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Wednesday, October 09, 2019

only nineteen...

Dear Taylor, 

Some years feel heavier than others, and this one was the heaviest it’s been in a long time. I’ve been trying to figure out why. 

Part of me attributes that to my being sentimental about dates, and how, at the time we lost you, I projected into the future what your Turning Nineteen Would Have Brought, which, back then, meant formal missionary service. Of course, now that’s changed -- in general, and for me; in general because now boys are going on missions as early as age 18, and for me because who knows? Maybe you wouldn’t have served a mission, for whatever reason.

Another part of me looks at current circumstance, and with your sister having just turned 18, I was already emotional about that, as she feels anxiety about the future (ergo, I feel anxiety). Plus, Rae is going to be home from her mission soon, which is great, I’ve missed her so. Daily, it’s difficult for me to be far away from the kids and drive so much all the time, I feel like my very self is split between physical locations, and I’m not sure how to be whole in any of them. 

This past year I took some classes, though, and learned some skills in regards to how to deal with these feelings and their physical effects. I was able to employ them minimally during your birthday week, but still felt crisis. Just in time, a friend stepped in via text and-- I’m calling it a miracle-- she helped me get centered when I needed it most. She reached out to me, walked me through simple steps of mindfulness, made herself available, asked about you, shared some of her own personal and hallowed experiences. Her generosity, concern, vulnerability, and love kept me afloat in so many ways that week. I am forever grateful for friends like Anne-Marie who have loved all my children over the years. 

Because Emma had to work on your birthday, the kids and I visited the cemetery two days before (Tuesday). The kids did the flower arranging on your grave, cleaned up the overgrown grass on your headstone, which warmed my heart to see (it’s what I typically do each time I visit). I called Rae, and we took a picture with her included. On your actual birthday, Quinn, Syd, and I spent some time at your grave, and John left work early to join us there. That night the four of us went to a concert in Salt Lake, and I thought of you while the kids sang along to a song called Birthday Party.


John said the other day, “Wish I could have known him.” That’s how I feel in a lot of ways, which is weird because some days I think I know you, and other days I am at a loss. I still think you resemble Emma in your looks, and that the two of you are close friends. I think of you as naturally happy, and eagerly helpful. that wishful thinking? I’m not sure. 

Whatever the case, I’m hoping that I make you proud, proud to be a part of our family, in its ever-disparate shape and disposition. Part of my own legacy is that of being your mother, for which I am grateful. 

Happy birthday, Son. We miss you. We love you.

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