Today is Mother’s Day and my heart is heavier than usual. This is my third Mom’s Day without you and I miss you as much as the first one — it certainly doesn’t get easier. I am sitting on my bed in my own little world staring out of the window at the blue sky I’ve waited days to see, and my head is swirling with thoughts of you. Mother’s Day holds such special meaning; a day where moms are universally celebrated and appreciated for all they do for their children and families. When I think of Mothers Days past my heart smiles at the extra love that would find its way to me via breakfast in bed, crafty gifts made at school and handmade cards that oozed love in their heartfelt and sometimes misspelled words; the drawings, the “coupons” that promised jobs sometimes too big to be true, but with intent so large – all a sign of how big that love was. Those cards will always be treasures for I have kept them all and the gift of all those uneven folds of paper are so incredibly priceless now. I feel sad knowing that today, again there will be one card missing.
Mother’s Day will never be the same without you here. I am so thankful for the big box of handmade cards, the table you made for me in grade 7, and the countless memories of cold toast, cereal, watered down coffee and smoothies in bed; of clay creations, glittery picture frames, yarn weavings, tissue paper flowers…
One thing will never change, Willy — I will always be your mom and you will always be my son/sun.
Today is your birthday and another one we will celebrate without you. You’d be 15 years old today and I can’t help but wonder what you would look like? Handsome as ever I already know, but it’s not enough. Yup, your eyes would still be blue as ever, but would your hair be short or long? Long, I am guessing, like your brothers and whatever Ben had you’d want to have too. How tall would you be? Well, taller than me for sure for you were almost as tall as me 2 ½ years ago. You were on your way to being tall like Justin. Loud and proud? Oh yeah. Would you still be super athletic and active? I think so. Big feet? Oh yes. Your feet were already big. I wonder what your voice would sound like now? I still remember clearly what it sounded like at 12 ½ but you missed the phase of squeaks and intermittent highs and lows that come with being a teenage boy and a man cub. There are many things I don’t know now; things I can only imagine to be true about you. I imagine that you’d still love bacon, and ribs, and candy. But, would Skittles still be your favourite? I’m not sure, but I doubt very much that you would ever say no to a handful of candy in any form! I imagine winter would still be your favourite season and snow still your favourite “toy” because freestyle skiing was so much a part of you.
Will’s 6th Birthday. With his big brothers, Justin and Ben
Today I will set the table and tie four helium balloons to your chair — two green (your favourite color) and two blue (the color of your eyes). We will light a white candle and place it in the middle of the table and we will honor you with what we imagine you would still love. As we have done and will continue to do for everyone in our family on their birthday, we will have your favourite meal. I will make ribs and remember how I’d have to remind you that dinner was more than just a plate FULL of ribs. I’ll smile remembering how you’d negotiate taking the smallest amount of vegetables and rice or potato to keep me quiet. We will have an angel food cake with whipped topping and strawberries and remember and laugh at how you’d only want the cake part, no topping, and perhaps maybe a few strawberries. I shake my head and smile now remembering how, away from the dinner table, you’d flatten and squish a piece of that cake into a bite-sized morsel and how you’d say you just loved it that way. How coincidental it seems now that your favourite cake was angel food? Hmmm. We will light fifteen candles and blow them out making our own wish — our wish that you were here so that we could sing happy birthday to you and wish you many more. All the stuff that we took for granted back then and no longer do. We’d shower you with gifts and handmade cards and watch you open the others from your grandparents and extended family. Now there are no gifts and cards. Instead, Dad and I and Ben and Justin will write you a personal message and each of us will tie it to one of the helium balloons on your chair. After your cake we will go outside and on our own time and in our own little space in the backyard we’ll let them go, sending our love and our wishes up to you. Watch for them Will and please make the stars appear a little brighter and give them a special sparkle tonight so we know that you got them.
Miss you little blue. My heart aches more than usual today…if that is even possible.