Well, I’ve made it this far.
Today, you are 18, although you will forever be 17.
You would also be graduating in a few months, but…..well we know you won’t be graduating.
You won’t be going to prom or college.
You will never marry or have kids of your own.
A whole lot has changed in your absence due your absence. I am different. Your brothers and sisters are a little different.
As 2018 rolled into 2019, I anticipated this day. It’s not a day I am yet to have, but I don’t really get a choice. It’s a day that will come every year and I just have to find some way to get through it.
You’ve been gone almost 8 months and in that eight months, my heart has broken daily a million times over. I hate it!
As hard as this day is, it will always be special because on January 11, 2001 @ 5:15 a.m., the world met an 8 lb 7 oz bounce who changed the lives of many in the short number of years he blessed the earth. I am so thankful God allowed me to be your mom. I was young, only 19 – almost 20, but you changed me then. You taught me how to love just a little bit more. Having a child changes a world completely. Somehow, it makes things more real.
When I became a mom to you, I promised to love you, to protect you, to fight for you…in general, to be the best mom I could be.
When you died, I realized I had failed to do the things that I promised. Oh, I loved you. I love you still, very much! But I failed to protect you, to fight for you. You see, I really believed, from the time your dad and I broke up, that you and your brother would be better off with him. I was convinced, for many reasons – reasons that you probably understand better than anyone – that you deserved better than me. I thought your dad was that. Over the years, I learned how wrong I was.
And now, here we are. You no longer with us and the rest of us so brokenhearted we don’t really know what to do.
Having you, Darren, changed me. It pushed me to be better, to love more. Losing you changed me yet again. It broke my heart, but I have somehow found the strength to keep going. It taught me to never take anything for granted, not one single second of any given day because it could all be over within that second. A person can be yanked from your life for eternity just like that.
I meant for this to be an awesome show of love for you, but for whatever reason, I just can’t find the words…..or more aptly, there are no words that can describe how I am feeling right now. I mean, there probably are words, but they escape me.
But it all boils down to this: I miss you. I love you a ton and I miss you just as much. Every day that has passed since you left us has been spent wishing you were still here. i replay the whole week prior over and over again in my head, trying to make sense of it. I can’t. I can’t make sense of it. I have been confused for the last eight months. Confused, sad, and angry.
Anyway, you were a blessing when you were born. You were a blessing when you passed away. You will forever and always be a blessing to me. Happy 18th Birthday in Heaven. I know you are happier there. I know you are at peace. I know all your pain is gone and your heart feels lighter. And, that makes losing you a little easier to bear.
~ Love Mom