Today is my son's 21st birthday. It should be a day of great joy and celebration. But it isn't. Not really.
Because when you have a child who died, these days are difficult. We try to eke out as much redemption as we can by remembering Matt and all the things we love best about him. We remember the ways he made us smile and how he brought us joy. We move forward, choosing joy over bitterness.
We gather ideas and give away Mocha Frappes to stem the flow of grief from my busted heart that threatens to bleed out.
I slept fitfully last night, thinking of this day twenty-one years ago when I was in labor with this baby who had already stolen our hearts, before we knew that parenting was a "No-Holds-Barred" contract signed with undying love.
We were blessed to celebrate sixteen years of birthdays with this "Gift of God," my Peanut, my Mateo, Matthew, Matt.
We are blessed to have family and friends who grieve with us, who weep with us, and who remember Matt with us. These friends and family are the tourniquet applied to my heart today. They are the ones who allow me to cry and remind me that hope and joy are still here...though just buried right now.
We are off to get a DQ cake shortly. I think Matt would like it. Here's to hope and joy.