My dear sweet boy,

Happiest of birthdays to my one and only favorite son.  I miss you every second of every day.

I miss walking into your room each morning and seeing that you had carefully picked out your clothes for the next day and laid them out on the floor.  It always reminded me of your Flat Standley project from elementary school.  You had the most creative style that usually consisted of an 80s vintage color block windbreaker from Value Village, girls joggers from Lululemon, athletic socks and fuzy moccasins.  I’d give anything for the chance to shake my head and smile again at your ridiculous outfits.  I was so proud of how unique you were.

I miss spending my whole morning trying to wake you from a sleep so deep that not even your alarm going off next to your ears would wake you up.  I remember toggling back and forth between my room and yours, yelling “Ian…please!” and somehow you’d make it up and out of the house barely on time with breakfast in hand and your water jug full for the day.  We’d hop in the car and we’d either talk about homework, plans for the day or just I’d just let you chill with your music for a few moments on the way.  I wish for one more drive to school with you, just to hear you say you love me as you closed the door and headed off to class and your friends.

I miss the way you would stop everything you were doing to chase a simple sunset.  It didn’t matter where you were or what was happening, you would find them all, take a picture and share it with everyone you knew.  There were shoe marks on your bedroom wall leading out your window to the roof so you could watch the sunset slowly disappear behind the trees at home, or the horizon past the pacific ocean in Maui.  I especially loved it when you would pull Bella out there with you.  I think this is what I miss most about you.  How you just found beauty in the sky.

I could write for days and days about all the things I miss about you.  It’s a heart crushing miss that has left a gaping hole for us to fill.  Mostly we spend our quiet moments with your memories.  Sometimes its easy to remember, but on other days we all need a little help with some story telling and laughter to get us through the harder to reach history of our lives with you.  We are so careful with how we fill the gaping hole.

It was important for Bella, Kat and I to honor your soul and sunset chasing spirit in the most beautiful way.  So I want to show you what we got you for your birthday.  This is your Live Hard! Glassybaby…it looks like a sunset, don’t you think?  If you look ever so closely near the base of the baby you will see in your writing, your words “Live Hard!” We are going to share it with as many people as we can.  We hope that the light from this candle urges someone that may be hurting like you did to hold on long enough to see another sunset and ask for help.

When the sun sets past the pacific, a flash blazes forth before the dark, and just for a second, this is how each day says goodbye.

I love you bubba!  Happy Birthday,

Love Momma

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