Today you would have turned one year old. One year. It's so very hard to believe that I would have a chubby legged, waddle walking, one year old around. But God had different plans for your short little life. And as always, He knows what's best for us. Although I miss you terribly and will always feel the void that not having you with us brings, I am so thankful for all that you have taught us, and all the beauty that God has shown us, by not getting to have you. And it is so much easier this August 11th than last, as I'm sure each passing year will be. Time is a perfect healer. I will never forget you and we now have established a beautiful tradition in our family so that we can always remember your little life.
Mass was offered for you this morning and I felt such peace sitting there in the pew with my children all scrunched around me, knowing that you were in heaven. And having such a compassionate priest at our parish who came up to me afterwards and asked if today was Joseph's birthday, was such a comfort to me. After mass, we headed to the cemetery to celebrate your birthday, the day you would have been born. And boy did we celebrate...I drove through McDonald's to get breakfast sandwiches. The kids were thrilled! We laid out our blanket, and while I passed out juices and egg bagels, I soaked in the morning sun that was streaming in through the trees, and I watched them eat. We prayed for the repose of your soul, and even sang a loud happy birthday to you....I am comforted in the fact that our children know you. They know they have a brother in heaven and that we celebrate your life.
We have yet to get the marker that has your name on it. It is something that I terribly want, but we just never seem to get done. We know the general area where you are buried, but I want to be able to leave flowers, and anything else the kids want to at your grave. Instead, we walk around and look at the other children who are buried there and pray for them, especially the ones we know.
Life is such a gift. I know that phrase is so over used, but I mean it in all honesty. We are guaranteed nothing. Every single day is another gift that God has given to us. My marriage is a gift, each child we have is a gift, our health is a gift and time is a gift. The time that we spend with our children is no guarantee. Some we will get fifty years with, and others we will get 10 weeks. May I never get so accustomed to being with our children, and more focused on the mundane tasks of the day, that I forget they are a gift to us.