Happy 8th Birthday.
You would be entirely your own person. Old enough to ride a bike. Old enough to walk by yourself to the store at the end of the street (under a watchful eye or beside your brothers). Old enough to have best friends. You would have a favourite book, a favourite sport, a favourite movie, a favourite game. I wonder if you would have been quiet and thoughtful, like your younger brother. Tall and gentle, kind and careful. Or maybe you’d be more like your older brother. Wiry and quick, loud and boisterous with a story and a laugh for every occasion. I normally don’t allow myself the what ifs. You are who you are. But Birthdays always have me wondering who you might have grown into.
It’s a strange time right now. They say energy is a constant. Your spark, wherever it may be, might know this. It’s changed the frames of reference that I normally rely on around your birthday. Normally I would have planned something. A weekend away, or a day trip as a family. Covid has limited our options and I have stopped planning in the way I normally would. It’s quiet this year. Everything has slowed.
In the early and restrictive days of Covid, I felt close to those first days in grief. The altered way that time moved, the realisation that control is an illusion. Things are returning to a equilibrium now. We have met our new normal and it’s not so different from where we started. But there is a wariness, an acknowledgement that things could change at any moment.
The future is not quite as secure as it once was. And so we are in the present again. Taking each moment as it comes. In reality, the present is all we really have and it’s a place to take solace. I have heard it said that nothing is too terrible to bear if you live in each moment. I remember that when you first left. Pushing myself minute to minute , just clinging onto that moment in time. The past was too painful and the future too difficult to imagine. Living in the moment came from a place of necessity.
We are reminded again to be present. To savour each moment. And I am doing that again. Covid has reminded me. But you taught me. To slow down. To savour.
And in this moment, perhaps I will feel you closer.
Go Gently dear soul.