Four years ago, on this night, my son sang Happy Birthday to me. He then went upstairs for awhile. Soon after, I heard his feet bound down our wooden stairs, run a few steps and then slide into the dining room.... knocking into the metal dog gate in a door frame. He stood there and waited for me to look up. He then asked if he could go play basketball. He tilted his head and ever so sweetly said, “Please,Mom” with a twinkle in his eye. Since we had beengone for ten days for the holidays, I said yes..... go ahead. Okay, be a kid....have fun, but be home at exactly 10:00.
That was at 8:20pm. He left the house at 8:30pm and was dead by 8:52pm. I would spend from 10pm til 2:00am in a panic until I found out. Never, ever ever in a zillion years expecting him to be dead.
I sit right now in the same chair where I sat that night. I look over to that spot.... where he stood. I can still see him. He had a cute beanie hat on (from Chicago Police, given to me at work) and he looked adorable.
I can hear him sing the song. Smell him, feel him.
I am chronologically 4 years older, but have aged much more. Yet, he remains the same age. The world and everyone in it ages, but he is forever 14. His baby sister is now older than him..... yet he stays the same age.
First anniversary was wretched. Second was horrible. Third awful. This fourth one? It stinks!!!!
BUT...... nothing will ever change any of it. This fact, too will stay the same.
I celebrate my birthday. It no longer feels happy or joyful or special like it used to feel. Just like the holidays and other occasions have lost their lackluster.
But, I celebrate the fact that I am able to grow old and wrinkled. It is a privilege that some do not get. I have been able to go to High School and College and have many cool jobs and get married and own houses and have a zillion friends and love and laugh with them and my remarkable family AND I have gotten to do the very best thing! I got to be a parent. To my Patrick and my precious Zoe.
I celebrate it all! Even the unbearable painful reminder that my birthday has become of “that night”.
And I thank you all. For your well wishes.... many of you got more than you bargained for cause you did not know the entire story.
You were simply being nice Social Media friends!! Lol.
I love you all and I love being alive and feeling every single feeling, no matter how hard.
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