He should have turned four.
October 20, 2014, he should have turned 4.
We were so close.
3 years, 9 months and 23 days to be exact.
So when October 20, 2014 began to approach, it was important for us to find a way to celebrate a life that lived so well.
Birthdays have always been so important to us. We celebrate them with as much pizzaz as we can.
This one made me panic.
I wanted to throw up.
I didn’t know how to do this.
How will October 20th ever be a happy day again?
With weak knees, I ordered cupcakes.
I made a plan. It was simple.
We would stop at the graveside and breathe for a moment.
Then we would meet up at our favorite park, one that was a milestone in Mattie’s life.
His first ever family outing and our favorite place for family picnics.
We faced this milestone almost 2 months from the day Mattie passed away.
It was so soon to have our first big “first”.
So I ordered pizza.
And we had a picnic.
Because birthdays should be celebrated in the park.
And we wanted to be where Mattie would have wanted us to be.
We ate pizza and wrote love notes on balloons.
And we had so much sadness in our hearts that the boy we all loved was not there.
And then we sent our messages to the only place our hearts could go.
And then we watched an amazing video tribute commemorating Mattie’s 3rd birthday that our friend Brooklyn surprised us with.
And I don’t understand why this incredible child lived only 1,392 days.
Why couldn’t we have celebrated birthay #4 and #5, #12, #16 and so many many more?
But I promise you that in a place deep in my heart, I will celebrate everyone.
Because the day this boy entered my life, October 20, 2010 was a day that changed me forever.