MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Deblase family released balloons at Mobile Memorial Gardens Thursday to celebrate the life of Natalie Delbase on her birthday. She would have been six years old.
Investigators say Natalie and her brother, Chase, were killed by their father and stepmother in 2010. John Deblase and Heather Keaton both face capital murder.
Richard Deblase began the remembrance with a poem. Holding balloons, he read aloud to a crowd of family and friends.
"This is the season to be thankful. We need to be thankful for what we have," said Deblase. "Natalie's sweet kisses and Chase's laughter ... the sudden heater in the middle of the night from Natalie and Chase climbing into our bed. I thank God for giving us Natalie and Chase for the little time they were with us."
The Deblase family said Natalie and her brother, Chase, loved the holiday season.
"Natalie was our turkey and Chase at Christmas, he was our little ham. So we had a turkey and a ham. We did it to show love and affection," said their grandmother, Ann Deblase.
The family said the day isn't about sorrow. It's more about being thankful for the light and love their grandchildren brought them.
"We are so gratified to have Natalie and Chase in our life and to have their love and sweetness around us. You don't realize how important it is until their gone," said Richard Deblase.
They sang Happy Birthday to Natalie and released balloons into the blue skies. A poem with the line, "I'll protect you little ones. For after tonight you'll be forever alright," was put inside balloons.
After the songs were sung and stories shared, the family was a little uncertain about what to do next, but one thing was for sure.
"I don't know if I need the time for myself or if I need family, but I do know that they will always be in my heart. I'll never be alone. I've got them forever," said their biological mother, Corrine Deblase.
Chase Deblase would have been five in December.
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