139 – A Letter to My Son on His Third Birthday

Adrian and his Elephant in a field of bluebonnets (Anna Borden)
Adrian and his Elephant in a field of bluebonnets (Anna Borden)

I woke up this morning to your sister saying, “Mama”. It’s how she usually gets my attention these days. I love the sound of it, and the way she is so demanding. When she wakes up, it’s like a hurricane has descended on the world. And I wonder — would that have been you too?

I wonder so many things about you.

My letters have gotten sparse lately. It’s been strange to not feel compelled to write. In those early days, it was all I could do. And it’s not even that I’ve gone silent lately; it’s more that I am now writing about you, and the things I didn’t know; the things that could saved you.

I remember that moment in the hospital room. I remember the nurse’s sudden change in demeanor and the breathless span where I waited for what I already knew to be true. I remember the moment when the doctor looked at me and told me your heart wasn’t beating, and I just screamed, “No.” I don’t believe you. 

Sometimes, I still don’t believe you.

These past years have been heavy, and sometimes my heart can’t take it. Sometimes life is so intrusive I even “forget” that you’re gone.

Some days, I am still surprised by that question, “Will you give your daughter a sibling?” As if you were never living. And this is why, when they ask me, I always mention you.

And I still have days, and random moments, when my eyes fill with tears. And I still have days, and not enough of them, when I just sit and think about you. Because you were real. You are real. And sometimes I almost see you. You fade in and out of memories. You live on in waking dreams.


Your sister woke me up with, “Mama” this morning, and somehow it reminds me of you. And I am thankful, and I am also heartbroken. And this is my life. With her and with you.

Happy third birthday, little man. I love you so very much.


Related Posts:

Miranda’s Blog: It’s Always 29 June
Letters to Adrian: A Letter to my Son on Second Birthday
Letters to Adrian: A Letter to my Son on his First Birthday

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