell you about your crazy Auntie from Brintons Georgia, and New York. Grow and be fruitful my sweet little Reuben, become what you have your heart set on and never give up on your dreams. Dream big and wide and Auntie Lori will be there to see your greatest accomplishment one day. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ONE YEAR OLD!!!
Auntie Lori

Michael Clark said...

Hi Reuben, Thanks for sharing your smile with me over the past year. I don't know you or any of the rest of your family, but your milestones and experiences bring me joy. Keep getting stronger! Happy Birthday! Mike

Catherine said...

Hi Fellow May baby,

We may not have met (yet!) but Mummy says you're very special, like us. Have a very 1st happy birthday and stay strong.
Lots of Love
Julianne & Rachel (and Sara their Mummy)

Anonymous said...
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ellen charge said...

my lovely little charge friend i remember when your mummy joined the lsit and showed me pics on you i so loved it and i remember when yuka would post about you and told us on the list there was a blog i instantl came on i love reading the little updates and seeing all you pics keep going we are all behind you love ya lots ellen in aus

ypersico said...

Reuben dearest- you are completely a joy and quite the spirited gentle lad. You are dearly loved beyond all measure by your amazing parents and amazing grandparents and so many others! May you always know with ease your strengths and your challenges. Embrace every nuance of your experience and from that will come indomitable strength. Know your authetic self and honor your self in every choice you make. May you feel whole, blessed, graced, and profound consolation always- with great love to you and your magnificent family- yuka and family

Ericap said...

Dearest Reuben,
In your first year you have touched the hearts of so many and we are all in such awe of your strength, spirit, patience and endurance. Meeting you in the New Year, seeing your ever winning smile and the all consuming mutual adoration between you and your amazing mummy and daddy humbled me. You really are a Starman and despite future challenges that you may have, you have so many family and friends all around the world, caring, willing and praying for your dreams and aspirations. Happy First Birthday amazing little man! What a joy it is to celebrate this huge milestone first birthday.
Love always Erica, David, Ella Rose and Hadley xxxxx

Jennifer said...


(-taken from Mighty Max canvas made by Treasury of Memories in Bellingham, Washington.)





*please include the photo that I took of him looking at the camera and sucking on two fingers while being hugged by his mama posted on Flickr*

Tracy K. said...

Reuben and family, I follow the blog daily and I think of you often. Reuben is catching up so quickly and is learning so much because of parents like you. You both are remarkable people and you have a source of strength beyond measure. I wish Reu a Happy 1st Birthday filled with good health, love, family and friends who care about him from far and near. Reu we are all learning about you and watching you for a reason. God has a plan for all of us and you are such a miracle and I love seeing you so happy and doing so much. I hope one day to be able to meet you and your family. I wish you all a wonderful healthy year with many happy new beginnings to come. Love, Tracy K and Family (ivillage member too) Long Island, New York). Catherine I love your writing, it is so beautiful.

Polly said...

Happy Birthday to a very special little boy! You have no idea how many people's lives you have touched... thanks to your wonderful parents. We haven't met you yet, but often check on your progress (which has been brilliant) and feel that we know you just a little bit. You have accomplished and endured so much in your first year... we are sure you will only go on to achieve much in life and will continue to bring lots of happiness to your family and friends.
With love from,
Polly, Alex and Imogen

Catherine said...

Lucky Reuben

I have always felt lucky. While talking about Reuben to my sister she reminded me that I needed lifesaving medical intervention when I was born. It’s a fact I’ve always known – a rhesus blood condition which required a premature induction, ten days in intensive care and a full blood transfusion at birth. Now they treat it during pregnancy with a simple injection of antibodies. I’ve felt lucky all my life because I was born in a country and at a time where this technology existed. Without it I could have died as a newborn. Now I live in Cambodia, where infant mortality is high and luck is not on anyone’s side.

An advertising campaign in the 1970’s and 80’s billed Australia as “the lucky country” and being a child, I quite naively believed that it was the truth. My life has been fulI of events that I consider to be lucky timing – it’s a bit silly really given that a misconception could account for ordinary things turning out well. But when things aren’t going quite so well it also gives me comfort and I know that these things will pass and again luck will prevail.

