Matt, Today is your birthday. You should be turning 46. I should be buying a cake, a card, and a little something for you to enjoy. Instead I’m spending the afternoon serving burgers and hotdogs to the hungry and homeless in the city.
I really wanted to go to the beach. To sit on the sand. To drive by your house. But I’ve done that on your past birthdays and it has always left me so broken with all the why’s and what if’s that I knew I should not do it again.
I wanted to do something different today, so I brought your favorite foods to the Emmanuel Dining Room and spent time with amazing people who serve others every day. When I walked in I began to feel like I made a mistake, but as people began to introduce themselves I felt like I was absolutely meant to be there.
When I told them today was your birthday but you were not here to celebrate with me, another mother came over to me and asked about you. I was able to share your story with someone who when I looked into her eyes I knew she also knew that grief of child loss. It was an immediate connection as she then shared her sons story.
A feeling of peace came over me as I watched those being fed smile and look my way with gratitude. I felt a connection to you in the eyes of strangers. I remember you sharing your food with a homeless man and in that moment I knew you were there standing next to me rooting me on as I tried to change a sad day into something meaningful.
I’ve read there is a permanent bond, an invisible connection between a mother and her child. Today I felt you. I saw your smiling face in every person we served. Today my heart was full of joy and love. So grateful for the years we had together. For all the birthdays you were here to celebrate with me.
Today I felt you smiling down on me giving me the strength to make it through this day. You and I are connected through space and time. I live to honor your life. Until we meet again I wish you a beautiful birthday dancing on the stars. Forever in my heart ♥️