It’s been a long time since I’ve written. I’ve had things going on not necessarily related to grief, but there nonetheless. Those things haven’t taken away my sadness for Gabe, but pushed into the background. I have things I want to talk about but just can’t put into words.
Yesterday was Gabe’s birthday. He would have turned nineteen. NINETEEN. That is a very odd thing. He has been gone for almost 4 years now. One of the most difficult parts of losing a child is the unknown of who they would have become. I have some ideas- he probably would have gone to community college, and maybe would have gone to trade school. But he died as a 15 year old so that is who I remember. His middle brother is now older than he ever was, and his youngest brother will pass him in age 19 days after his next birthday. That is hard to wrap my head around.
We always do something for Gabe’s birthday, but this year looked different. Social distancing and school cancellations made it more laid back than it was going to be (it was supposed to be musical weekend and I had no idea when we would fit in remembering Gabe!). We had to modify a bit- a quick trip to the cemetery and a trip to our favorite outdoor ice cream shop were the perfect way to remember Gabe. The boys and I shared memories of him and enjoyed the beautiful drive.
I wish he were still here to celebrate his birthday. He would have gotten a rootbeer float. But since he can’t be here we go on. His life was beautiful and his death has shaped each of us. I draw on his strength when I need to (a lot!). I’ve learned so much about determination, perserverance, and stubbornness from my son. His life was beautiful, his death helped me learn that I can make it through anything. So while I celebrated the birth of an amazing child, I also celebrated the beautiful lessons he taught me.
Thanks to my mom for the picture above on the left. I had never seen it and pictures that have never been seen before are such an amazing gift to a bereaved mom!