I'm seventeen pages finished with a paper I can't expand anymore, because I keep thinking of you. Tomorrow is your birthday. Today is the first time I've recognized that fact without crying. OK, I take that back. I'm crying now. But not for the same reasons I've cried in the last year. I'm crying because I'm just a little bit proud of myself.
I'm proud of myself because I never thought I'd get here. A couple of months ago, a place like this didn't exist for me. Without meaning to, I would relive moments I didn't want to forget and find myself in the same angry, hurt place I had been since our unplanned goodbye. Even though I haven't heard it for a year and a half, I never have had any problems hearing your heart beat in my mind, and I certainly don't struggle to remember the statistic that said you had less than a 5% chance of dying once we heard that sweet swish-swish that indicated we had experienced a miracle.
I still remember those things, but they don't sting the way they did. You were. I know that, and that is, perhaps, the most important part of this story. Ultimately, I'd like to think that your short existence has made me a better person--more compassionate, more appreciative, more aware. Those things weren't true every day of the last year and a half. Baby steps. Surely that's something you understand.
Somehow, I'm less uptight than I used to be. You'd think the opposite would be true, but the experience of you and everything afterward has been a tangible reminder that some things are simply beyond our control. I've never been able to admit it, but you were beyond my control. I wanted to take responsibility for what happened, but I can't punish myself forever for something that was never in my hands.
Tomorrow, and for every day I live after that, I will remember every single part of our experience together. I won't forget you--not just because I can't, but also because I don't want to. Even though I'm moving to a different place, I will carry you with me. How could I not? You are a blessing. Likely, the only one of your kind in my life.
In the last two months, your father and I have talked about you every week. We don't know where we will be on your second birthday, and we're finally OK with that fact. Sometimes it's best to forget anticipation and enjoy the blessing of the moment. Tomorrow, that's exactly what we'll do. You didn't get your first birthday, but we do. And I want you to know I won't waste it.
I'll love you forever; I'll like you for always.