Eleven years without you feels like the cruelest joke. A never-ending nightmare that I cannot wake up from. I think about you so much that you are a part of my daily life. I’ve been doing that since you died, and that won’t ever change. I imagine you at fifteen as the most incredible athlete because even when you were tiny, you were so coordinated and sports-obsessed. I imagine you would have grown into your wildness but only enough to always be on the cusp of getting into some trouble. I would have nurtured that side of you and let you live out your life doing the things that made your heart soar. I know how much you idolized your brothers, and I imagine they would have happily taken you everywhere instead of you just being the annoying little brother who tagged along. I imagine your blue eyes, copper hair, and naturally, tan skin would still stop strangers dead in their tracks. I will never stop yearning for you or wishing for more time with you. I ache for you constantly, and I carry that pain with me always. Grief. It’s exhausting and constant work, but I know that’s because my love for you is bigger than life, and it is eternal.
The past few days have been horrifically hard. All meshed together, and I don’t know what way is up or down, left or right. I’ve been functioning but barely. I’ve known this pain for so long now that I know what I need to do to get through it. I spend a lot of time replaying our time together but especially the last few weeks with you. I cry, I give into this pain, and my nights are restless. But my restlessness is met with a touch of a hand and a soothing voice whispering words of comfort—the kind of words that make you believe in new beginnings and life-changing love. My heart will always be broken, but at least I have surrounded myself with the most beautiful people who know just how to nurture me, not just doing this time, but always. I genuinely believe certain people were placed in my life because of you because you knew they would be the ones to help me survive. I will forever be grateful to you for that.
I will spend your birthday with your daddy, brothers, sister, and Aubs. I’m not sure what we are doing yet, but we will all be together, loving and celebrating you. Happy 15th birthday, Ronan. I am so lucky to be your mom, and I am so thankful for the short time we had on earth together. Because of you, I know certain kinds of love truly do change your life. I love you to the moon and back, forever and always.