Sunday, July 21, 2013

what would've been

After a grueling pregnancy where I was hospitalized twice,
my beautiful, perfect firstborn son ~ Philip Thomas ~ emerged into this
 world on July 21, 1988.


He was an energetic, happy, tow headed little boy that loved books, Legos,
soccer, Cub Scouts, his little brother, fishing, and playing outside.


Phil had some struggles in high school due to depression and low self-
esteem, but had a group of close friends, had a great student-teacher
relationship with his algebra teacher, and graduated high school with a
very high ACT score and plans to start attending community college.


But, life doesn't always work out as we plan - or even hope and pray for.
I could write a ton about this and give you many details, but to keep it
in a (tiny) nutshell, with Phil's depression and maybe some other mental
demons that plagued him too, he turned to drugs and alcohol to numb his pain.

This is what ended his way-too-young life at the age of 21.
 

 My beautiful boy would've been 25 years old today. A young man with
a future and hope. I can't help but wonder what he'd be like today ~
would he be working or going to school, or maybe both? Would he still
live at home or be out on his own? Maybe he'd have a lovely girlfriend.
Some of his friends are already married and a couple even have babies.

The three of us - me, Brian, and Tim - chose to celebrate Phil's birthday today
 in our own quiet way. We went to the grave site with a quilt, sandwiches, and
water bottles. We spread out the quilt by my dad's and Phil's grave (Phil's ashes
are buried at the foot of my dad's grave) and picnicked in the sun, sharing memories
of Phil and talking about life and death and perhaps what happens after we die....
what the Bible says, what we believe, what we don't believe, what some others believe.

This I know for sure: that life is too short. That 21 years with your child
isn't enough. There should've been a lot more happy birthdays.

29 comments:

  1. Melanie,

    My heart aches for you and your family in the loss of your precious son. No Mother should have to bury their child. It's hard to try to find any words of encouragement to say. I've not been there so I can't say that I know how you feel. All I can say is I'm so sorry for your loss and pray God's peace and blessings on you.

    Xoxo
    Judy

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    1. Thank you for your love, kindness, and support Judy. It truly means a lot to me.

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  3. Mel, I know this was so very difficult to write and this has been and up and down day for you. Nothing can replace your love for your son or make the loss easier. I do think you are a perfect example of grace, dignity and spirit. May you always keep moving forward with love in your heart and the openness to share it.

    XO,
    Jane

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    1. Wow, Jane...that's beautiful. Thank you for your friendship, love, and support.

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  4. Very sad Melanie . . . such a beautiful post. Happy Birthday to you mom as you celebrate your sons birth.

    (It is my youngest grandsons birthday today.)

    I can't imagine the sorrow you must feel . . . I will continue to keep you in my caring.

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  5. My heart goes out to you. I do not know what it is like to lose a child, but I have lost two grandchildren and you are right life is too short. God Bless You.

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    1. Thank you, Betty. I'm so sorry that you have lost grandchildren. I know how much my mother (as a grandmother to Phil) suffers, too.

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  6. Reading your post put my own life into perspective. We have been sad about the loss of our beloved dog on Thursday. But, I can't even imagine what you went through, and continue to go through, by losing a child. My heart reaches out to you and your family. I love how you chose to spend the day and that you can write about it.

    God bless!

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    1. Thank you, Carol for such kind words, but I also understand about grieving for a pet. I know you can't compare the two, but grieving for a pet also hurts very much.

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  7. Your loss will never go away but the way you choose to celebrate his life is lovely. Only one who has lost a child could begin to understand your pain and I don't pretend too, but my heart goes out to you and your family. Thank you for sharing this very personal day with us.
    hugs,
    Linda

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    1. Thanks, Linda. That was a hard post to write.

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  8. Dear Melanie,
    As you know, I joined the circle of moms who have lost sons just a couple of months ago. This post was written so beautifully and conveyed to us.. how much you love and miss your son. I send you blessings for your family and hope that you all can get comfort in celebrating his life in your own way.
    This post really touched me.
    Love to you all, Balisha

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    1. Thank you for your blessings, Balisha. No parent should have to bury their child. It just isn't right and doesn't make any sense. Love and hugs right back to you, my friend!

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  9. Melanie, I am so sorry. My in-laws lost their older son at 17 in an accident and I know first-hand the difficulties parents in your shoes can face. Happy birthday to Phil and hugs to all of you.

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    1. Thank you so much for your compassion, Jennifer.

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  10. I am so sorry for the loss of your son. You chose a beautiful way to celebrate his birthday and remember his life. I hope the memories you have will always give you comfort.

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    1. Indeed they do. Thank you, "Grammy Goodwill".

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  11. Yes, there should been a lot more birthdays. I know this day is so painful for you all and you miss Phil so much. Just praying peace and some sunny times ahead for you.

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    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Rhonda.

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  12. Hi Melanie;
    What to say to such a touching post as this! No words can express what I feel in my heart for you and your family. Phil is at last at peace and no longer has to fight whatever demons were plaguing him. My love to you all, Nana

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    1. Thank you, Nana for your love and support.

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  13. Hugs to you Melanie on this day. I know it has been a hard day for you and your family. Life seems so unfair at times. I pray that you find comfort today.

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  14. Dear Melanie,

    Firstly, I'm sorry I missed this post on the anniversary of Phil's 25th birthday. Secondly, I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and healing process that is necessary in dealing with such a loss. You must be a very strong willed, courageous and loving person, Melanie. I thank you for sharing your feelings, educating and informing as well as you can with regards to this dreadful drug epidemic and for your sensitive and sincere words. I have just come from reading your latest post, and am touched by your generosity of spirit and down to earth eloquence.

    Poppy

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    1. Thank you so much, Poppy for taking the time to leave such a beautiful comment.

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  15. they say there is healing in sharing...to one self but also to others...thank you for showing your vulnerability in your openness....i still struggle with this...

    i read your last post on down to earth's blog and could relate with your thoughts and feelings:-) ....sonja

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I read and appreciate every comment!