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  • Mary Jensen

Twenty-One

How do we do this today? It's supposed to be a day of celebration, presents, and blowing out candles. It's supposed to be a day spent with family and friends, laughing and having a good time.

Twenty-one years ago my beautiful boy was born. With a head full of blonde hair and big blue green eyes, ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes, he was the most amazing thing I had every seen.

Had I known on that day that he would only be with us a short time I wonder what things I might have done differently. Could I have loved him more, held him longer, taught him better? How could I have been a better mom for him?

Erik

would have turned twenty-one today. Instead of celebrating that day with presents wrapped with brightly colored paper and ribbons, and prank style candles that don't blow out on the ice cream cake, I find myself thinking about the memories of all his earlier birthdays and the man he should have become.

Last year he was happy and looking forward to starting a new chapter in his life.

Last year he was making plans and setting goals for all the things that he wanted to accomplish.

But that was last year.

Now everything has changed.

We are left trying to figure out how to live our lives without you here with us.

Today there were no presents wrapped in fancy paper. There was no one singing happy birthday.

But we did come together on this day.

We did have a cake today. Each of us lit a candle and made a wish before we all blew them out together.

And there was much needed laughter among the tears.

There were stories of Erik and his shenanigans and pranks. It felt good not to be alone today. It felt good to talk about him and laugh as if he was just in the next room. And that is how we get through this day. Together, with love, tears, and laughter.

MMJ

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