To Matthew on your 1st Birthday
My dear sweet baby boy,
As I lit your candle, as I have on the 21st of every month, I looked out the window to see the moon smiling a big, perfect Cheshire Cat smile back at me. It is one year to the minute since you graced us with your presence, and although my heart feels like it is being pulled from my chest, I can’t help but feel like your saying, “It’s okay Daddy.”
You would know from our many conversations, that I have been riddled with guilt and anger this past year. I could have done so much more. I should have been more forceful with the doctor and nurses that your breathing and color wasn’t right. I could have been paying better attention to you, God knows nobody else at the hospital was.
Thinking back to the brief moments we did have with you. If I only knew that our time was so short, I would have savoured them so much more. I will forever cherish the little 5 minute stroll we took so that I could show you this new world to you. I should’ve told the nurses to take a hike when they kicked us back in the room. There’s so many things in this world I wish I could’ve shared with you. I guess that’s why the stars in the nights sky hold so much meaning to me now. We did get to share that for but a brief moment.
Tonight we’re going to send off your wish lanterns into the night sky. I hope you like them. Your brothers and sisters sure did like writing their own personal messages to you. They miss you tremendously too. Oh how Cole so wanted you to come home as his buddy. We pray that one day we will be able to fulfill that wish for him.
Mommy and I have had a heck of a time this past year. It seems losing you has really hurt both our hearts. I pray that you will help to give us strength to heal again. I know that you don’t want us sad, but it is hard. It sure would have been nice to have you around for a while.
We are having a big party in your honour tomorrow. Balloons, Ice-cream cake, no presents though, since you’re not here to open them.
You’d be such a big boy now. Playing tag around the house with the boys I’m sure. I know your Ice-cream cake wouldn’t stand a chance.
We still have remnants around the house, reminders that you never came home. The car-seat you’ll never use. The crib never to be slept in. The diapers, sleepers, booties and hats that mommy tirelessly spent weeks crocheting for you.
I know that you are spending your 1st birthday in heaven, and what better place to spend it than with the big man himself. I’m sure you understand, I wish we could have had at least a couple with you.
At your funeral, as part of your eulogy I said, “We always hope that one of our boys would grow up to become a priest. Matthew did one better, he’s now a saint.”
I know those are pretty big shoes to fill, but I’m sure being one of the new kids on the block you’ve got help along the way.
One day son, we will have all the answers as to why this happened in our lives. Till that day, please watch over Mommy and I, as we try to do our best raising your siblings, and watch over them too. They’re all pretty heartbroken about never getting to know you.
So, I am going to try and not be too sad today. We are going to celebrate life. Yours and ours. And I know that you will be there in spirit celebrating with us.
Happy Birthday Matthew. I love you so much.
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