14 years old today!!!
You are, and will always be, the best Christmas present I ever received!! I remember being home for Christmas with you, Emma, Daddy, and lots of our family, and thinking: “How could life get better than this?” Then Katie came along and filled our family with even more love. I found my passion and my calling: Mom to three beautiful little ladies.
Birthdays are such special days to be celebrated, so it is truly difficult to not have you here — with me —where I can watch you enjoy the magic of your special day. Your dad thought I made too much out of birthdays, but a birthday is the only day of the year that it is all about you! Only now, and with Christmas being only 5 days later, a time that used to be fun-filled and joyful is twice as challenging. This time of year is about family, friends, love, and of course, God. There are so many times that I would like to give up on all of those things, surrender to the pain, and stop working so hard each and every day to keep those four things in my life.
To be honest, I would love to stay in bed. Grief is exhausting, and it takes a tremendous physical toll on you. I am forever imagining what we would be doing if life had continued for you here on earth. We would be celebrating with your friends, maybe going into the city or taking a few friends for a girl’s overnight trip somewhere fun. I see all your friends celebrating, and it is wonderful to watch, yet devastating seeing all their pictures without you in them. Those are the moments when I get sad and downright infuriated about how life turned out for you. Everyday, all around, I see what you are missing out on, and it is just so unfair. I am so sorry!
It is really easy to sink into a dark place missing you and your sisters, especially on your birthday and during the holidays, but what lifts me out of that darkness is seeing all the daily goodness that takes place in your name and your sisters’ names. The time and effort people put into the foundation is simply tremendous and the money donated from so many kind, generous people leaves me speechless. It is impossible to stay in that dark, dreadful place with so much goodness surrounding me. I know you can see all the toys that have been collected for the toy drive; so many have people donated because they want to make children and their parents smile, just exactly like you, Alyson. You always put a smile on everyone’s face and you still do: whenever I bring up your name, people’s faces light up. I know in my heart your family and new friends in heaven smile all the time, simply because you are around.
For your birthday, I am giving you these promises:
I promise you… when I feel sad, I will find something to make me laugh.
I promise you… when I am feeling nervous about getting through the day and through life without you, Emma, and Katie, I will be brave.
I promise you… when I want to shut people out and be alone with the covers over my head, I will go out with Kasey and be around friends to celebrate your special day.
Most of all, I promise you… I will remember you are not gone forever, we will see each other soon and you are really never far from me. A mother and child’s bond is forever, is as strong as steel, and can stretch from here to heaven.
Happy Birthday Alyson! I Love You! You are My Sunshine!