My sweet little cuddlebug... My womb soccer player... My breech baby... My special, sacred little boy. My Alexander. Today marks 5 years since you were born. Since a monk blessed your entrance into this world and a nurse baptized you with trembling hands. Since I felt your little kicks and kissed your delicate forehead. Since you rested in your father's arms. It's been 5 years since the warmth of your life faded like a midsummer night fades into an early dawn. 5 years since the cold pallor of death settled like a winter's snow.
5 years since we said "hello", only to follow it with "good-bye", with "wait for me", with "I will see you again". With "don't go" while, all the while, knowing that you couldn't stay.
It is strange to write this while nursing another little boy who followed twins. As I snuggle your baby brother, I cannot help but look at him- with his calm demeanor, sense of peace, and, yes, strong kicks!- and wonder how much of you he carries within him... Did you tell him some of your secrets while he waited for birth? Locked within his eyes, does he carry a memory of you that, one day, he'll share?
After your Mass this morning, we're going out to breakfast (where I'll be sure to have some orange juice!) and I plan to run your 'birthday', taking in the brisk, fall air. Like this year, you were born just prior to Thanksgiving. It was a Sunday, and, while today is Saturday, it still feels like I'm walking in those shoes again. Once more, I'm not cooking and, while this year, I'll be surrounded by Bobby, Maya, and Michael, you'll still be the baby on my mind. It's hard for me to not associate Thanksgiving with your birthday. In a few years, the holiday will fall on your birthday. I cant imagine how that will feel.
Bobby and Maya want to bake cupcakes for your birthday. They'll help me. :) I know you'd like that. Bobby was practicing his rendition of "Happy Birthday" yesterday, so I'm sure he'll sing loud enough for you to hear.
Did you know that the Feast of St. Alexander Newsky is your birthday? He died in the 13th century and is celebrated today... He was a prince and soldier, who later became a monk. One of his son's shares Michael's middle name, Dimitri. Strange coincidences, I suppose. Perhaps you can celebrate your feast day together, my sweet little saint.
Here Comes the Sun always reminds me of you. It's one of Bobby and Maya's favorite songs; they ask for it all the time. When you died, I thought I'd be left in an eternal darkness. I couldn't fathom ever seeing the sun again... And yet, as it cast shadows through the windows, even though I'd tried to keep the light out, I knew that, somehow, you were there... like diamonds dancing on glass... ever present, even if I couldn't see you with my eyes. When that song played, just after we'd come home from the hospital, I could hear your voice- a voice I was never able to hear in this world- as George Harrison sang each line. It was that song that got me out of bed each day, that gave me the strength to face another breath... Even now, I can't help but smile and think of you, sweet boy, whenever it plays.
So, here's to you, my little Alexander. My peaceful ray of sunshine and hope. Happy Birthday. Mommy loves you so very much.