I’m a little late this month. But I think Maddox would forgive me.
By now, you would be 5 months old, almost half a year. Time no longer feels like something measurable, but rather as this odd numerical value to the time I have been without you.
You would have loved today. Your dad and I, along with a bunch of your extended family, did the Phoenix Children’s Hospital 5k as team MJ Beefcake. If you were here, you would have gotten a free ride in that fancy running stroller we got from everyone in BTB.
Your probably would have slept the whole time. But everyone would have been coming up to the stroller to tell us how handsome you are.
Today was a good day. But even good days are hard.
We spent the morning with so many amazing people that came out just to honor you, which felt amazing. Until I stopped to think about why everyone needed to come honor you in the first place.
I still feel so cheated. Only getting 13 days with the most perfect person I have ever known. I still feel like I don’t understand, like my life isn’t really mine, but instead, some bad dream I can’t wake up from.
And I feel so sad that you can’t be here to see how many people love you. It’s insane.
The people who met you are different because of you. Every. Single. One. You are more powerful than you could ever know.
By now you would be rolling over, sitting up, getting ready to call and talking nonstop. Although none of it would probably make any sense yet. But you’re my kid so the babbling would definitely be happening.
I would tell your dad that everything you say means “mom is my favorite”. And I’d probably be right.
You’d have lots of friends at school and you’d probably be excited to get rid of us and hang out with the other babies when we dropped you off every day. I imagine I would still cry every time I had to leave you.
Because being without you is the worst thing that has ever happened in my life.
I imagine by now, I would be looking for every opportunity to use you as a baby model at work so you could be famous. Because we love attention in this family. Plus, you were so frickin cute.
You would meet more people that were infatuated with you than you’d know what to do with. And you would be asking me (eventually) why you have like 100 aunts and uncles and when you can have 100 siblings, too.
I’d tell you, hell no, kid. Ain’t happening.
One day, I would explain to you that there are two types of family: the family you are born into and the family you create. And that, if you’re really lucky, you end up with an entire extended family you could never live without.
This year on your 5 month birthday, your aunt Andi would have turned 40. Although you will always be my greatest loss, Andi was my first great loss.
I would tell you stories about how we were so similar, both kids at heart and both with big hearts we wore on our sleeves. I would tell you that losing your best friend is hard and that I will miss her until the day I die.
I’d tell you to hug your aunt Bethy extra tight because losing a sister is even harder than losing a friend. And I would tell you how grateful I was that we got to take you home because I could never get through losing you.
But life is ironic that way. We say we could never do something when, in reality, we don’t get the luxury of deciding. Life decides for us and we can either give up or put one foot in front of the other.
You opened my heart in a way I never knew was possible. And because of you, I can’t give up so my only option is to keep going.
I would give you an extra squeeze and soak in how lucky I am to be your mom. And even though I can’t give you that extra squeeze, there feeling of gratitude for being your mom stays true.
You are still my world, Maddox. Here or not.
I haven’t truly believed in heaven for a long time. But I know if I’m wrong and it does exist, your aunt Andi is taking the most amazing care of you up there.
I miss you both every day.
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