I usually feel almost silly writing to you, but I feel compelled to do it today. I believe you know my heart and that nothing truly needs to be said in writing. I believe you know exactly how much you are loved, how much you are missed. Yet today I find I want to say these things. Out loud, on paper, from the rooftops.
Your baby brother screamed for a good portion of the night, a testament to his fully-formed lungs. So I was awake at the hour of your birth yet again. It seems something always wakes me up on this day. I told your sister that today is your 7th birthday, and she asked if you were coming down for it. I think you are almost as real to her as you are to me.
I cannot believe you are 7 years old today. I cannot believe that in a few days it will be 7 years since we held you in our arms. It seems unfathomable. After 7 years I still catch myself picturing the way things were supposed to be. It's not difficult; I don't even have to concentrate very hard to see you here with us, what life would be like if we got to keep you.
After 7 years, it hasn't gotten any easier. It seems to get a bit harder. Every time I have to add on another year that we've been without you, another year that I've missed out on with you, it hurts a little more. People think we are used to it by now, that we've "healed" or something, but that just isn't true. Grief can still completely pull me under with its random cruelty, the same as it could in the months after you died.
When I look at my children, I want you to know that I always see 3 of you. You are always there with them. You will always be my first baby, the child of my heart. There will never be a day that goes by when I don't think of you, miss you, wish you were here with us.
Happy 7th Birthday, Matthew Chase!