Gideon isn't some sad thing that happened.
He isn't an unfortunate circumstance.
He is our son. A little boy. Someone who we love. And he also died.
His 5th birthday is coming up soon, on May 17th. That day is also mine and Todd's 13th wedding anniversary. On his birthday we choose to remember him. Not with sadness, but with thankfulness that he is our son. With thankfulness and gladness that he changed us in more ways than I can count. With gratefulness that his story is still touching people and God is using him to change lives.
If you choose to only focus on the sadness of his death and not the blessing of his life, that is not my fault. It is not my fault that you cannot see the joy and the good that Gideon has given us. You are missing out on a huge blessing by seeing him only in the terms of his death. Yet you should look at him and all the ways his life is beautiful.
It is not my fault that you cannot come to terms with grief. It is your problem because you don't like to feel uncomfortable in your pain so you push it aside. You cannot deal with pain so you ignore it. I honor the lives of those who have died by being real and honest about my feelings. I choose to remember their lives. I will always remember the incredible life of Gideon.
His earthy 33 weeks and his eternal life are marked with immeasurable beauty.
Yes, I miss him and yes it breaks my heart that he isn't here. However, mostly I am thankful to the Lord that I got to have him for those 33 weeks and that he is always mine.
I have some people in our lives who have chosen on their own to only acknowledge our anniversary on May 17th and to completely ignore his birthday. These people will tell us "happy anniversary" but say nothing of him, yet, they know that May 17th is his birthday. Don't take it upon yourself to decide that it is too sad to recognize his birthday and to focus on only the happy part of that day. Don't you realize that those 2 cannot be separate? May 17th is forever both.
They ignore his birthday and in essence, they ignore him.
That is not ok with me. It is not ok to treat my son as if he didn't exist. As if he doesn't matter.
It is a day to be celebrated, because on that day May 17, 2003, when we got married, it was the day that was the beginning to the fateful and life changing day on May 17, 2011. When you choose to just tell me happy anniversary you are spitting in the face of the love that his life created. By doing so, you are telling me that he didn't matter at all. I cannot and will not accept that. He mattered and he still does.
You don't get to choose what I celebrate that day.
So don't ignore him. Don't pretend like he isn't a person. Don't pretend like it is only our anniversary. It is not. If you don't want to acknowledge him, then say nothing to me that day. I would rather have silence from you than to hear just "happy anniversary."
Some may see it as dwelling. But if your child died, and you still wanted to remember them, would that be dwelling? If your mother or father died, would you stop talking about them? No. You would tell stories of them and remember them on holidays and on their birthdays. So I do that with our son.
He is our son. He is a grandson, a nephew, a cousin. He is a big brother.
He deserves to be remembered.
That date. May 17 is one of the most pivotal dates in our life as a family. We get to decide how to celebrate it.
No one else.