My footprints shine with stardust.
All because I love you. All because you love me.
We're here again....January 18...your birthday...my forever changed day...and for all that has changed, there is one thing that hasn't. I still miss you and spend this day with you so close in my heart that I can feel you here beside me.
I've been wandering around the house, knowing that I should sit down and actually attempt to accomplish something, but accept maybe this will be my accomplishment today. Then I ask myself...do I really need to do more, than to spend this day remembering and honouring?
I remember listening to Nate on Oprah a few years ago. Talking about his partner who died in the tsunami years ago. His advice to a grieving Mother on that show was not to let dates, like birthdays, control your emotions or define you..but I've always wondered how he thought we Mothers, who have lost our children, could actually do that? Because a child's birthdate is also the date that we, as the Mom, changed forever...from who we were into 'Mom'...and that change is something that can never be forgotten, nor do I believe it should be. We all celebrate our life's milestones...anniversaries, accomplishments, recoveries...and with that, I'll continue to celebrate you, and who I became because of you, on this date. If I were to begin to forget that...I believe I'd begin to forget who I am..."All because I love you. All because you love me." I don't want that to ever happen, that will mean life has ended.
I'm trying to imagine you at 24 today. I spend time with Trem, and try to picture you at that age. I can't.
I begin to wonder what life would be like today if you were still here. Would any of the plans I was so carefully working on have happened? Would you be out in the world on your own, living independently with a friend? Or would I have chickened out, as I suspect I might have, and still be keeping you here with me...close and safe? Things we'll never really know, but things I have to ask myself over and over, when I am talking to other parents who are challenged and afraid to 'let go' or 'hold on differently' to their own children. Could I really have released you into the world so easily? Maybe you knew the answer, and chose to release yourself into more in a different way. I wonder about that sometimes.
I remember reading the book 'The Shack' by William P. Young a few years ago. There's a place in that book that has stuck with me always, where the daughter who had passed visits her siblings at night through dreams, to play and connect. I like that idea, because if it is so, I know there isn't a week goes by where you don't come to visit me. Sometimes you come as the baby you were. Sometimes as a young man who is able-bodied and free, as my heart believes you now are. Sometimes in the body we both knew so well, with all of its challenges and struggles. In some dreams you are there just to give the love and hugs that you were so very, very good at giving, and I am allowed to just wrap my arms around you and hold on tight. To smell your hair and feel your warmth. I love those dreams. In others....I think you purposefully come to remind me that as much as I miss you every day, life was not easy for either of us. Life was good, life was full, but life was not easy. I believe you work hard to remind me of that on the days when I wish you back here with me. Just as you taught me a million lessons that I needed to learn in your life...you continue to be my teacher in your passing. "All because I love you. All because you love me."
I think in some of those dreams you also come to remind me that the work isn't done. That the lessons we learned together are not to be forgotten, or neglected, because there are still others that can be supported on their own journey by what we learned together. When I get lazy..or maybe just lost..you slip back in at night, with reminders of those whose lives I could still affect, then slip away again. It is kind of like....I can run, but I cannot hide...from that element of my purpose. You won't let me.
So, now I'd better go and start the day. A day, so different in so many ways from the ones we shared, but in other ways, I am still guided by you and your life..to do, to share, to make change where I can. Though many of my hours are spent with a different focus, there is still the underlying thread of your life that says 'keep reaching out, keep advocating, keep telling the stories that will move the world forward' into a better place for people of all abilities. You did that. You unleashed that passion in me, and in Trem, and in Bianca and Cecil...and others that I likely don't even know of. Because of you, there are lives that are being made better every single day, by one small act of kindness or support or another.
The other day I read this quote. "We originate from the stars, we are star people. Once we finish doing what we come here to do, we go back up to those stars." by Wilfred Buck. It brought me back to this picture of you and I and the Maya quote that Janis had put on it and sent back to me when I lost you. You finished doing what you came here to do, I guess I still have work to be done. So on this date I will continue to remember and celebrate and honour you...always, until we are both 'back up to those stars.' 'All because I love you. All because you love me.'