Happy Birthday sweet, beautiful Joey- You are missed, more than words can ever ever convey. We are trying to think of a fitting way to celebrate the day you were born and blessed us with your presence. I think doing the things you wanted to do on your special day last year may be part of the plans, perhaps even a visit to Brats Brothers for some special Brats for lunch- they moved locations, by the way, and now they're located right next to Marias! I don't think I can bring myself to try the more exotic ones they have, that was your special thing. We still have the ones you bought last year to make at home-- Swamp Thing - consisting of Alligator meat. Dad almost threw them away but Ben saved them -- afterall, whatever little touches of you we still have hanging around, none of us are ready to give those up yet.
Last year you wanted to go to a shooting range, but it never happened. You know my stance on guns, but I figured, in your honor, we may go to a indoor range and have a lesson, in your honor, and then fire some rounds. Wish you were here in person to do that but hopefully you will be there in spirit with us!
Then we were debating where to go.. Maybe we'll drive up to Lancaster and see what few poppies are blooming this year, it's been a bad year for poppies this time around because there's been little to no rain. It is, however, supposed to rain this weekend, of all times... maybe because the world is sad because you're not here to celebrate your special day. If we do go to Lancaster, we'll check out our little plot of land, see what exciting new things have found their way there-- hopefully we don't find that someone has taken up residence on our vacant land!
If we don't make it to Lancaster, we may drive out to Joshua Tree. I went there with my college room mate and her husband and revisited the places that she and I and another friend used to rock climb back in the day when we could do that kind of stuff. We were there a few weeks ago, and I forgot how absolutely beautiful it is out there. While we were there we stopped at a place called the Integreton-- it's this place constructed in such a way that the acoustics are perfect--it really is amazing. While you are there you can have what's called a sound bath, which is a pretty amazing experience. In the chamber upstairs, you lie on the floor (on yoga mats) and they play crystal bowls, the sound is like nothing you've ever heard and knowing your love for sound, you would have absolutely loved it. You go into a trance, and the sound, it's hard to tell if it's coming from within you or from outside of you. It was incredible. I know you know about it because when I was there, I definitely did connect with you, I saw you in my mind's eye during my time in there, and it was wonderful. So I would like to take your brothers and who knows, even dad, and we experience it and have you there in spirit with us.
The other thing you wanted to do last year was go to Disneyland, you had been planning it and wanting to take a few of your friends along. Unfortunately it didn't happen and you were not feeling well enough to go. I feel bad that we didn't make it happen, and I am so sorry that the night before your surgery, we never made it to Downtown Disney like we had planned, but again, the way you were feeling and getting around, it just seemed too daunting at the time. Had we known that it would have been your last chance, I would have forced us to go no matter what. I am so sorry for that kiddo! I don't know if I am up to doing Disneyland, Downtown Disney. The last times I was there was with you, and they were some of the best days together, just you and me, that we ever had. Because of that, I don't know that I am ready to return to Disneyland, as I will be missing you and I'm afraid I might just be too sad in the Happiest Place on Earth. Ben suggested maybe we should go just to California Adventure since none of us had been there, so there are no memories, and that may be a good way to do something you would have liked without it being too sad of a day.
I have been told by another mom who lost her daughter, Arlyn, that she asked Arlyn to help you celebrate your day. From what I understand, there will be quite a group of other children of my new friends in the Grieving Parents group- There are a good number of Joey's in that group, hope that doesn't get too confusing!
So that's it for now, munchkin man, I just wanted to wish you a happy 19th birthday. We love you, always and forever!
love & kisses xoxo
Mom <3 <3
ps.. you would be proud of me, I'm getting skinnier! Pretty soon there will no longer be a fat me! Already down almost 15 lbs!