In celebration of Judson’s birthday, our family, including extended family and “Auntie Sarah,” gathered in the morning at his grave site.
We all brought decorations to commemorate the 3rd year since his birth. Gathered around a small plot of land, we sang children’s songs, read kid’s stories, and shared treasured memories about our beloved boy.
I wanted so badly to express my care for him, but I couldn’t whisper my love in his ear and tell him all the precious qualities I adore in him. I could not serve him by making him a festive meal for his special day. I could not spend time with him, doing whatever it is he wanted to do. And though I also desperately wanted to give him gifts, he was not there to receive the things I had purchased for him, so I had to resort to putting them on the plot of grass that covers his grave, wishing he could discover the “surprises” left for him. (Oh, how Jud loved surprise gifts! He came alive when he got something new.)
I still can’t believe he is gone. I remember his birthday last year, and he was in heaven as all the adults in his life doted on him. Never in a million years could I have imagined that he would die during his next year of life, now experiencing heaven literally, rather than figuratively.
So, on this occasion, Jud’s 3rd birthday, we concluded our time by singing “Happy Birthday” to him, and I wondered whether the angels were joining with us, that Jud might have heard the chorus he loved so much.
Reluctant to depart from the strange place that has now become especially significant, we took a couple pictures, gathered our belongings, and lingered. Suddenly we realized that a bouquet of balloons that had been weighted down to adorn his grave, had disappeared. We set our gaze to the blue sky above us and spotted them floating high into the air.
It was almost as if they were determined to be in Jud’s possession.