Every year on our son’s Heavenly Birthday I write a poem in his honor. My birthday present to him. It’s my way of honoring his legacy of love and the multitude of lessons he left behind: in the hopes that, ‘because we knew him,’ we can strive to live an even fuller, more joyous life than the year before.
I do this – not for sympathy, not even for empathy. But for love and love alone. Grief is a part of life because it’s a measure of how we love. And love is the very essence of life. It is our deepest most healing breath we give unto ourselves and to others. Therefore, on his Heavenly Birthday, I pause and take a deep, deep breath to celebrate a precious life.
At Preston’s funeral we released a sea of green balloons into a brilliant blue December sky – our way of metaphorically sending him off. Bagpipes played Amazing Grace as everyone tried, through emotionally overcome utterances, to say our final goodbyes. Echoes of “I Love You” served as a backdrop to the bagpipes as the green balloons disappeared into the heavens. And we attempted to begin again.
All this, and more, so much more…is a smidgen of what I’m trying to capture in my memoir. With a little help from my angel up above.
HAPPY HEAVENLY BIRTHDAY, PRESTON.
I love you…always and forever.
Go with the wind,
be carried on the gentlest breeze
Atop a sea of green balloons
that blind us with their bitter light
Toward down-filled clouds floating
on a canvas painted heavenly blue
Carefree as a bird,
lifted by the span of your wings
heightened by the scope of your love
Beyond all valleys where preconceived notions lie
up, to the highest peaks where humanity abounds
Take your precious soul to
where rainbows begin and end
Past stormy seas and endless nights
to the dawning of an everlasting light
To your heart’s content
my beloved one
You are, at last, eternally free