This probably seems like a no-brainer. The fact that I am sad on Rip's birthday, that is. But its more than the fact that he is not here to celebrate it...I deal with that kind of sad every day. Note that I did not say that every day is sad, I have lots (more than not) of wonderful, happy days. Its just that each of those days I carry with me the fact that my son is not here.
When I was a little girl, every night before my birthday, my dad would tell me the story of how I was born. The lead up (my mom eating cheesecake and watermelon just beforehand), the wait (aka my dad took pictures in the hall while my mom labored for hours and eventually had a c-section), and finally the big reveal (a little girl, surprise!).
Every person has a birthday story. A story of when your life changed the lives of your whole family. What makes me sad on Rip's birthday is that his birthday story was such a happy one. On any other given day, I can say "well at least I know things are better than they were three years ago". Except on the night before Rip's birth and the day after. Those days were happy, so exciting. The pictures we have from those days show nervous, excited first time parents about to have their lives changed. Those pictures show our families with huge grins on their faces. They show a perfectly healthy little boy. Those were happy, happy days.
Parke and my biggest statement about Rip's life is that he is A Good Thing. He will always be A Good Thing. We are trying hard to make our lives reflect his as A Good Thing. But while I cherish his birthday as A Good Thing, it still makes me sad, and it is much, much harder on me than the day he died. So that is why yesterday was sad, but my sincere hope is that we will find a way that it won't always be so. Thank you so much to all of the people who reached out yesterday and remembered our boy on his big day, it helps more than you know.