Today would have been your fourth birthday. As I was lying in bed with Jonah last night, after prayers and singing time, I was telling him that you were celebrating four years up in Heaven. How has it been that long Sweet Boy?
The past several months, I haven't been missing you quite as much. Time helps heal, I guess. Mostly I can rejoice that you are in Heaven and can look forward to the Eternity we will spend together. But on Friday, on Friday I remembered that it was four years ago to the day that you died in my tummy - that I stopped feeling your sweet movements, that my belly got kind of soft and numb, that you were gone. And I sobbed. And sobbed. And sobbed. And I just couldn't stop. And I was so sad and so angry, and all I wanted in the whole world was to hold you one more time and give you a huge hug. What I wouldn't give to see your smile and hear your giggle. I bet it is one of the sweetest sounds in Heaven.
I'm tired as I write this, my Sweet Gabriel. I am tired and beat down and worn out. I am stressed out, hard pressed, squeezed dry. And I miss you so much. I just ache for you. No matter how things go throughout the year, it never fails... around mid-April a fog comes over me. A heaviness that I can't explain. And more often than not, I can't place it. I don't know why I'm in this funk or what's causing my heavy heart (and bad attitude, I might add), until I notice the date. And I know your birthday is coming. I see your dogwood blooming, I get out your box with your footprints and little outfit, and I just hurt. Hurting and missing are good and necessary, I guess, but they sure aren't easy.
I love you, Gabe. I love you every second of every minute of every day. I'll never stop.
We'll celebrate you today, with our balloons up to Heaven and our song and cake, like we do every year. But this year I think Jonah will understand it a little, and I know he'll be excited to celebrate you too. It will be a day filled with some other things. I'm speaking to the teens at church tomorrow, telling our story, telling about EB, asking for help with Jogging for Jonah, and telling them about Neal, who needs a home and how they can advocate for him. And I have to do a lot of work for Jogging for Jonah. It's a little more busy than I like your day to be, but you know what? Everything I'm doing is to fight the disease that took you from us. It's to honor your life and the lives of all the other EB Sweeties who've gone home too soon. And somehow that makes it okay. I'm glad that on your day, I actively get to fight for you... or, rather, for the ones who come after you.
Please know that I'm carrying you with me in my heart today. Every breath. Every word. Every step.
And soon, I'll be coming home. I'll give you a hug, hold you close, and finally hear that sweet giggle. And everything will be right. No more pain. No more hurting. No more missing.
Just us, Jesus, God, the angels, and all the people we love so much. What a day that will be. I know that you know how much I love you, but I sure can't wait until I can say it in person. You are my heart, Sweet Baby Gabe.
Happy fourth birthday.
I'll love you forever and always.
Gabriel Matthew Williams
April 22, 2008
6 lbs 14 oz