Today is your 1st birthday! Happy Birthday!
The month leading up to this day has been so hard, baby boy. I've been trying to figure out how to make it on your special day without you. The truth is, I don't want to celebrate this day without you. How am I supposed to do this without you? I want you here. I want you to smash a cake. I want you to stare at balloons and try to grab for them. I want you to smile your beautiful smile at us while we sing happy birthday to you. I want you to attempt to open your presents.But instead I get to make plans to keep me busy. I get to attempt to decorate a cake like your urn, and spend time in your garden. I get to donate the money I would have spent on your gifts to your memorial funds. I get to send your balloons up to heaven.
Daily I ask myself how this came to be my reality. I'm just not sure what fork in the road brought me to this place. Last year at this time labor with you was just beginning. We were at home dealing with contractions, not sure if we should go to the birth center, not sure if we would be coming home with our baby boy. Hours later you made your way into this world, the picture of perfection and health. You were already trying to lift your head hours after birthday, and were a pro at breastfeeding from the start. The second we saw you, we were in love deeper than we had ever been before.
We spent 4.5 months with you before we painfully had to part. And we've been in hell ever since. Trying to learn how to function again without you has proven to be a very complicated thing. You became part of our beings from the moment you came into existence - our lives and purpose all wrapped up in you. So your absence has left us mere shells of the people we once were, aged several lifetimes over. I have fought every day for every step and breath I have taken. I have struggled without you, and still do.
And though I'm still angered by the fact that you are no longer here, that you no longer have the one thing you deserve the most - life, I have come to a point in my grief that I can say that I am more grateful than resentful. I am grateful to know you (and I do know you deeper than anyone else does). I am grateful for every single second we spent together. I am grateful that you refused a bottle, only wanting your momma. I'm grateful that you opened my eyes and my heart wider than they had ever been opened before. That you taught me how to love completely and unconditionally (even when death has separated us). That you showed me what is most important in life. That you brought me joy and happiness all of yours.
Because of this and all of the love we continue to share even though you are no longer here, today I will celebrate your all too short life. I will spend time in your garden with pride, I will send up balloons with joy in my heart, I will light candles and smile, I will bake your cake gladly. I will do it all for you because even though everyday without you is hell, May 30, 2010 will forever be the day that you came into our lives and changed us. It will always be the day that I was the happiest I had ever been in my life. So today will focus on how much your presence enhanced our life. Today will be about your presence, rather than the weight of your absence.
I love you so much Julius. We all miss you so much. Please shower us with your love today. Please stay extra close to us as we mark this huge milestone day without you. Know that we will never stop loving you or caring about you. It's just not possible, you are too important. You are part of us and not even death can take that away.
Loving you forever, my chunky monkey,