Earlier this month, I saw a post on Facebook about one of my stepson’s gymnastics friends who had gotten married to adorable young lady in California. Of course, I wish him and his beautiful bride nothing but a long happy life together.
At the same time, as l looked at the pictures of their happy life together, my heart is tinged with sadness and sudden curiosity. Where would my stepson be today had that fateful accident never happened, especially given today would’ve been his 26th birthday?
Would we have already celebrated two joyous weddings? That being my stepson’s and my stepdaughter’s. Would we be grandparents to multiple grandchildren? Of course, it’s impossible to know because all the speculation in the world could never say for sure how his life would’ve ended up had he not lost his life that day in June seven years ago.
Two weekends ago, we came together for an impromptu family dinner at Timothy’s all-time favorite restaurant – the boys made us laugh, our granddaughter giggled uncontrollably and the rest of us talked and laughed about our lives and our day. One step at a time, one moment at a time, that’s how we live our lives.
This past weekend, we endured the heat and traveled to one of his favorite places – the St. Louis Zoo to honor him by having his little brothers adopt a penguin and a polar bear in his name as a birthday gift. But before we could walk away, the lady behind the counter offered her condolences by saying, “I’m sorry for your loss,” which no matter how long he’s been gone still brings tears to my eyes.
With so many horrible stories in the news every single day of people losing their children, people often wonder how does someone get through such a massive loss in one’s life and come out on the other side in one piece? The answer is simply very carefully.
As you flip through the nonsense of social media, sometimes you can see a glimpse every now and then of how people cope with their sorrow and pain through the hope for a better tomorrow, hope that the life of their loved one was not lost in vain, hope love will always win over evil, hope if Satan had anything to do with the pain that is now housed in our hearts that God has a plan to help weed it out, hope that mankind is stronger than we are acting right now and hope that our loved ones will always be with us in our minds, in our hearts and in our souls.
We are often left asking ourselves questions that will always be left unanswered on days like today – Timothy’s birthday.
Who’d he be today?
Would he be planning a giant celebration with his friends? Would he be celebrating with his girlfriend or wife? With his own family? Would it be low-key? Or a celebration to remember with a headache to follow for days afterwards?
Where would he be in life? Finishing college? Fighting fires? Selling something important? Taking on the world? Moving mountains? Who knows for sure?
Whatever he would have chosen to do, everyone knows it would’ve been phenomenal.
We do know though that if he were still here today, perhaps our lives would be a little richer, happier and fuller. But only God knows that answer.
So, Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!
We miss you every single day. Tonight I will raise my glass to you, as will several others who continue to miss you and love you too.
Sing high among the angels!