Unless you've experience deep loss yourself, you'll probably not really going to get what I'm saying today. We all grieve differently, this I know. But you can't tell a grieving mother who just lost a child that time will indeed heal her sorrow. And you would probably never in your wildest imagination think that such a mom could find anything happy or uplifting to say on a lost child's birthday, much less anything funny. But like I said, time is the great equalizer. Today would have been Jon's 39th birthday and the horrid grief is long gone. I can only think about the good stuff.
For all the frustration and chaos he managed to generate in his short 18 years, the kid made me laugh.
In particularly stupid lapses in judgement, all he would have to do was some ridiculous impersonation or crack a joke and my anger would dissipate. As a child he was a never ending source of imaginative Jon-isms. Do you know any four year old boys who might cover the fence with BBQ starter fluid just because it was fun to squirt it out of the can in big giant swirls?
Me: "Jon...what's that all over the fence? Did you do that?
He: "I don't know. Looks like snake pee to me, Mom".
Yesterday was my wedding anniversary, which, much to Jon's chagrin, always seemed to overshadow his birthdays. My daughter, who is a couple of years older than Jon would be, posted on Face book the other day that her 8 year old son wanted to do something that she and Jon would have done as kids to celebrate his birthday. I was touched when I read her post, but for the life of me, I couldn't think what she and Jon did together at that age. She told me that much to his dismay, she used to make him play Barbies...and he just wanted to play GI JOE.
I remember that they fought, along with his two brothers, well into their teen years. But mostly I remember the proms, vacations and Christmases. I think about the funny stories...the kind they tell you 20 years after the fact that you thankfully never knew went on. I remember the day I decided I didn't want to clean his room again, after finding "big girl panties" under the bed - now that was a story that will go down in infamy! Then there was that jumping off the roof thing into the swimming pool. These are the things we remember about our kids...not the squabbles, not the anger or times of trouble. We can easily slip into a tearful moment, even after 20 years, but it's usually followed by a smile or a laugh as another story pops into our minds.
Well Happy birthday Jon...no Barbies for you!