e’s 25 years old today. It’s his 9th birthday in heaven. I cannot picture him with a more mature face. He had a sweet baby face, even though he towered over me. And though it’s a bittersweet day, we celebrate. How blessed we were with the 16 years Matthew was on loan to us! How thankful I am for the 16 birthdays we celebrated him! And now with time, there are more joys than sorrows, more remembering the special times, than, that awful day. It’s not just about his death any more, though we do hope and pray that his death saves other’s lives. We celebrate the life he had here and now life forevermore in heaven. What hope!
I love listening to the stories the kids remember of themselves growing up . . . some things they only share now because they are adults and there cannot be punishments any longer (such as jumping off roofs and starting little fires in the woods!) Now some want the old video’s on 8mm transferred to CD’s so we can watch them again, and for the older three that are married, to introduce their spouses to their brother. I am sure there will be laughter….and tears, but we are ready.
So, tonight, we celebrate, by having his traditional birthday cheesecake – his favorite, hoping God gives him a peek through the clouds of us celebrating him. The flowers will be planted by his gravestone, and his sister’s too. We still miss; we always will. But we do not miss or grieve as those with no hope. And we will talk about what it must be like in heaven for him and how we wish we could peek through the heavens to see!
And each year, heaven, Matthew and Angela are a bit closer, and we celebrate with thankfulness and hope.
Thank you Father, for the gift of his life, precious memories we hold dear, and the gift of pictures we treasure until we are together again.
We love you Matthew. We celebrate you!