Fourteen years ago today, you arrived in this world and you changed my life forever. There are not enough words to describe all the joy and love you brought with you. I can only say that the moment I held you in my arms and looked into your precious little face, I fell completely in love with you, and a bond was made that could never be broken. Every aspect of my life…my thoughts, my energy, my heart, were all focused on you.
The time went by so fast, watching as you grew from the tiny little bundle so content being snuggled up against my neck, safe and secure in my arms, to the adventurous toddler determined to explore and experience all of his surroundings. You showed me the world through new eyes each day, filling my heart with awe and wonder at the beauty of life all around us. Whether it was stomping through rain puddles, or the squeals and giggles when the dogs licked your face and fingers, or watching your face light up like the sun when you were singing and clapping to the worship music at church, each moment was precious to me. Every morning as I heard your little feet running through the kitchen, and seeing your smiling face as you climbed up into my lap to snuggle, I always told you, “Good morning my precious sunshine”. And there was an inexplicable peace in my heart as you said, “I love you mommy”.
Even through the difficult times that life brought, the love and joy inside you bloomed. And it was like a magnet, drawing people to you. It always amazed me to see the impact you had on everyone around you. Joyous, friendly, beautiful, precious, handsome, helpful, kind, polite… these were just some of the descriptions used by those who met you.
There was something special in your heart. I know now that it was the Spirit of God in you, filling you with a wisdom to know what is truly valuable and precious in this life. You knew that it’s about the relationships we build, and spreading the love and joy and hope of Jesus. You knew that is where real peace and contentment come from. And that is how you lived your life, determined to hold on to that truth.
You always had a fascination with super-heroes and their powers to overcome evil. At times you drove me crazy with the stories and movies and games, describing in great detail a battle scene and how you would combine super-powers to destroy the enemy. There were many occasions when I was both irritated and amused as I watched you from the window, acting out a battle with an invisible foe with a stick for a sword (or light saber, or magic wand, etc.) when you were supposed to be doing your chores.
After your snowmobile accident in 2010, you told me that you knew the real super-heroes in life were the police, paramedics, firemen, doctors, nurses and preachers. And for the past few years, you mentioned several times that you were thinking about becoming a state trooper, with the K-9 unit. I know your love of dogs and the desire to help and protect others had a lot to do with that. You also talked about a desire to become a preacher. You told me that you admired Pastor Herring for his devotion and knowledge of God, and how he loves other people and preaching the truth. An image of you flashes through my mind of a time when you were just 2 years old, watching you stand up on the seat in the middle of a sermon and throw both hands in the air and shout, “Praise the Lord, hallelujah! In Jesus’ name, amen”! And another image of you at the same age, as you were running around the house, preaching into the little plastic carrot you pretended was a microphone. You went over to your dad as he was sitting on the couch watching TV, and you “laid hands” on him. When he did not respond appropriately (by falling over healed), you whammed him in the head with the carrot, trying to make him fall over. Your dad didn’t think it was too funny at the time, but it took great restraint for me to not bust out laughing as I watched. There are also many images as you got older, seeing you standing there in the front row at church, playing your tambourine (you always had great rhythm), and watching you and your friends huddled together in prayer at the alter, being filled with the Holy Spirit. I wish that I had told you more often how proud I was (and still am) of you!
Today is your birthday, and you would have turned 14 years old. There are so many things that I want to say and share and do with you today. Even though you’re not here physically, I still feel your presence in my heart. So for your birthday today, I’m going to your favorite restaurant, Noisy Goose, and ordering your favorite breakfast, sausage gravy and biscuits. Then I’m going to take Frodo hiking up at Hatcher Pass at our favorite spot. When we come down, we’ll go to the state troopers office to make a donation to the K-9 unit in your name, and afterward we’ll go to the cemetery to visit your grave.
I knew this day would be hard, and to be honest, I’ve been an emotional train wreck since I woke up. I’ve struggled with these emotions every moment of every day since you died, and some days I simply cannot contain them. And today is one of those days.
There is such an immense pain in missing you! But even greater still is the love and joy that remains in remembering you.
So from my heart to yours, I’m sending you a big Happy Birthday in Heaven Christian, my love, my precious sunshine. You hold my heart, and I love you forever!
Much Love Always,