It’s been 8 years… There are days I sit and think about holding you and there are those other days where I feel like it was the life of a whole different person. I can’t remember the weight of you in my arm. I don’t remember what you felt like.

I never thought I would be that mom who had to remember her son who died. Or that there would be this emptiness I had to struggle with for the rest of my life. There have been times I ached to be with you. To just know as your mom I did everything I could for you. To know you were not in pain, that you felt the love that surrounded you the day you left us. I think about the anguish in Uncle Mitch’s cries as he stood at the foot of the hospital bed holding you… He could barley stand… At the time I didn’t think about it. You had just died and we were all there to just accept what time you had and to love you. Now, I watch the video Angelina made… the images take me back to the moments where you were the most important thing. Where I waited, praying you would be born alive… Praying your sister could meet you…

I tell people you are my greatest gift. Your brother and sisters have each individually taught me so much. My biggest lessons as a mother have come from you and ironically some of the largest life lessons were formed while I carried you… and later after you died.

8 years later Jody, I am still so very thankful for you. I am grateful to have been your mom. You were my miracle and you will always be my son. My love for you does not waver… Over the years I don’t talk about you as much in terms of your loss. I have gotten to the point where I can talk about you as though you were here and you lived because you did.

The most beautiful thing is that you continue to live through your brother and sisters. Julianna talks about you all the time. Nearly everyday… She is always a reminder. At times I get frustrated when she wants to look at your things. She sits next to your chest touching everything in it. The first time I showed her I panicked when she touched your blankets, hugged the bears and coughed so close to your locks of hair. Now though, her excitement and the way she admires the tangible things that were yours is so special. When she holds your outfit against her chest and remarks about how small you were I smile. You weren’t small…. You weren’t large… You were simply perfect with the softest feet, amazing lips, my nose with a sweet little smush and when you grabbed my pinky your hand wrapped it tightly…

Happy Birthday in heaven sweet Jody! I will always celebrate you and cherish the small window of time we were given to love you. This year I am celebrating being your mom even more so then other years. As I close my eyes and breathe in the smell of orange blossoms in the air I can feel you with me. The smell reminds me each and every year of you.

This year give me a gift! Come visit me in my dreams so I can hold you…

I love you for always…

Mom

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