Bittersweet Birthdays…

I mentioned in the first post that one of our sons died in 2008. James was born on my 30th Birthday. That means each birthday I have is now bittersweet—even while I celebrate my life, I am reminded that our son is no longer here on earth to celebrate with me.

Under the theme of Journey2Wonder, I want to share a few reminisces that remind me of the WONDER that James brought into my life:

James' Chesire Smile

Everyone remembers James’ smile and his laugh. A friend joked that he was like the Chesire Cat–his smile stayed with her for hours, even after he left the room.

James was curious about everything. He was not just interested in a few things, but voraciously learned about anything and everything that caught his attention.

James loved animals. He coined the term “fauna-vert,” saying he did not recharge by time alone (introvert) or by time with other people (extrovert), but gained energy by time spent with animals.

James was a natural athlete. It seemed that any sport he put his mind to, he quickly became proficient. He was a competitive figure skater/ice dancer, but he was good at so much more. The last winter before he died, he mastered the basics of snowboarding, including the snowboarders “crouch.” He commented many times through the years how much he loved to FLY–on ice, on a bike, on snow…

Before I go on, I must make it clear. James was NOT a “saint.” He was sometimes a surly, back-talking teen. He picked on his younger siblings, and fought with his older ones. He constantly broke family rules about computer usage. He could be a very picky eater–and made those preferences loudly clear to those around him.

But, today I wanted to focus on the WONDER of James. And in his honor, I want to add a bit more of his brand of wonder to my own life in the coming year.

I want to smile (and laugh) more.

I want to remain curious, and learn more stories about the world around me.

I want to spend more time relaxed and resting, enjoying time with our various pets.

And I want to add more physical activity to my life. (I will NEVER be an athlete, but I remember a time James tried to teach me the “hickory hoedown” in a hotel parking lot. I think I had THREE left feet that day and I never did manage to do the compulsory ice dance pattern correctly, but we sure had fun trying and laughing together!)

Will you join me in celebrating a little of the WONDER my son pursued in his life?


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