Today, my precious, fragile, beautiful first born son, Brendan Bjorn, turns 14 years old.
And I am in awe of him. I know many parents might say that about their child. We are certainly not an objective group. But I truly am in awe of my son. Despite all of his challenges, the physical pain, the hardships – he loves. He is love. He exudes love as he looks up at me and that smile grows ever bigger while his blue eyes work their way into a smiling squint.
And you can just feel the unconditional love of the angel that is him.
Yesterday, I made a video (see here) to celebrate his journey thus far. As I rummaged through the plastic storage box which holds memories from his early days, I was brought to my knees.
My old journal that I started on January 30, 2004 – the day I found out I was pregnant with him.
Photos of me every month as I grew bigger with a child I had no idea would take me on this journey.
October 1, 2004.
I still wish that I could look back at those photos and have it not be bittersweet, but rather just be sweet. But, it isn’t. After 4 miscarriages, to give birth to a child that the doctor tells you is perfectly healthy, is total elation! But, to look back at those photos 14 years later – with the often cruel wisdom of hindsight – and see your former self reflected back at you now…it is different. It is bittersweet. Because the me from today knows what the me from that glorious day didn’t know: That within a month’s time, my world would come crashing down as my perfectly healthy baby boy was diagnosed with severe brain damage from congenital CMV (cytomegalovirus).
October 1, 2018.
Today is a new day. My warrior angel Brendan Bjorn lies sleeping peacefully in the room next to me as I type out my thoughts in this blog. I will soon go into his room, give him the morning round of kisses and cuddles, and receive that gift that is Brendan. Like I said above, it is me who receives the biggest gift today. Later, his brother Declan and I will bring in his balloons (which are absolutely huge!) and sing happy birthday to the other half of our hearts…and I will continue to mask my worry and fear that how in a week from today, Brendan will be undergoing his biggest battle yet in the form of a spinal fusion.
Yes, today is about celebration! I wish all of you reading this could feel the love in the room that he radiates to all near him. Hopefully the birthday video will give you all a glimpse into the blessing that is Brendan Bjorn.
Happy 14th birthday, my angel, my baby boy, Brendan Bjorn!