Birthday Letters

Lynn | | Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

July 16, 2008

Dear Rhys:
Today you would have been 22 and probably quite the proud papa, although I am sure your birthday would have taken a back seat to your “girls.” I believe you would have said, “I’m too busy for MY birthday – London’s first birthday is just around the corner!!”

I wonder if you see London’s joy and if you are there at those quiet times that Steph must have with London. I wonder if you know how much you are missed. Your Dad aches for a conversation with you. Stephanie must ache to hold you one more time. And Rhys, I just wonder how your life went by so fast. It seemed like Dad and I blinked and you were a man, telling us that you had decided to ask Steph to marry you. We thought you were so young but respected your decision. I prayed that this was God’s decision for your life, and if He had picked Stephanie, then we would be there in support.

I prayed, Rhys, that God would hold your heart in his hands and He did. When you came home on leave I secretly hoped that Stephanie would get pregnant although it definitely did not seem to be the most practical idea. When she did and you called me in January to let me know the news, I really was excited to be a grandma. I knew you would be a great Dad, just like your Dad.

I knew you were going to be home for London’s birth. I just didn’t know that you were going “home,” that place we long for now more than ever.

I wonder if when we pray Jesus gives you little updates. I know nothing here can ever compare to where you are now but I do hope you know how much you were loved by so many.

Anyway, Happy Birthday Rhys. Sing praises to our Lord and Savior.
Love you always,

July 16, 2009
Happy Birthday Rhys!

It is your third birthday in Heaven today. You would have been 23 at your earthly home, although I don’t know how a birthday here could possibly compare with one there.

Can you imagine how it would have been with London’s birthday just 2 weeks after yours? I think you and London would have celebrated all month long.

What is really odd is that you are forever stuck at 20 in our memories. I see and hear other parents talking about their children as they progress into the adult lives. I see your friends growing into adults and I’m frankly a little jealous. They have new stories to tell each day while Dad and I relive the old stories. We don’t get tired of the old stories, you know, but it is just very odd.

We’re going to Chili’s again this year because that’s where you would have wanted to go. I guess that is one of our new traditions. We have a few. We will celebrate your birthday and your life. We will laugh and we will cry.

If you were here, you would just wonder what the big fuss is about. I will never forget that time you came to work and saw the pictures I had of you all over my office. You said, “Mom, that’s kind of over the top. It looks like a tribute or something!” Well it is that now, but I’m sure you would still be embarrassed.

Dad and I are so proud of you. We miss you terribly. We miss enjoying your birthday with you. We recognize that this is a journey and that we will meet again in that glorious place that is your true home. But we still wish you a very happy birthday.

Sing praises to our Lord and Savior.
Love, Mom

July 16, 2010
Happy Birthday Rhys!

Wow, the time is going quickly. The time when we will meet again is perhaps not that far away.
It’s hard to imagine you at 24. I look around at your friends and see the changes in each, but can’t quite put the picture of you at 24 in my head. As time goes by, I believe this task will become even more difficult.

Stephanie and London joined Dad and me at your birthday celebration at Chili’s this year. That was really nice. London is so much like you at that age. Stephanie is happy and she can talk about you in the way we do now; with joy in her heart about the memories you two shared. Her life is moving forward and you would be happy about it. She’s a great mom and a strong Christian. But then, you knew that about her. You saw the potential in her and she is everything you knew she would be.

We miss you more than ever but we think of you in a new way. You represent a way of life, love, compassion, and sacrifice that give honor and glory to God. It is with that inspiration that we think of you. We are humbled by God’s work in your life and that we were part of that. Through this life journey we are more reliant than ever on His grace and mercy. We will always be proud that God selected us to be your parents. Happy Birthday, my son.

Until we meet again, Sing praises to our Lord and Savior.
Love, Mom

16 July 2011

Dear Rhys:

Can it be that your birthday still brings such sadness to us? I know that you are home, in a place more glorious than those of us left here can ever imagine. I know that given the choice, you would not want to come back to this world because you have experienced all the promises of God and I am sure they are greater than anything.

But here, we miss you on your birthday. We miss seeing you change each year. We miss laughing at Chili’s on your birthday. I really miss having those discussions we used to have; some really goofy and some really serious. I remember when we tried to figure out what age people would be in Heaven. Remember…we decided the age you would be would be whatever your best age had been. That day, you and I decided that it was right then, at that very moment.

This would be your 25th birthday of course. But I have you forever in my heart at 20. I will keep writing you a birthday letter every year until I can finally deliver it in person. Just know that Dad and I think about you every single day. We treasure the moments we shared and miss the moments we will never have.

Happy Birthday Rhys. Sing praise to our Lord and Savior.

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