Happy First Birthday my little man!
Well Matthew. It is here. Your first birthday. It seems like just yesterday you were born, but it also feels like a lifetime ago. Is that possible to feel both at the same time? I remember all the walking I had to do to get the contractions going. So many hours after the induction started. But when it was time to start labor, you made your entrance so quickly. I remember all those things so vividly I can feel it now. I can feel the joy the moment the doctor held you up and announced that you are a boy. I see your grumpy little face after coming out of your warm and safe world into our bright and cold world. As happy as I was to see you, I also remember the shock at seeing your purple skin. Anger when I stated my concern with the staff and they did nothing. “Don’t worry”. “It’s normal”. I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach that it wasn’t right. But I also thought I had time and that the staff would take care of you. Babies don’t die. I remember the glorious happiness I felt having you snuggle against my chest that first time and listening to your clucking. Yes my little man, you sounded like a chicken. I took you all in with such wonder. I was amazed with the beauty of your strawberry blonde hair. So much about you pleased me in the first moments of our meeting. I gave you to daddy since he was impatient to meet you too. He was so happy to finally hold you. You cried for him as though you wanted him to soothe you. He rocked you and smiled. The smile that only a new baby can bring.
That’s what I am trying to focus on today. The immense joy I felt. It was so short. So sudden. That little amount of time with you has changed my life forever. I have an empty space in my heart that I try to fill with only happy thoughts. But more often than not, I feel so scared and alone. I miss you so much I can’t even describe that kind of pain. I was foolish to think we had so much time ahead of us that I put off too many things. I should have taken more photos with you and of you. I should have held your hand and covered you in so many more kisses. I wish I could have just taken your scent in and kept it in my memories. Said all the things a mommy says to her baby before you left me. I am saddened with so many regrets with you that at times it takes over my good memories. I pray every day that you know how much I love you. That I wish I could have taken better care of you. That I should have put my foot down with what my gut was telling me that day. But I can’t take any of that back. I just have to hope that you forgive me. That’s the hardest part. Loving you so much and having to let you go. I sometimes dwell on wishing I had known. Had a few more minutes with you. But even if God granted me a few more minutes with you, it would have never been enough. I would have greedily asked for more.
So that’s where I am today Matthew. Thinking of all the things you would have done this past year. And it would have been so much. I know that you would have either have just learned or are just learning to walk today. I close my eyes and imagine you, my little redhead with his birthday hat, waddling to me with a big smile. How I long to see your precious smile. To fill this void in my heart with your laughter. To feel your warmth curled up against my chest. I want to make your birthday special, but it could never be enough to show you what you mean to me. To show you how much I love and miss you. But I am trying. I am trying to be happy and fill your day with smiles and laughter as I think of you today. Birthday parties are supposed to be happy. But how happy can it be when it is such a big reminder of what we are missing. I try to think about you in heaven and what you would want. I am sure you would want us to enjoy ourselves today. As though you were physically here with us instead of in spirit. So we bought you a big ice cream cake. That’s what we always get for birthdays. Would you like it or would it be too cold? I think even though it’s cold, you would love it. I mean it’s ice cream and cake; together. How wonderful. We didn’t buy you presents because you are not here to enjoy them, and I think that the gifts would sadden me with that reminder. So daddy bought wonderful Wish Lanterns for you. Everyone of us got our own. We made your card and letters all over your lanterns and we are sending them to heaven to you. I know you won’t get them, but something tangible seems to be the right thing to do. I hope you see what we did and are pleased. I think they helped your brothers and sisters share something with you too.
That is hard for me too. Knowing they hurt for you, but not sure what to do. Do you meet them in their dreams? Do you touch them in a breeze? Sometimes I wonder in the love children have and what they can accomplish. I see the simple things they do with you as though you are with them everyday. I am surprised at how well they “know” you. How often they talk about you. They may have never met you on your real birthday, but you made such a big impact on them. You are such a wonderful child that you are so much loved and also missed. I wish, just for today, we could all touch you and say we love you. But I guess you already know. We tell you everyday.
I am eternally blessed with the short time I had with you. You have touched me to the core of my soul. How lucky am I to be your mommy? To a precious angel? I cannot even begin to fathom. All I can say is how much I love you. Have a wonderful day today with our Creator in heaven. And try to make time to touch the hole in my heart. Happy first birthday to you my little boy.
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