Happy "Half Birthday," Bugaboo!
Today, you would have turned 6 1/2...halfway to seven. We celebrate half birthdays in our family - we always have since you were six months old. Not acknowledging today would be like not acknowledging you. Just like we celebrate every second of every day that we had with you...we will continue to celebrate you and incorporate you into all of our family traditions.
It was easy to decide what to do. Daddy, Brian, Hope and me... we all decided to have a sleep over in a hotel that had a POOL!! Not just any hotel, mind you. We went back to the first hotel that you and Brian ever stayed in. You had so much fun in the water swimming with Daddy.
And Brian kept a safe distance - with no interest and a healthy fear of the pool.
A lot has changed since then. Besides your obvious absence.
Brian is a complete fish! He was so excited in the room once he got his bathing suit on.
And we even got Hope a little teeny tiny baby bathing suit! We were very anxious to see how she would like the water.
She loved it. So much.
As I held her and swayed back and forth in the water, I truly felt your presence. In a way, I felt like I was holding you once again. The water can make your body feel weightless. As it turns out, it did the same to my grief. Being in the water made me feel so close to you.
Brian loves the pool as much as you did - and he's getting so brave.
He was even jumping in to us, getting his face wet and even holding his breath to go under water! We were so proud - and it made all of us so happy to see him so happy.
I know you were watching. Maybe you were even swimming with us! We had a lot of laughs and I smiled thinking of how much fun you would have had if you were with us.
Last year on this day we went to Arnold's Family Fun Center... one of your favorite places.
Daddy took the day off and we spent the whole afternoon as a family.
We rode your favorite ride - the Frog Hopper...
...and, for the first time, I carried you up inflatable stairs so we could go down the big slide together. I'm so glad I did that - it is now a cherished memory.
We weren't doing anything extraordinary... or unusual. This is just us. We love to celebrate you and your brother and now your baby sister. We really had a great time on this day last year. And I'm forever grateful that we did.
We never - in a million years, EVER - could have known that you would be dead just 16 days later.
Gavin, I vow to you that we will always celebrate. Not just your birthdays and half birthdays and what was and what you've inspired since. That's easy.
I promise you - forever - that we will celebrate Brian and Hope. Every birthday. Every half. Every day. I know it would be important to you - I know it IS important to you - that we parent your brother and sister well. And we will. Not because you died. But because you lived.
Happy Half Birthday, Gavin. I love you. I miss you. I celebrate the uniqueness of you... and will forever.