Jonah’s second birthday has come. I’ve had a few people this week, in particular, ask how it’s been, and if today is making it more stressful. I described it as being the peak of the mountain this time around – I’ve already spent all of that time climbing uphill and trudging along like I’m inches deep in mud.
Today is the view.
After all of the build-up and the time I’ve spent trying to live day to day getting here, we get to disconnect from the grind and go spend time with him. We’re spending time in nature hiking and watching the Pacific Ocean crash onto the beach. No more uphill, no more mud.
I’ve spent so much time forcing myself to sit in this Almost Fatherhood, confronting all of the things that I’ve missed out on after losing other family members that I feel like I can carry the weight this year. You never really move past it, but you get used to the heaviness after it becomes you. There is a peace to his birthday that I can’t really explain other than having confidence that he’ll show up like he always does to let me know things are alright.
That our little family is living this life together no matter the distance.
If you’re reading this I want to share a message very specific to where my heart is right now. I want you to know that there will never be another day like today. The people around you either build you up or bring you down; the job you spend the majority of your life at moves your closer to your goals or further away; your focus and willingness to take action makes the difference.
My life without Jonah has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done, knowing that one day I’ll see him again but that it likely won’t be anytime soon. But my life after learning to trust that he will find me has been one of the most grateful experiences I’ll ever have. Because of my son, the things I want for myself and my family are starting to come back into focus and the things I need to accomplish to get there are much more clear. The sacrifice to take those steps is nothing compared to where we’ve been these past three years.
In the child loss community, it’s pretty common to come across things people say that are simply off base because you can’t know unless you’ve been there. But the thing is, we wouldn’t want them to. So don’t feel sorry for the places my life has taken me recently -take solace in knowing that I’m here writing my heart out in the hopes that you will find something within you to own all of the wonderful and terrible things in your life. I hope my Jonah experience inspires you to live this day on purpose and encourages you to love openly; to live aggressively.
On my special boy’s birthday, take action on something that you’ve been afraid or “too busy” to start. If you’ve wanted to write a book, sign up for a class, ask someone on a date, start a business, get a pet – whatever – you have time to do it. Every day you spend waiting for the right time is a day you won’t get back. Live your best life, and let it be inspired by a very special little boy.
Every child changes the world, but not all of them get to do it themselves.
We love you so much, Jonah. Keep us close. Happy Birthday #TeamJonah