Red Giants

Dear Christopher,

Today you are 19 years old, but it seems as if it were just this afternoon that I was holding your tiny body in my arms. I think of you every time a heron flies by and one always seems to fly overhead on the days I need it the most. This past week was rougher than normal, maybe because of Julia, but that bottomless hole that I had fought so hard to get out of was so deliciously tempting to fall back into. It took everything that I had to ease myself away from the edge. I cried a lot more this week than in other years, not that that's something to be proud of or to attain. 

I miss you so much. The pain never goes away, the missing you, the wanting to hold you, the hearing you breathe, your voice.  I keep expecting to wake up one day and not miss you, but that will never be. To not have you in my life - - -  in our lives - - - is something that we should never get used to.  You are loved beyond belief. I want you to know that, Sweet Boy.  But I think Meghan said it best in her beautiful poem about the three of you.


Red Giants

I. C

You are the ghost in the garden closest to our backdoor; 

The fallen feather from the local heron that proves that

Dinosaurs existed in the past just like you;

The first star that shines over our front door every night; 

The invisible playmate of our brother

Playing knights in shining armor.


The saint’s medal our family wears brings you

With us on our journeys, and I firmly believe you

Are the force that our dad carried

Around his neck to battle-torn worlds and back.


You and our grandma are the ones I address

My prayers to, because I want no part of a Heaven

Where I cannot (re)meet the pair of you.


Oh, my, how you were wanted and how you are loved.


II.  J

You are the steadying presence in our family;

The fearless mountaineer climbing ever higher;

The best person I could grow up with;

The spark that brought our mom back from the mists.


You are so take-charge and independent,

Although never without Mop Woof

(That’s okay – every hero needs a little fuzzy moral support



You and I are relearning each other; 

I promise I’m working on seeing the near-college person

You are growing into

And not the strawberry-haired (and kneed) toddler running

In my memories.


Oh, my, how you were wanted and how you are loved.



From every star comes a spark

And every spark is a star in its own right.

How lucky I am

To call both brother.


Happy, happy birthday my sweet boy.

I love you, Baby Boy