18 years of dreams
This has been perhaps the most difficult year since you returned to heaven. That first year was marked with all the absent firsts of losing someone who was so vibrant and alive – all were heartbreaking and each one seemed to be filled with as much anguish as the one before it. This year my heart has been consumed with the loss of hopes and dreams for someone who held so much promise. We made it through high school graduation, but the hole in our hearts wasn’t filled because we know the dreams you had for this world.
I have recently been fighting a long bout with a lingering case of bronchitis, and as such, have had many hours to just sit and think. At some point during these quiet moments, your upcoming birthday came to mind. I was filled with reminders of how you came into the world (looking like a little old man) and of each birthday that we were fortunate enough to share with you. All those wonderful parties and the fun we all had!
In the recesses of memories, I recalled the campaign by the American Cancer Society to celebrate one (and hopefully many) more birthdays. You might think of all the commercials in the world that one popping into my mind would make me sad. It didn’t.
Instead, I started thinking about the greatest gift we ever gave . . . you. You were so young, but you displayed mighty courage and wisdom well beyond nine years old telling us that you heart’s desire was to be an organ donor someday. Knowing your passion made it much easier to make that decision when we were sucked into a vortex of unimaginable pain.
Because of your gift, many people get to celebrate birthdays this year with a better quality of life. Some have bones that can run races, heart valves that function better, joints that work with less pain, and others have skin that can feel gentle touches.
All of those tiny moments, sometimes taken for granted, are now experienced by someone who might not have had that chance otherwise. When I think about it, I have to smile at the dreams you helped to make come true.
My sweet red-headed boy, who loved to dream, lives on by making it possible for others to reach for the stars. I have to believe that even though they will never know you, that a small piece of them now roots for the underdog, loves to laugh, thinks ice cream for supper is the best, and finds grand adventures at every turn. (It wouldn’t surprise me if they suddenly had a new found love of Star Wars or superheroes.)
It is amazing how hearts can still function, even when they have been broken. Mine does. Even in the darkest moments I know that my longing won’t last forever because my heart belongs in heaven with our Big Daddy. Knowing that you get to see him (and all the others we love) every day does make mine hurt a little less.
Happy 18th Birthday Reed!
Dreaming today that heaven has an amazing celebration for my boy – and hoping that they serve Blizzards for supper.
Loving you forever! Momma