I love you!
I cherish the memory of this game. Gale, my best friend, started it when Matt was just a little boy, probably as young as three years old. She'd ask him, "Matthew, Guess what?" And he'd always answer, "What?" Then she'd say, "I love you!" He always fell for it. It was a very special bond she and Matt had. I treasure, as well, the FB message she sent him on his last birthday, his 16th. Of course, it went something like this: "Matt, Guess what?" He replied, "I remember...!" Oh, how something so silly can make my heart ache so.
I wish I could see his FB messages, but because Matt was a genius at the computer he created nineteen-character-long passwords, passwords that are impenetrable even to my computer programmer husband! After Matt died, I discovered quickly that, though my son was under 18, we, as his parents, have absolutely NO rights to his email, FB, or other accounts. It still angers me to this day the hypocrisy concerning minor children. Just months prior to Matt's death, I had been at the ENT with him for a check-up. I, for once, sat in the waiting room when the nurse called his name because I figured he was old enough to go back by himself, and he certainly didn't want his "mommy" coming back to the room with him. How utterly hypocritical, however, when the nurse told me that since he was under 18, I needed to be in the room with him. Seriously???? Let's not forget, either, that as parents we are required by law to feed, clothe, and financially provide for these same minor children, yet aren't allowed access to their dental records once they turn 13! Furthermore, we're not allowed to have our minor child's FB account password or email information. UGH. Enough ranting.
Suffice it to say, my point in all this is simply this: If your child is under age 18, then do whatever it takes to get their account information and passwords down. (Actually, adults also need to have this stuff written down somewhere as well. I've listened to too many widows and parents of single, deceased adult children describe their tremendous difficulties in dealing with the numerous legal and domestic issues that arise after their loss.) Ultimately, when your loved one is gone, any tangible reminder of them becomes a treasured keepsake. After all, it's all you have left of them. Additionally, in an age where letters and communication are now in the form of emails and social posts, they become priceless treasures.
Not having access to some of these things, however, reaffirms to me the truth, the truth that this world is not our home. This earth is temporary and everything and everyone is temporary, also. We were created for eternity. These things that I miss, that I long for, like reading Matt's emails and messages, they truly aren't what matter. Oh, they are precious. But they aren't necessary. What's necessary is knowing God. And if you know God, then you know truth, for Jesus said He is the truth. (John 14:6)
Knowing truth is what gives me strength to face certain days this week like Matt's birthday and Tuesday, the 29th. Another 29th. It was, however, the first time I hadn't realized it was the 29th until I looked at the calendar mid-morning. It made me smile because it evidenced healing. The amputation remains, but much healing has taken place. The truth is what sustains me for these bittersweet days like today, what would have been Matt's 19th birthday.
I want to say I'd give anything to have him here to celebrate his 19th birthday with him. But I can't have him here, so I don't say that. Instead, I remind myself of the truth. Matt is alive. He is with Jesus. This separation is temporary. Temporary. Temporary. It is why I can now celebrate, though sorrowing.
This truth that I focus on enables me to do things I didn't think I could do. This year, we made a birthday cake for Matt's birthday. His sister is still struggling deeply, greatly, but I hope having a cake for him will help her. I wasn't strong enough the first two birthdays to do this and, honestly, if it weren't for his siblings, I probably still wouldn't. But I realized that I needed to do it for them. I need to do it to honor Matt's life. I do it for the hope we have in Jesus Christ.
I'm guessing you'd like your birthday cake, Matt. Oh, and Matt, Guess what?
I LOVE YOU!