Back in March, NewsFix brought the story of U.S. Army reservist Joseph Rasey, who was getting ready for a year-long active-duty assignment that would separate him from his pregnant wife and two young daughters. On Tuesday, his regular employer, Park Place Lexus, threw a birthday party to celebrate their second-born, Josie-Anna, turning one year old.
Mom, Megan, who has cerebral palsy in addition to being seven months pregnant, was grateful for the help in giving Josie-Anna a proper party that she was unable to put together herself due to the extenuating circumstances.
"Josie won't remember that she didn't have a big birthday party of her own for her first birthday, but I will, and mom-guilt is a real thing," Megan said with a smile. "So this was a really wonderful thing to look back on and say, 'You know what? So many people love you, and so many people celebrated you.'"
Two-year-old Martha-Eden also got to celebrate even though her birthday is not until November, because the family will not be around then. They're temporarily moving in with Joseph's parents in Wisconsin, giving them some extra sets of hands to help until Joseph returns in about nine months.
"It'll be a good time to spend time with his family that we don't normally get to do," says Megan. "We went up there for the first time in five years just before he left, and a lot of [his family members] had never met Josie and just a couple of them had ever met Eden."
But dad will be there, too, in voice. Among the gifts each girl received was a book with a recording of Joseph reading the story.
"I could hear the shaking in his voice," says Megan. "He told me it was really hard to get through and he had to do each page several times to get through it without crying. So it'll be hard to listen to without crying."
Sad tears for now, perhaps...but just wait until the happy ones flow when he comes home!