Today isn’t really your birthday. It was this past Sunday, February 4th. I wanted to write to you on your actual birthday, but in all honesty, it was all I could do to get out of bed that day. It was one of the hardest days since the day you left. It was cloudy and rainy and cold, just like my heart felt inside. I was buried under the weight of the memories of the day you were born and the imaginings of what the day would have been like if you were still here.
I could feel you with me, though. You sent me a special message during the first Super Bowl commercial I saw, “111 million.” And I know that was you telling me you’re okay and that you love me. We took a rose down to the water and walked in the chilly rain. And I made cupcakes.
So many people sent their love and thoughts to us. And Gigi, Papa, and Auntie Bella and her family celebrated by releasing beautiful balloons and writing you the most precious letters.
I wonder what your sweet voice would sound like saying “Mama” and “Daddy.” I wonder if you’d be toddling around. I wonder what toys you’d like and what songs you’d dance to and what foods you’d love to eat. I wonder what your tiny hands would feel like holding mine and what would make you laugh. I wonder how many outfits you’d let me dress you in for your big boy one year old pictures. I wonder how many times I would have given you a developmental test to see how you were meeting your milestones. I wonder if Charlie would tolerate you or run away from you.
I wonder if I’ll get to find out the answer to all of those questions someday. I sure hope so.
Happy, happy birthday, my sweet love. You are my greatest inspiration and one of my deepest joys.
Auntie Bella quoted this book in her letter to you, and it’s so beautiful I wanted to share it here as well:
On the Night You Were Born
by Nancy Tillman
On the night you were born,
The moon smiled with such wonder
That the stars peeked in to see you
And the night wind whispered,
“Life will never be the same.”
Because there had never been anyone like you…ever in the world.
So enchanted with you were the wind and the rain
That they whispered the sound of your wonderful name.
It sailed through the farmland
High on the breeze…
Over the ocean…
And through the trees…
Until everyone heard it
And everyone knew
Of the one and only ever you.
Not once had there been such eyes,
Such a nose,
Such silly, wiggly, wonderful toes.
When the polar bears heard,
They danced until dawn.
From faraway places,
The geese flew home.
The moon stayed up until
Morning next day.
And none of the ladybugs flew away.
So whenever you doubt just how special you are
And you wonder who loves you, how much and how far,
Listen for geese honking high in the sky.
(They’re singing a song to remember you by.)
Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo.
(It’s because they’ve been dancing all night for you!)
Or drift off to sleep to the sound of the wind.
(Listen closely…it’s whispering your name again!)
If the moon stays up until morning one day,
Or a ladybug lands and decides to stay,
Or a little bird sits at your window awhile,
It’s because they’re all hoping to see you smile…
For never before in story or rhyme
(not even once upon a time)
Has the world ever known a you, my friend,
And it never will, not ever again…
Heaven blew every trumpet
And played every horn
On the wonderful, marvelous
Night you were born.
I kiss you.
Love you forever,