Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Birthday and other gifts to hold onto...

Today is my baby boy’s third birthday… a difficult day to say the least. 
The last video that I took of him while I was babysitting him at his house was right before my birthday and he was singing “Haddy Dirday to you”.  I had never even heard him say Happy Birthday much less sing it and in tune.   But he did and then blew out pretend candles and applauded himself by yelling Yay! at the end.  What a birthday gift.
It was like the rare gift of hearing him run to me last Christmas yelling “I missed you!”  Everyone in the room stopped in their tracks.  He had hardly said an intelligible word let alone a sentence and obviously knew the meaning of what he said and yet he had just turned two.  "Haddy Dirday" came eight months later.  Clearly, he did not talk at two.  But it was a gift to me as it was to be our last Christmas with him. 

For Brian’s 40th birthday he gave me a gift.  He wrote me a beautiful letter telling me all of things I had done right and how much he appreciated all I had done raising him; a rare gift to any mother.  I cried for days.  It took him 40 years to write it – but it came just in time and now I have it to cling to forever. 
And like Brian writing that Journal to Paxton - he had never mentioned that he was doing that and we were all shocked but in view of the circumstances of how this was left for him to bear the blame - what a great gift that was for us to find.  My oldest son was upset that we wanted it read at the Memorial Service - he said that it was personal and written for Paxton and we had no right to share it publicly.  I told him "on the contrary son, that journal was written for us; all of us that knew him and loved him."

For Donald’s birthday this past year Brian did something he had always wanted to do.  He bought tickets and took Donald to the Nascar race at Talladega.  He’d never done anything like that before.  They had a great day and shared a common bond and made precious memories that are priceless now.

Last fall as a surprise for Donald – Brian and his oldest son came while we were gone and raked up all the leaves and sweet gum balls in our yard.  We have a large yard and believe me that was no small task. It was a good six hours work with two people working at it - and they did that unknown to us.  We came in late and did not see it until we woke up the next morning.  It was like Santa Clause had come to a 60 year old man! 

And for Kara’s last birthday we gave her the Michael Kors purse she had been saving for.  She was so surprised and delighted and squealed that it was the best thing anyone could have gotten her.  Comet could not scrub the smile from her face all day long.  It was the most I have ever enjoyed giving someone a gift.  We actually enjoyed it far more than she did! 

Our last Thanksgiving was at their house – the first time ever anyone had fixed Thanksgiving dinner for our family besides me and it was her first big holiday.  She was so proud and enjoyed it so much.  I wouldn't take anything now for that memory.

I think of so many strange things that happened over the past year or so.  Things that I look back on now and know were a gift.  Things we can hold and treasure forever. 

Haddy dirday little man – I will forever treasure the gift of your love and the short time we had with you changed my life.  I love you always.  Nana

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