So Reuben, I think your wonderful parents should have called you Felix. You have been blessed with so much luck it was almost impossible to imagine your miraculous outcome one year on. When you are older and you realise that you have been totally rebuilt – heart, feeding, breathing, hearing, you will feel so lucky to have been born at this time, to these parents and in a country where science, technology and medical excellence exists for you. You will hold this feeling inside forever, it will make you strong and help you to overcome hardships and adversity. Above all great things will come out of it.

You have two very determined, loving parents who will guide you and encourage every step of your journey in this life. That is priceless. Happy birthday to you lucky boy. May your blessings never end.

Janelle Hill
Currently a volunteer at the Angkor Hospital for Children in Cambodia
I met Catherine 11 years ago at work – a lucky day, we’ve been friends ever since.

mog-aj said...


Happy First Birthday. You are a little May miracle who has exceded all expectations. You are amazing in what you can do for any 1 year old let alone such a special one with such mountains to climb. Those strong legs you have inherited from your Daddy will help there. And that strong will and personality that came from your Mummy will stand you in very good stead too. Keep amazing and astounding us all in the years to come.
will love from another May miracle, Alfie and mum Sarah and dad Stuart. X

Geraldine said...

To our precious nephew Reuben,

You've been an inspiration to me every day with your strength and great joy of life and people. I look at your picture every day to keep all the memories I have of you fresh in my mind. You've been such a wonderful blessing in our lives. I love your expressions, your thoughtful little face as you weigh up people and situations, knowing that the smile, little excited breath and dancing legs are moments away. And there is nothing so beautiful as to watch you drift off to sleeep, hand clutching rabbit after each busy day, swaddled up and warm, listening to lullabies with teddies all around.

You have already developed a great sense of fun and mischief and an independent spirit. You make me so very proud.

Happy 1st Birthday, beautiful little boy, we love you very much.
Uncle Mark and Auntie Geraldine

Mary said...

Adorable little Reuben, it is so thrilling to see the beautiful pictures your mother takes of you and to read of how well you are doing. Although I have never met them, I can tell that no child ever had more caring parents.

Happy #1 to you. I will always remember your birthday because mine is May 1.

Birthday wishes from Charleston, WV.

hannah m said...

Happy, happy 1st birthday, Sweet Reuben.

I've never met you or your parents, but you are an inspiration of strength and sweetness and stick-to-it-ive-ness!

Wishes for a joyful, adventurous and delightful second year!

love, hannah + vivian + vince

Kristi said...

Dear sweet, determined, awe-inspiring Reuben,

In a few short days, you will turn one year old... a big milestone for all children... but even bigger for you.

You have endured so much in your first year - yet you have accomplished even more. While others may have set certain expectations or limitations for you... you are set on proving that we should only expect that you will continue to surprise and inspire us all. Just as I am awed by my own daughter, Gracie, I'm awed by your strength, will and determination. I get excited to check the blog and see what you've accomplished. I delight in hearing your Mummy's voice when she describes your newest milestone.

You are blessed with amazing parents who define dedication, devotion and love. It's no wonder that you are who you are, sweet boy, as you have them for your Mummy and Daddy.

I look forward to seeing what suprises you have in store during your second year.
Wishing you the happiest of first birthdays, Reuben Jack.

With love,
(and John, Gracie & Preston :-))

Iain Pike said...

To my Godson Reuben on your 1st birthday,

Although we have not yet met I feel I know you already – desperately hoping you can still make a visit back to the UK some time this year.

Reuben 365, in years to come, will be a testament to you and your parent's amazing journey. A journey that myself, and many others, have felt privileged to share through the incredible blog your mum has dedicated to you.

Have a great birthday, don’t drink too much & lets both hope that our favourite football team the mighty Wolverhampton Wanderers make it to a play-off position at the weekend!

Lots of love

Iain & Carol

Vicky said...

Sweet Reuben

One year has flown by so quickly.

Have a wonderful 1st birthday!


Chell & Ali said...

Dear Reuben

Happy Birthday. I'm one month older than you. Even though we've never met, we're like buddies. Our mummies shared their pregnancies on the web together.

Have a great day - its all quite easy really. You smile, they give you stuff, you smile some more, they give you more.

Tip from an older one: the best thing I got was this box and Mummy threw it away!! So just hang on to the bright paper & the box and you'll have fun!

Ali (and mummy Chell from ivillage)