Today, Jeremy would have been 32 years old.
This picture of him is my computer's desktop picture...it's the last picture I have of him alone, from just a few weeks before he died. We spent the evening making applesauce - I even blogged about it here. I stare at the picture daily, memorizing every detail of it, trying desperately not to forget even the smallest thing. I talk to him in this picture, and it's usually the last thing I see before I got to bed at night, as I close my computer. I love it because I don't have many good pictures of him alone. I remember telling him how handsome he looked after I took it, and he hadn't worn that shirt in awhile. I love it because it's how I remember him - happy, handsome, and doing something he loved. He loved making applesauce that night. He loved showing the kids how to do it. He loved the family time.
This picture also makes my heart ache every time I see it.
I want to reach out to him and touch him. I want to feel the warmth of his breath, the strength of his arms. I talk to him hoping he'll talk back, hoping the light in his eyes will tell me something, bring me some comfort. And every time I realize I won't ever get to see that smile in person again, I die a little inside.
I remember doing a birthday post for Jer last year. I went back to read it, and remembered writing it. I very impatiently waited for him to come home from plowing all day, so that the kids and I could shower him with love and gifts. We had a snow day and he was so bummed that he ended up gone all day working. And I was proud of him for working so hard for our family. I remember looking through pictures of us, finding the perfect ones to convey what I wanted to say. And I remember hoping he'd read it so he knew how much I loved him and was thinking about him on his special day.
Today, the kids and I are gonna try and keep it pretty low key. It's gonna be a tough day, but we decided to try and make it special still for Daddy. We're gonna make him some pictures, write him some letters, and possibly go to the Fishy Store (Bass Pro), because it makes them think of Daddy. Truth be told, they're right on the money, cause I'm pretty sure that's where Daddy would want to go on his birthday anyway.
Thursday, we're gonna get together with some friends to honor Jer with a feast of some of his favorite foods. I will be making my most popular 'Jeremy pleasers' - Blueberry pie and Butter tarts. I'm thankful to be able to be around those closest to Jeremy, because it makes me feel closer to him.
Happy Birthday, Baby.
I love you more than words, and I so desperately wish you were here to celebrate your life with us. The kids and I miss you so much, and we want to shower you with our love.
Our hearts are hollow without you right now.
We miss your presence, your smile, and your love.
Hope you're enjoying your celebration in Heaven today, you deserve something Grand.
I love you forever and always.