It’s Ryan’s birthday today. He is a quarter of a century old. I struggle to find a way to celebrate the birthdays of my adult children now – especially when they are not home. I thought it would be cool if I started to write my kids handwritten letters again on their birthdays. I used to do this when they were young. I think it would be more meaningful now, being we don’t really do “birthday parties” like we did when they were small.
I decide I need content for this letter, so I scrolled through the text messages from the last year with Ryan. These messages take me back to the moments – the days before you passed away – when I kept urging Ryan to come and see you, before it was too late. He made it, the day before you left us.
I head to the kitchen to refill my coffee and use the bathroom. Scott is joyful this morning – a day off – getting ready to head up to Lake of the Woods to fish with his dad for Father’s Day weekend. He’s trying to tell me he’s using the coffee cup Gracie gave him for Father’s Day and he’s reading the words on the cup aloud to me.
But, I’m in the bathroom, reliving a memory of the day before you died . . . all those people in the hospital room – “I didn’t know he was really that sick, ” Ryan cries. And, then I’m thinking about how I need to head to Salol today to meet people that are interested in buying the house you built close to the lake you loved. And, then . . . how I’m going to try to get through Father’s Day – while feeling guilty that I’ll never actually get a letter written for Ryan’s birthday and my gifts for him are shabby.
Scott’s still giddy, having lifter in his coffee.
Perhaps he needs this now in the mornings . . .
when he’s home with me.