I took this picture two years ago, the morning of my birthday, sitting in Toby’s nursery with him while he napped. I opened these memories up tonight and am just crying looking at them.
I look at this second picture and I long to feel the happiness that was in this moment. I would give anything to have that day back. Anything.
I hold my breath when “Happy Birthday” is sung. Or maybe it’s that my breath is taken away for that moment. In my mind I can see and feel those memories from two years ago. I can actually feel Toby in my arms, hear Luke’s little voice.
Today is so hard for me. Many don’t understand. Birthdays were never big for me. It was just another day. Nice to celebrate with family and always with an ice cream cake. I never cared about the number or had one, in my mind, that was monumental. But that changed two years ago.
Birthday 33 is now my number. It is the only celebration I’ll ever have with Toby in it. It is also the year that changed my life, forever.
I’ve heard it said “each persons story is written from the day they were born.” It makes me wonder if that means by the year; by the milestone; by life’s big chapters – but then how are chapters defined?
How do we prepare ourselves for what happens in life? I don’t think we’re ever really prepared for death, especially a tragic death, like losing a child. I think we adapt. We figure out what works for us in that heartbreaking moment, whenever it happens – be it that day; a month from then; or two years from then – and we succumb to whatever emotions may flow.
I wanted to see Toby today, but I couldn’t bring myself to drive to the cemetery. Last year I sat with him and it was one of the lowest, grief filled days I’ve had since his death. The tears wouldn’t stop and I felt like God wasn’t listening to my pleas.
I didn’t go to the cemetery today. But I started my day telling Toby I wasn’t coming and begging him not to be sad that I wasn’t there. We’ve been traveling the last few days and when we pulled in the driveway today Luke said “Toby, we’re home!” Those words hit me.
We were home. He is home. This is where he was two years ago. This is where he’d be today. Waiting for the song.
I’m sitting on the deck writing this for the past half hour, letting the tears fall and watching the sun set. I love sunsets on our porch. The way the beams dance through our trees and the birds sing. I can close my eyes and imagine Heaven.
I’ve been thinking about that one thing that people say on your birthday “Make a Wish!”
I have my wish for the rest of my birthdays here on Earth. One that I know will never come true, but I will never stop wishing it.
But today, here’s my second wish:
“I hope today in Heaven, the sun shines on your face. I hope Angels keep you laughing, reading books and singing songs. I hope Heaven has a ball field, where you can practice your home runs. I hope you are so busy, smiling and having fun, you miss the moments we feel this sad, because we miss you, Son. My birthday wish today, is not for me, but for you sweet one. I hope you fall asleep each night feeling loved and know that I am proud to be your Mom.”