He would be 20…..

Some years I’m fine. Most years I’m fine. This year, not so much. Today is my baby boy Brandon’s 20th birthday. Most parents look back at the day their child was born and recall all the wonderful memories leading up to the big moment, the birth of their beloved child. We don’t have the luxury of such memories. That day 20 years ago was a bit of excitement mixed with the unbearable fear of what would lie ahead. Inside me, we knew he was safe. Inside me, we knew he was alive. Inside me, he could hear my voice and feel my love. He was about to leave me, and enter a world where I could do no more for him. My Brandon was born today. I didn’t get to hear him cry. I didn’t get to hold him in my arms. I didn’t get to kiss him or love on him as he was whisked away from me and transported to another hospital. I have no warm fuzzy moments. I have no fond memories. When I look back I experience fear, anguish, sadness, and everything negative you can even imagine. So I just allow myself, seconds of flashbacks and then concentrate on the gifts I have received as a result of my son’s birth. I got to experience a love like I never knew existed before for a human being that offered nothing in return except his life, his soul, his existence. I have a faith that is stronger than ever. I have a loving husband that has not only traveled this journey with me but has been there by my side every single day. Most couples don’t survive that. I have a wonderful son, who I am extremely proud. I have family and friends who have been there to support us and still do. I have felt the true power of prayer. I am grateful God chose me to be his vessel to transport this boy into this world. I have a story to share with others and a book that can help others too. I have so much and have become so much, that how could I ever complain? I’ve come to terms with the fact that Brandon’s journey in this life was 29 days. No more, no less. I do not allow myself to wonder, what would he be like? What would he look like? Those questions are not only futile, but painful. I don’t look back much. I don’t belong there anymore. As my friend Amy Geier Travis says: “you can go back and visit… you just can’t live there.” That is so true. When I go back..I just take a peek through the window and tearfully scamper away. To stay any longer might allow the grief to hold me prisoner. That is not an option. I want to thank Fr. Chuck McGinnis for offering his Mass this morning for my Brandon and for the family and friends who remembered this day. Your thoughts and love are helping me more than you know. MY MAIN MESSAGE though is to say, LOVE never dies. You CAN survive and a BEAUTIFUL life is possible. I am living it, and you can too. My son’s journey is his. My journey continues. I am just allowing myself a little time to visit and honor that part of my journey in this thing called life. If you know of someone going through a rough time, reach out to them. offer them a real hug, send them a card, call them on the phone, share a favorite memory with them and never be afraid to mention the name of their loved one. They never get to hear it anymore and it is music to their ears. #inspirationista #howcanihelp

Sherrie Dunlevy is an author, speaker and Inspirationista. For more information, to order her best selling book “How Can I Help?” or to hire Sherrie to speak at your conference, workshop or special event go to www.SherrieDunlevy.com or contact her at SherrieDunlevy@gmail.com

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