When I think the tides have subsided, another wave becomes more potent than before. And it's time to hold my breath again. One year is drawing near; it would have been my son's forty-fourth year; I can see the giant waves on the horizon, the waves coming at a distance, and my heart is preparing itself once again for the waves to come crashing. Again, my tears welled up, waiting for the flood gates to open. They say it gets easier with time. However, for me, my pain becomes more intense. I know this is early, about a month away from his birthdate. Yet, I carried him in my belly for nine; what difference would a month be with the many of feeling him grow within my womb? What difference would a day mean with the many days he lived here on earth; my thoughts of him brought a smile. The only difference is that I miss him dearly, and when I wake up every day, I have to remind myself that love doesn't live here anymore.
scenic view of ocean during sunset
Photo by Travis Rupert on Pexels.com

September 20, 1978-October 31, 2021

September 20, my son’s birthday is around the corner, the day I held my baby boy in my arms for the first time and thanked God for such a perfect little man. I knew he would do great things when I felt him kick for the first time. I knew he would accomplish the things he meant to perform. My son was not one to waste time; when it was his time to be born, he came into the world fast and furious! Because I was so young, we grew up cruising down Central Avenue to South Mountains listening to War, Earth Wind, and Fire, and other oldies. He sat in the back seat with his little Levi’s (Real Levi’s from Clothing City), his baseball cap, and his little flannel shirt and leather hushpuppies shoes, and everyone called him, Baby Ray! 

We ate Spaghetti and buttered crackers when times were hard and boxed cake mix on his birthdays because I could not afford to give him birthday parties. His smile was my sunshine from his birth, and even now, when I close my eyes, I see that beautiful smile smiling back at me. I can still hear his voice when I tell him how much I miss him, saying, I miss you too, mom. 

I know his birthday will be difficult for me; I already feel anguish. One day we talked about the days we just had hamburger. Before he passed, he talked about our poor meatloaf and spaghetti dinners. He laughed and said he missed these meals. He liked German chocolate cake also. Hopefully, I will have a few close friends by my side because I can’t do this alone! 

Although I planned to go to his birthplace this year, I can’t afford to this time; God willing, I can go next year. I wanted to sit on the beach I stood at when I was about seven months pregnant with him, looking across the ocean at sunset. However, I will celebrate his life on his birthday with our special spaghetti dinner, buttered crackers, and meatloaf.