Today, you would have been six years old. It was not an easy day for your Daddy and me. Actually, the whole weekend was quite challenging, emotionally. But we had a goal to not wallow in our sorrow - for Brian and, really for you. We are so sure that you're with us - watching us - listening to us. We know in our heart that you wouldn't have wanted us to be sad on the day that we should be celebrating the very day you were born!! And trust me, at 8:43 on September 29th when you made your sudden and surprise entrance into this world - it was one of the happiest days of our lives.
Daddy and I decided, since you LOVED rides so much, that we'd try to go to an amusement park - or somewhere fun with rides - every year to celebrate your birthday. And each year, we will hold up the number of the age you would have (should have) been as a family.
This year? It was Hershey Park.
It was a gorgeous day - not too hot and not too cold. Daddy and Brian wore their Super G shirts! I didn't have a super stretchy Super G shirt that would fit over the HUGE belly your sister is giving me, so I wore my Super G pin. And we all wore blue... your best color.
Just like Disney, Brian immediately found every penny press in the park! We even bought a book for him to store them in. And, because he's always thinking of you, he picked one penny out telling me, "Gavin would love this one."
You would have LOVED this crazy ladybug rollercoaster. Brian and I went on this TWICE! I wished that you were on the other side of me sitting on your rug gripper. And you know what? I might have shared it with you - I was sliding all over the place on this crazy ride!! Brian and I just laughed and laughed and laughed...
And guess what? He even convinced Daddy to go on with him, too! I could hear them laughing from far away, the two of them! I bet you could hear them, too!
You know Daddy and Brian - they LOVE those carnival games. I think we stopped and tried every single one - at least it felt like it! That would be the time that you and I would walk around or go on another ride, so I was really missing you then. But it was fun watching Brian and Daddy giggle as they competed for those awful stuffed prizes. And you KNOW how much I LOVE (not!!!!) those cheap stuffed prizes. But Daddy and I came from a place of YES all weekend...
...and it was worth it. I posed Brian with all of his prizes and he couldn't stop belly laughing. And the more he laughed - the more people walking by looking at him surrounded by stuffed toys were laughing. I bet you were laughing, too!
I know you would have really loved the Ferris Wheel. As Brian said, we could see the whole world from the top!
While we were at the highest point, I was so happy that Brian never said anything about being closer to Heaven. I just really don't want him to think you're in some random cloud in the sky. Actually, he said the most beautiful thing on our way into the park. I said to him that I thought you'd be really happy to see us having fun this weekend for his birthday... that he wouldn't want us to be sad. But how it would be so nice if he were here with us. Brian's response?
"Gavin's not here. But that's okay... because if we think about him, he will come."
And I know you did, Gavin. Your joy was our joy today. And you were there. In every smile... in every breeze... in every giggle. You were there. And we felt it.
Happy Birthday, Bugaboo. We love you - we miss you - and we will always and forever honor your memory.
On the Night You Were Born
On the night you were born,
the moon smiled with such wonder
that the stars peeked in to see you
and the night wind whispered,
"Life will never be the same."
Because there had never been anyone like you...
ever in the world.
So enchanted with you were the wind and the rain
that they whispered the sound of your wonderful name.
The sound of your name is a magical one.
Let's say it out loud before we go on.
It sailed through the farmland
high on the breeze...
Over the ocean...
And through the trees...
Until everyone heard it
and everyone knew
of the one and only ever you.
Not once had there been such eyes,
such a nose,
such silly, wiggly, wonderful toes.
In fact, I think I'll count to three
so you can wiggle your toes for me.
When the polar bears heard,
they danced until dawn.
From faraway places,
the geese flew home.
The moon stayed up until
morning next day.
And none of the ladybugs flew away.
So whenever you doubt just how special you are
and you wonder who loves you, how much and how far,
listen for geese honking high in the sky.
(They're singing a song to remember you by.)
Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo.
(It's because they've been dancing all night for you!)
Or drift off to sleep to the sound of the wind.
(Listen closely...it's whispering your name again!)
If the moon stays up until morning one day,
or a ladybug lands and decides to stay,
or a little bird sits at your window awhile,
it's because they're all hoping to see you smile...
For never before in story or rhyme
(not even once upon a time)
has the world ever known a you, my friend,
and it never will, not ever again...
and played every horn
on the wonderful, marvelous
night you were born.