When I write "Great 8" in no way to I mean this is a Great event but definitely an event in our hearts.
Happy 8th Birthday Littlest Son!
The world was just to small of a place for you, you decided to exit upon entry. Sounds like some space stuff. Maybe the basis of the real life Interstellar. Better get our watches on because I'd love to hear from you across space and time. I'll wait my turn as I can still hear that big roaring voice of yours like it was yesterday.
My heart, our hearts, is always a bit heavier on this day. Instead of planning a small birthday party I gather the courage to write you another letter. Lucky you, I'd rather write than plan anything social. How well you know your Momma. ;)
Emoticons aside I wish to get to the celebrating you part.
Eight years. Eight. Years. Tears well up in my eyes when I read that. Eight years we've been apart. Eight years old you are today. Eight years you've been gone. Gone. Eight years old.
No video games to be had. No lego sets to search four different stores for. No exclusive t-shirt with a famous game logo emblazoned upon it. No gifts. Instead, you my Son give us a gift every single year on your birthday.
Momma has said it before that strength is the gift you've given me, year in and year out. The strength of a million oxen. The strength of Hercules. The strength to perceiver when sometimes it seems much easier to give in. The strength to be Me and realize that despite it all I am able. Strength to teach your Brothers life lessons. The strength to make it through the times Dad is gone away on official business.
Just yesterday big Brother and I were discussing you. He asked questions to which I answered as best as I could.
He asked "why did this happen to Karter?"
I replied with "it just did."
He then asked "are there others like him and did they survive?"
"Yes, but generally they need at least one if not two kidney transplants almost right out of the womb. We didn't want to put him through that, we couldn't. "
"Two reasons. One, the reason his kidneys weren't developing on time was because there was little to no amniotic fluid. We couldn't have a procedure done that would allow for more fluid, more lung development, because it was too risky for him and I. Second, it takes years to get one kidney who knows how long it'd take to get two. It would require a lot of pain and suffering for all of us. "
Your Brother then sort of nodded as if he understood the master plan. Did he realize that I felt so sad yet so proud in that moment that I could both explain in an adult vernacular to him and FEEL every word I said to him. Proud because he asked more adult questions. I told him the odds of having what you did were very small. Maybe a few hundred people in the world have it. Funny that just earlier he was asking me about playing the lottery and the odds of winning it. Maybe we already had.
A few long seconds passed, maybe minutes and he said to me "I just wish I was a big brother."
At this point I was unraveling on the inside. I told him with great strength and no tears "Oh, but you are a big brother." He sort of had a half smile.
Why on Earth am I including this? You were probably right there.
Eight years old to your big Brother's nearly 9 to your even bigger Brother's nearly 15. I love each of you equally and differently. Thank you for gracing us with your short life. Thanks for being a little Brother. They grow by leaps and bounds every single day and I'm sure you are right there with them. Eight years old, I wonder what your biggest wish for this year would be as you blew out the candles.
We love you. We miss you. We think of you randomly but maybe not so randomly. Happy Birthday Littlest Son and Brother. Momma, Dad, and your Brothers love you. We miss you. I didn't make it through this years letter tear free. In fact, I really need a tissue. As much as I do NOT want to leave you, do NOT want to stop writing to you, I must. I will keep your memory until my days are over, until we meet again.
Until then Karter I love you, I miss you, you are always with me. Happy 8th Birthday!