Today, on your 42nd birthday, I did not wake up and sneak downstairs with the children to prepare you biscuits and gravy to bring you breakfast in bed. I did not lovingly wrap a thoughtful present and sign a pickle card with words of love and encouragement and inside jokes to make you laugh. I did not buy balloons. I did not help the kids pick out gifts. I did not hold your face and look into your eyes and tell you I love you. I did not wish you many, many more so that we could have a lifetime together. I will not go out to dinner with you and our children to celebrate the day you were born. I will not do any of these things ever again.
The man I knew at 22 and at 32 was infinitely more compassionate and honorable than you are. He was loyal. He was mature. He was selfless. Happy Birthday to him.
The man I knew at 22 and 32 would look at who you have chosen to become and pity you. Happy Birthday to him.
The man I knew at 22 and 32 would have never chosen to associate himself with what you are doing and would have opened our home to the victims and opened our wallet to help. Happy Birthday to him.
He would never, ever, have taken his eyes off his wife and children. Happy Birthday to him.
My birthday wish for YOU is that you remember who that man was. Even if it is a fleeting memory. And that you understand that he is who your children love. And he is who your wife misses. And he deserved good things.
From now on, August 15th is going to be just another date on the calendar for me. Another date for me to wake up and pour love on the children you left behind. Another date for me to reach out and make someone’s day brighter. Another date to reach for the stars and impact the world. Another e..date for me to mourn the passing of my husband and the birth of you. Another date to continue pushing forward and move on…without YOU.