Friday, September 12, 2014

Your 5th Birthday

Peanut -

Happy 5th birthday.  I'm sure there should be an exclamation point after that, but Momma just can't muster that level of enthusiasm today.  Just uttering or typing that phrase brings tears to my eyes, thinking about everything we are missing.  And how much I miss you.

Peanut.  My first born son.  The child who opened my heart and eyes to selfless love.  Momma love.  The child who, even (or maybe especially?) in death, has taught me to live with joy, grace and forgiveness even when anger and despair felt like the easier, more justified options.  My child.

Five years ago it was a hot September Saturday.  Summer was enjoying its finally hurrah for the year, and Momma wasn't expecting you to arrive until September 25 so a pedicure and late lunch were on the agenda.  But early morning cramps had me wondering...could these be contractions?  And by early afternoon Momma and Dadda were rushing to the hospital, praying we made it in time as we hit every single red light.  We did, and you were born just a few hours later.  As the delivery nurse so appropriately said, just a tiny little Peanut.

Peanut, I wish I could see the 5 year-old version of you, blowing out five candles on a giant chocolate cake, tossing a football with your friends in the backyard and wrestling with the dog.  While I can picture this image in my mind, my heart and hands long to reach out an touch your long, graceful fingers.  To gaze into those deep blue eyes again, and give you Eskimo kisses.

Happy birthday in Heaven, Peanut.  Here on Earth we will celebrate your birthday, your life, your Peanut Effect, your love  My amazing son.  I love you so very, very much.  How much?  Come on, silly, you know!  To the moon - and back.

- Momma


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Almost 5

Peanut -

Your birthday is coming up on Friday of this week.  This has proven to be a particularly difficult birthday for Momma for a number of reasons.

First, Momma simply cannot envision what you should be doing at age 5.  The things - activities, words, phrases, opinions - I thought would wait until 5 have emerged at 2.5 with your little brother, so I am clearly way out of my depth.

Second, an extremely close family member seemingly forgot your birthday was this week.  When I was asked "what do you have going on this weekend?" Momma responded, "Peanut's birthday is Friday so we're pausing, remembering, and celebrating."  The response?  "Ohhhhh....yes.....that's this week....<big sigh>"  Should Momma be upset?  Maybe.  But this is the shape of the future.  Momma and Dadda will always remember but can we expect others to do the same?

To that end, last night Momma and Dadda made a pledge.  We will always talk about you.  We will share our story and help others realize that grief isn't so scary when shared with joy.  That I love talking about you, my amazing, adorable first son.

Coincidentally (I think not), the Zac Brown Band is playing in St. Louis on Friday night, September 12.  Your birthday.  The guys responsible for "Chicken Fried" - which you learned and loved at school - are playing on your birthday.  Thanks to Dadda we have tickets!  So, Momma and Dadda will be bopping up and down to your music as we celebrate the life, love, smiles, hugs, grins, and butterfly kisses that are you.

Peanut, I'm sure there will be more posts this week than usual (lately).  The grief is heavy in my heart and this blog helps Momma lift that weight.

Peanut, I love you so very much.  I know you are with us, every moment of every day.  And, I hope you are proud.  I love you sweet, darling boy with the deep, blue eyes and feather-long eyelashes.  Mmmmmmmwwwwwwaaaahhhhh!

- Momma

Monday, September 1, 2014


Peanut -

Here it is again.  September.  Your birth month.  In just a few days (9/12) we should be celebrating your birthday with a cake lit up by 5 candles.  Instead Momma is watching your classmates enter school, play sports and grow up.  Meanwhile, you are forever 16.5 months old.  I know in my heart and brain you are an amazing athlete, comedian, scholar, and citizen of this world.  I just wish everyone else had gotten the opportunity to feel your warmth and potential.  Maybe, in some small way, this blog has helped spread the word about your amazingness (made up word by Momma).  To expand your Peanut Effect.

We just retuned from our annual family vacation at Big Cedar and - once again - felt an incredible connection to you.  Momma and Dadda spent several hours sharing photos and videos of you with The Pickle, and explaining who you are and where you've gone.  This might be the most challenging part of being a bereaved parent with subsequent kiddos.  How do you explain death?  Especially when it's sudden, unexpected and without explanation?

Momma took a picture of your brother while on vacation that tells me he might just see you...I'm not sure but I choose to believe.  It is included below.

This fall is going to be full of fun, exciting and bittersweet moments.  As time churns forward, the fact that you are forever frozen in time becomes more starkly apparent.  Momma chooses to love, be joyful, and to find the wonderful happiness you opened in my heart.  But still...I reserve a corner of sadness and grief for you.

I love you soooooooooooooo very much.   How much?  Well, to the moon - and back, silly!

- Momma