Birthday Reflection

I miss when you were little 
When I could hold you in my arms
When your limbs moved more freely
When it was easier to take you out into the world

I miss the way you loved to eat
And how you were always able to spit out the peas in any meal
I miss the days when your flesh was unmarked by surgeries 

There are days I think I’m too habituated to this life
I convince myself that none of this ever hurt
Yet shockingly, I just had to stop writing to get a tissue

The sound of today’s tears hitting my shoes
Puts me right back to the day I sat in the doctor’s office
Onto his leather chair
And heard for the first time
You would never walk, talk, or use your hands

This morning I walked into your room
You were so still
I did what I have done for the past 24 years
I held my breath
Moved closer
Scrutinized the color of your face
Strained to hear your breath
Watched for movement
And exhaled when your continued life was evident

While I am more at peace with this life
And the perfect way you’ve lived in it
It is still too easy
To fret
About your place in the world
If Daddy and I aren’t here

You have always been my beauty boy
That has not changed
Looking into your eyes
Hearing your laugh
Has always made up for what the world lacks

When I scroll the pictures of your life
They reflect joy

Thank you for your joy

For it allows me
To live each day without weighing what is good and what is bad
It keeps me from fantasizing about some alternative life
Where you have a home, a job, a wife, and kids of your own
Where Daddy and I can retire and travel and lament about an empty nest

From time to time 
I still allow myself to grieve
For my younger self
Who languished in make believe scenarios 
Then I relish in being an experienced mom
Who knows there’s no sense encouraging those disillusions
And allowing them to taint our lives

You are you
You are more than enough
There has never been a day in the last 24 years that you were not enough

I can only hope that you know
The only gift I have ever strived to give you
Is to match the love you have given me

Happy birthday Benjabeauty

12 thoughts on “Birthday Reflection

  1. Happy Birthday sweet boy, even though we met only a few times, I will never forget how happy you were when my greyhound (Shooter) rubbed against you hand and you felt him. You were so overjoyed! That is our special memory ❤️ Alex

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was fortunate to meet Joanne in a writing class and know how she defines LOVE in her poetry, but also in the way she lives her moments gratefully so full of love. Oh how you inspire others.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved every heartfelt word, every precious thought, every treasured reverie Benjamin graced and Joanne embraced and enshrined with her extraordinary poetic gifts.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Joanne, I couldn’t be more flattered than to be told by you that you were touched by my words. Our love to you, John, Benjamin the birthday celebrant and Sebastian the track star and scholar.


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