Happy Birthday, sweet boy. (Sorry Joe, you’ll always be my sweet boy).
You would have been 25 today.
I am planning to hang out alone at a local park and just walk or listen to music. You liked parks. You and I walked many times to our neighborhood park to play guitar or just sit and talk. Sometimes we just needed to get out of the house… You probably would have preferred to be alone, but those last couple of years you needed a walking companion, and it was my privilege to be one of yours.
Our last park visit together was to Carbon Canyon Park in Brea. We parked the car, then walked a trail that led back behind the main park to a small secluded redwood grove. It was a 30-minute walk on a warm September day (2017, just two months before you left us), and it was almost too much for you. But the grove rewarded us with its own cool, shady microclimate, and we rested there and enjoyed the silence before heading back to the car.
So I will go to a park and probably shed a few tears, because I miss you. Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine. It’s just strange adjusting to life without you.
Tonight we will have one of your favorite meals: pulled pork sandwiches. And slaw, because veggies, and I’m mom. And peach pie.
And then we will drive Jamie to LAX—where she will board a plane to begin her year-long Ireland adventure. I know you would be so proud of her.
Happy Birthday once again, Buddy. I’m so thankful for the 24 years we had together. I am a better person because I knew you.