January 28, 2014 should be a day that you go out with your college buddies and get your first beer. Ok, by now you've probably already had beer but as your mom, let me believe that you'll be having your first one on your 21st birthday.
If you're anything like your parents, you'll make a nasty face and think "yuck, beer tastes awful!" and never drink again. Ok, another mom fantasy.
But really, all I have is mom fantasies of all the things you should be doing, but aren't. All the milestones you should be having, but aren't. Because you're not here anymore.
The past few months watching so many of your cousins and your 2 step-brothers hit so many milestones in their lives has been hard but I am grateful to be a part of their lives and watch them grow. I'm really blessed to watch so many other cherubs grow through the charity and that warms my heart so much. I feel like an aunt to them all and so many of them are growing up, graduating, marrying, having babies of their own. Where did the time go?
So this week has been really hard for many reasons... Regardless, I can't help but think of you and if you were here and how things would be different but how I am different because things are how they are. I am grateful that I have compassion for both families of survivors and non-survivors. I am grateful to know both sides. I am grateful that you were so humble and so giving to others at just 6 years old. I am grateful that your father and I had the maturity to not make our world center around you but make you a part of the world and tried to focus and rejoice on normal things, to treat you as normal as possible. I am grateful for you, my perfect, kind, sweet, funny, loving forever 6 year old boy. And the peace I have from that, the love you still shower on me... means the passion that I have for the charity isn't about you but because of you. That's a huge difference and one I am so so grateful for because that keeps us part of something so much bigger than ourselves.
But as much as I love my work at the charity, as many 1000's of families who have been helped.... the selfish part of me would trade it all in a millisecond to have you back, to have a "normal", boring life. I'd give anything to buy you that beer, my son. I love you and miss you, always. Happy Birthday to my little boy, the love of my life.