Each year, around the end of September, I sink into a bit of a funk. And, somehow, it always catches me a little unawares. I had been wondering what the heck was wrong with me and then I saw the date yesterday and it all made sense...
Thirteen years ago today, our second child, and first son, was born. He made a surprise appearance eight weeks before his due date and, tragically, died of SIDS only 32 days later. His life, and then his death, turned our lives upside down and inside out.
His birthday has always been a little different from the anniversary of his death. The anniversary is simply a day of painful memories. His birthday is bittersweet. We can't help but recall everything beautiful, funny and happy that we experienced with and because of him in the short time he was here, but we're also acutely aware of the pain of losing him and the emptiness where he should be. I can't sit around the table with my family or pile into the car with the kids or kiss them good night without feeling something missing. And I can't imagine what he'd be like as a brand-new teenager.
I know it will be like this for as long as I live. I will always wonder, "What if...?" Each year that passes I will try to imagine what he'd be doing new this year, what he would be like, what our family would be like if he had lived. I fell apart a little when The Viking got home from work today and as he was holding me close I mumbled into his shirt front, "I'm going to be doing this when I'm 85, aren't I?" And he said gently, "Yes, you are."
Yes, I am. I will always know how old my babe would be, will always remember his sweet, little face, will always wonder what he'd be up to right about now and will always look forward eagerly to being reunited with him in Heaven. And always, at the end of September, I will slip into a funk.
Happy Thirteenth Birthday, Little Koosh. Mama loves you and misses you terribly.