To my son, my hero, my love.
This is late because it took me days to sort out my emotions this year. You see some years are filled with excitement, and some years are filled with tears of the memories that come with your unplanned early birth. 27 weeks – was unexpected and terrifying. But I knew from conception that you would be a fighter. I just hoped you wouldn’t need that fighting spirit so soon.
One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity.
We were told you would only live hours but no more than a week. We were given horrific odds. And despite everything, you would squeeze my finger to let me know you were still fighting. And here we are – at age 3. And in those three years you have showed us things beyond our wildest imaginations when we started this journey with you.
You taught us how to love with compassion – our hearts and eyes wide open. When your sister was born, I thought I knew what unconditional love was. And I do, love your sister without condition. But she makes it so easy – you tell her you love her and she smiles, returns the words and even gives hugs when the mood strikes. She can respond and also instigate these feelings of love. Love is a give and take, a dance of sorts. But you taught me what the meaning of love is when there is no typical reciprocation. We dream of the first smiles and the first kisses and those tiny moments that our babies look into our eyes and reciprocate those feelings we express. And you have not reached the point to do any of those consistently. In the last year you have made so much progress with responding, but its not the same. And that is ok. You have taught us to see love in a different way – the way that you communicate with us. And I have seen through talking to others – that its a way that you only show with us. As if we have a secret locked away from the rest of the world. And although most days it makes me look like a crazy person trying to explain it – I treasure each and every second of our stolen moments that you have just for me.
You taught us to really see people. While I was never one to single out someone who was different, I most definitely saw differences in people. But you have allowed us to see the bigger picture – showed us that its what is on the inside that matters. Someone with a disability might have more challenges but its the challenges that drive the fight in the person. People we have met through our journey so far are some of the strongest people I have ever met. And some of the most beautiful. Just like you. Your sister has a little girl in her class that happens to be in a wheelchair. And because of you, she has never once seen that little girl as a girl in a wheelchair but as a little girl in the first grade – just like her. And that is a beautiful gift of love that she will carry her whole life – seeing people for who they really are despite any other factors.
But regardless of what you have given us – I want you to know that each day of your life you are loved. Immeasurably. Some days are easy, and some days I don’t know how we will make it through – and some days I have been terrified that the end was coming. But each time, through faith and love we pull through. You are truly a miracle.
Once all struggle is grasped, miracles are possible.
I love you my beautiful boy. Happy third birthday.