The sun came around one full circle since you were born. I remember that day very clearly and one thing I remember is wondering how life would go on. I remember each passing minute of that day felt like eternity. Like as if time would never speed up, the world would be stuck in time, and I would feel the pain of your death forever. Nothing else mattered and seemed like it never could.
But yet, here we are, a year later and a whole bunch different. Your brother and sisters are a whole year older and a heck of a lot wiser and wittier. I know you can hear them, but they speak of you often, especially your brother. I am not sure why, but he out of all of them is deeply connected to you. Whenever he looks up at the sky he says your name, when he flies on a plane, he says your name, when he sees something new and beautiful he says your name, when he hears the word brother, he says your name, and when he hears heaven, he knows where you sleep and where you play. He misses you and wouldn't mind rushing to see you, but please do me a favor and ignore that part :). You know Harper, she is wise beyond her years and has a knowing that doesn't need reassurance or explanation. She has you in her heart and there you'll stay. Jagger thanks you for the cake and we will make sure she knows who you are.
Your dad hurts but you know him, he is the man of steel and the man of few words. The man who immerses himself so deeply in work as to not have to confront reality. And that is okay. I sense you are very much like him, a worker, a leader, a server, stoic and strong and that is why you couldn't stay.
This last year has been basically a huge big shit show, yet I am still here, no worse for the wear and maybe a little bit stronger too. I see life through a different lens now; I have my rose colored glasses on. Remember how I hate waking up? I still do, but I see and hear things now I normally wouldn't. I remember a few weeks after you were born I laid myself half naked in the yard under the sun and clouds and felt so connected to each blade of grass that touched my body, my fingers combed through it and rested in the cool soil, an ant even came marching up my hand and arm, and while all of this was happening I felt a sense of euphoria. I cry a lot now for both happy and sad things. I feel things and I like it.
We had this big plans of putting together lanterns and bringing them over to the docks to set them off. But instead you gave us a snowstorm for your birthday. You knew we needed a slow day, and we needed to have Harper home with us. You knew we didn't the stress of getting over to the docks and having one of your siblings fall into the water or lose their shoe. You kept us right where we needed to be; home. Maxine came to take our pictures. Although it wasn't the traditional first birthday in home family session with a wobbly new toddler, we needed to commemorate the day regardless. BB was here too, as she's never far away anymore. Did you see your cake? The kids asked how I knew what flavor you liked, I told them I knew you best so I decided it would be confetti cake with vanilla frosting. Don't tell them otherwise :). We sung happy birthday to your ashes, we cried, we laughed, we remembered, and we smiled. We smiled. We went outside to the sign you sent me and took in the storm you brought down to us. The snowflakes stuck to my eyes and face. I wasn't much bothered by them, it was comforting.
Perspective. I do believe we have some choice in the stories we write and where we go from the previous page. I know there is a skeleton script that we can't fully change but we do have power over some of it. We can either crumble or we can be triumphant. We can be torn up inside but we also have the power to see the beauty. I know your life and death is difficult for some people to swallow. People want us to forget this and move on. But they don't realize we don;t have to forget to move on. We don't have to push away your life and death and pretend it never happened. We don't have to be shunned to silence for their comfortability. We speak of you and we think of you because no matter how short of a time you were here, you were ours, and ours you'll stay.
Happy Birthday P.