Last night we celebrated your big sister’s 32nd birthday. Can you believe that – that she is 32 years old? I can’t. Your dad and I are getting old.
She wanted, as I expected, homemade pizza for dinner, and for dessert she wanted New York Style Cheesecake. She’s been on a high protein diet, so I’m guessing she feels less like she’s cheating by eating cheesecake rather than chocolate or red velvet cake! Either way, I was happy to get to cook for everyone. Well, almost everyone.
We miss you, son. You’ve been gone longer than I would have ever dreamed one of my children could be gone. I miss you terribly. I miss having all five of my children here when we celebrate birthdays.
Your nieces and nephew are growing like weeds. Ellie is 11 years old, and she is already a couple of inches taller than me. I can hear you snickering and making some comment about that fact not surprising you. Addie is going to be 6 in a couple of weeks and is doing so well in school. Rowan is 3 now, and Elijah will be 3 next month, and they are still the cutest little cousins I’ve ever seen. I love that they are only 4 months apart.
We had spring-like weather last night, replete with gusty winds turning suddenly calm, and a thunder and lightning show that had Elijah whining a little. He went into Joe’s arms whining that he was “scared of butter”, which we all laughed at. Joe said, “you’re scared of butter?”, incredulously, then remembered that he called “thunder” “butter”. It was so cute.
I took him over to the sliding glass doors to watch the lightning with him, talking about it like it was the coolest thing, hoping it would help him understand that it was just lightening. He wiggled out of my arms and went back to Joe saying, “I’m scared of the light wing”. Such a cute age.
I remember the days when all of you would get scared of spring storms and one by one file into our bedroom and get into bed with us. King-size beds are quite large, but 7 people in one king-size bed makes for a rather sleepless night. I loved it, though. I loved how your warm, wiggly bodies couldn’t hold still; I loved how someone always had to sleep sideways, your head against one of us and your pointy little toes against the other; I loved how what began as a frightful, often almost tearful entry turned into a giggling fest, if Dad and I could tolerate it on what little sleep we usually had.
Tim and Haleigh (Tim’s girlfriend) came late last night and so stayed later than anyone else. We had a good time telling stories, discussing politics and crazy people we’ve known or met. I miss this kind of thing with you. I know you were always a bit reticent to talk about yourself, especially after you got out of the Navy, but that only made it more delightful when you did occasionally tell stories about your Navy experience and your travels.
Addison’s birthday is next. Then yours. What will we do this year to make it a special day, even though the special birthday boy is not here with us? Probably the same as the past 2 years – I’ll make lasagna, your favorite. And bake a red velvet cake or maybe your favorite chocolate cake. I won’t have the urge to take it to the cemetery and throw it down like I wanted to the first year you were gone. We will all eat it and enjoy it through our tears and laughter, remembering the wonderful times we had together when we were still ALL together.
We miss you. But we know we will see you again. Probably sooner than we can believe it will be now, while we are still grieving your absence.
I love you, my precious middle son, and I look forward to hugging you again someday.