To Matthew, on your birthday
Today would have been your 47th birthday. I was 13 days older than you and you were always sure to rub it in that you were the "younger man" for those two weeks in January every single year. I miss you telling me that.
Time keeps getting away from me it seems. Where did all the time and birthdays go? I always tell myself I'll write more or journal more — thoughts about the kids, or about you or what life is like now. But I don't. I'm always rushing or too tired or just too lazy or fighting with some Twitter idiot who thinks global government /medical tyranny is ok. I just don't have anything creative in me most days.
I make birthday wishes that somehow you can see our kids. Your boy is basically a man now, or at least as tall and strong as a man. His birthday is at the end of the month and I can feel a lump in my throat forming already because you aren't here for this big one coming up. They randomly picked jersey numbers for the boys on the high school soccer team and he got #21. Talk about a God-wink. You would have loved watching his games (no doubt on opposite side bleachers from me) he's such a beast in that goal.
I used to have old texts from you saved on my phone and unfortunately within the last few years and after two new Verizon phone transfers and one re-boot, our text strand isn't complete anymore, only some of it survived for some reason. The last communication it shows was the Thursday before you died, when I sent you a picture of your son getting an honors award at a school assembly. And while I know that message was not the last one I ever sent you, it's oddly comforting to me that this is the one that shows up when I look at my phone. The lone picture of your firstborn, your first real pride and joy —being as amazing as his dad— with a "read" indication above the date. There was nothing you loved more than your kids and I'll always remember that. I'll be sure they know that too. Every January 21 and every other day in-between.
Happy Birthday Matthew, xoxo
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