Matt. Today, July 30th is your birthday. It’s one of those milestones that we all get teased about. The big 40. Forty years ago you came crashing into my world. Barely giving me time to breathe let alone make it to the hospital. You had your own timetable and did it your way. Fast and furious with barely a warning that you were making your grande entrance into life. I remember the first time I saw you. Your tiny perfect face. Those amazing green eyes. Your birth came weeks before I was ready. Your death came just as quickly leaving me as breathless as your birth.
There will be no family party celebrating your entering the fortieth decade of life. There will be no teasing about gray hair or the beginnings of bald spots. No worries about wrinkles or losing your physique. Your brother won’t be able to dare you to bend low as you blow out your candles setting you up for a face full of cake. There will be no laughter, burgers or beer. The only sound will be in the depths of my soul silently screaming for a redo.
Memories flood my mind of past birthdays. The house full of people and pups. Celebrating your life. I remember your smile, your contagious laugh. I remember you and Mike sitting around the table thick as thieves sharing stories of your shared escapades, belly laughing over things done and hidden from mom. You never acted your age when you were together. Your personality brought out the child in you both and I loved sitting back watching my men relive their boyish antics. You and Mike one year and 20 days apart. Both July babes. People called you Irish twins. I called you the loves of my life.
As clearly as I remember the first time I saw you I also remember the last. Such a contrast in seasons. Your birth a beautiful warm day in July. Your death a bitter cold day in January. I remember hearing your first cries. Letting the world know you had arrived. I remember the quietness that greeted me in your death. The only sound in the room was the sobbing in my soul as I looked at my sleeping boy, so quiet, so cold. The only similarity in your birth and death was once again it was just us. You and me. A mother and her beautiful boy.
I remember running my fingers through your hair. Still soft even in death. There will be no grays for you my boy, your hair forever light brown. I remember touching your face. Skin smooth and wrinkle free. A hint of the growth you never shaved shadowed your perfect face. Your amazing eyes forever closed. You could not see me standing next to you. You could not hear my voice telling you how much I loved you as I did when we first met. I held your hand and remembered the first time you wrapped your fingers around mine. The times you reached out for me as we ran into the crashing surf. Your hands always reaching for mine. Your hands now so still. You, my beautiful boy forever frozen in time. Forever 37.
Today, I will close my eyes and let the memories of you flood my heart. I will remember the joy, the love, and the pain that bonds us forever. I will remember your crazy smile. Your goofy laugh. Your big bear hug. I will picture you and your brother from birthdays long ago. I will remember you crashing into my life on that July night and I will remember you leaving on that cold January morning. I will pray that you have found peace. I will pray that you are whole in body and mind. I pray that your heaven is a beach and when my time comes you will be there holding out your hand reaching for mine.
Happy 40th birthday my beautiful boy. How I wish you were here.