I’m only 19 months into this journey that I never wanted to go on.

Within in 2 months of Billy’s death, I found a group on Facebook for parents who lost a child to homicide.

In the very early days, I often wondered why parents, mainly mothers, would post about their child’s upcoming birthday.

Moms would say things like “my son’s birthday is in two weeks, I’m struggling to sleep, I spent all day in bed,I can’t stop crying…”

It was too early for me to understand why they were posting about the upcoming birthday, weeks in advance.

Billy was murdered in January 2018. His 26th Birthday wasn’t until September 1st.

This year I TOTALLY understand why Mother’s start sharing their child’s upcoming birthday.

It causes such anguish in my heart to know that 27 years ago on Sunday September 1st, the child that made me a Mother is gone. I have to prepare my heart for that. Last year it hit me like a ton of bricks.

It’s not just that day, but the days leading up to that day.

You know it’s coming.

I have to focus on my breathing, calm my racing heart, push down the lump in my chest and try to imagine how heaven celebrates birthdays.

Every day is one day closer to what used to be celebrated with Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake, M&M’s, Lays Potato Chips and Herr’s Pretzels.

Singing Happy Birthday and taking pictures and opening cards and gifts.

Now I will go to Dairy Queen on August 31st not to order his cake, but to pay for one ordered by someone else’s family to enjoy as they celebrate a birthday on September 1st.

I’ll do this act of kindness in Billy’s memory to overcome evil with good.

On September 1st, I’ll be at his gravesite releasing a lantern that we write on and send up towards the Heavens.

I’ll clean his gravestone and pull the tall grasses around it.

I’ll slowly trace his name with my finger lingering longer on the last letter.

I have hope that I’ll see him again, someday soon. Jesus said

“Surely I come quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

I can’t wait.

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