Happy 1st Birthday, Baby!
If you were here, oh how I would rejoice. If you were here, oh what celebrations! I’d feed you your first sugar, a cupcake perhaps… then watch as you made a big, crumbly mess! You’d probably get more on your face and the floor, but you’d sure love the however-many “leftovers” that actually touched your tiny tongue! I’d smile and laugh, taken by your looks of surprise, wonder, and excitement… then reach down to clean you up, absorbing that yummy spot of frosting from your nose with a kiss from my mouth.
I’d buy you balloons…1,2,3,4; a C, an R, a U, and a Z. Those 4 letters, my son, spell “Cruz”. Had I been able to teach you how to write and read, most likely your first 4 letters would have been these. I chose this name for you because I loved it SO much… a name I thought I’d have to say a LOT.
“Cruz, don’t touch that, you might hurt your little fingers!”
“Cruz, where are you? Here I come – READY OR NOT!”
“Cruz, are you ready for school? Hurry, Mama’s leaving!”
“Guess what!? We’re going to Disneyland, Cruz!”
“Cruz, did you remember to take your immunosuppressants?”
“Hey, stop growing so fast! Whatever happened to my little baby, Cruz!?”
“You did so good in your game tonight, Cruz, Dad and I are so proud of you.”
“Cruz, I see the way you look at her… I’m gonna have to keep an eye on you two!”
“Cruz, I thought I told you curfew was midnight?”
“Cruz, I miss you. How are you already in college!? (Go Stanford!) IF I FIND OUT THAT YOU’RE DRINKING WITH YOUR TRANSPLANTED LIVER I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL COME DOWN THERE AND….”
“Cruz, I love her, she’s perfect for you… now treat her how you’ve treated me or I’ll take her side e v e r y time” 😉
“Even though you now have kids of your own, I’ll never stop seeing you as my little babe. The boy who fought, the boy who won. How blessed I am to have raised you, my son.”
Most importantly – with every minute unknown, coming at no guarantee – not a day would have passed without an “I LOVE YOU, CRUZ” from me.
On your birthday, 11.19.2013, Mama was deeply, forever changed. There’s no going back to the way I was, but why would I ever want to do that!? The old me was just as battered and broken. The cracks may not have been so deep and jagged, but they were uglier, scarier, and most likely destructive. Meeting you allowed my heart to expand. Losing you left a hole so large, it seems as though NOTHING will ever fill. But that’s the beautiful thing… this Cruz-shaped-hole of mine… because now I have room for so much more; More love, more patience, more kindness, more goodness, more gentleness… now your brother, Ezekiel, reaps the benefits of these. And though my heart still cries crimson tears, every drop sheds away the old, disgusting me. I’m still working on finding joy, and I struggle most with finding peace now that you’re gone, but maybe the lack of these things are keeping me heaven-minded, my perspectives grounded. It’s easy to get caught up in the things of this world, and if you’d lived a long life you would’ve grown to understand just what that concept means one day. Before you, everyone I loved was right here on this planet… but now half of me is longing for heaven. I live my life in anticipation of our sweet reunion, and I pray that this day would somehow land on your birthday. Can you imagine?! I’d give you a hug that would last forever and a day… the thought alone brings me JOY overwhelming!
I’m telling you these things in hope that somehow you will hear it, or perhaps as I write, the words are being painted before you on a beautiful canvas. I’m sending balloons with this letter attached, knowing that someone else will be the one to find it and read it – but on the chances that somehow Jesus will pass on the message…
I love you, Cruz, and I am BEYOND thankful to be chosen as your mother. You are forever held, and I will never let go.
With a thousand hugs and kisses,