an anniversary of sorts – guest post

today is Nathaniel’s third birthday.  Alexandra had to remind me at dinner time.  There is a lot going on: Patti is in Toronto at a conference, I am trying to run my business and take care of all the kid details at the same time…

This is exactly what I don’t want to happen, and yet I feel it is inevitable.  I had a son.  I held him.  I kissed him.  Right now as I type, I can vividly see him in the dimly lit hospital room.  I remember where I was sitting and how I held him.  I remember the feelings of confusion and not knowing what to do, and not knowing how long I should hold him, and how quickly I should let him go.  I wish I had held him longer!  What I don’t want to do is forget all this.

Now three quick years later, my 8 year old asked what we were doing for his birthday… (For the last two years, we have gotten helium balloons and written on them with permanent markers and said a few wishes and let them go.)  I want to be the father of 8… 4 living and 4 have moved on…

Life has a way of moving on and focusing on the present realities, or even on present opportunities, but makes light of past actualities.  Things have happened that have defined me, have become a part of me, have taught me all about compassion in a way I wish I were still ignorant it… but in the here and now, I (we) focus on what is in front of us, or what is currently required of us.

In the first year since Nathaniel, not a day went by that I did not think of him.  Now three years later on his birthday, I did not think of him once, until I was reminded.  I guess that is how life goes, but I don’t like it… HE IS MY SON!



I miss you.  I see three year olds, and I know you would have been taller.  Your brothers and sisters were all big for their age.  I miss knowing who you would have become.  I miss knowing how much like your mom you were and how much like me.  In so many ways I am glad I got to hold you; to kiss you.  I’ve fought in my mind to keep you present in my mind and in my heart, but I haven’t done as well as I would have liked.

You are my son!  Nothing can take that away!  No matter how long you lived, you are my son.  No matter how well behaved, you are my son.  No matter what you attained, no matter what mistakes, no matter how hard you tried or how little, you are my son.  There is nothing that you could do to become more of a son, and there is nothing you could have done to become less of a son.  And so you get what sons (and daughters) get… my love.  My sons and daughters get all the love I have, unconditionally!  I know that you can see me from where you are and I know that you know my thoughts.

I love you.  Happy birthday.

Author: Patricia Culley

I'm the ringmaster of my own circus. Just trying to stay one step ahead of the monkeys.

3 thoughts on “an anniversary of sorts – guest post”

  1. Beautifully written, Jon.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Patti, and ALL your kids.
    Love Denver and Debbie

  2. Jon and Patti, we love you so much and love our Grandchildren. Everytime someone asks me about my grandchildren I also think about the ones who are already in heaven….Nathanial will always be apart our our lives… just as the others are…God bless you all and surround you with love and prayers. Love Papa Mark and Nana Karen xox

  3. Just saw your email to-night Jon one never knows what all is in some one elses heart. Thanks for sharing.We have one little one in Heaven as well as Connie who would have celebrated her 51st birthday to day . It is wonderful that God has created us in such a way that even tho we miss them He takes away the deep hurt,and we have the wonderful hope of seeing them again .Blessings on you all Love Grandma

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *