Happy Birthday, Daniel

It's hard to fathom that we went our separate ways 21 years ago. I wonder if you are aware just how much I think of you, always with love.  I imagine you in your daily life but in reality I realize that I'm probably way off in my imaginary world. This happens every year as your birthday and mine ride arm in arm, back to back.

We stared at each other for such a long time, drinking in every little detail; every fine feature as if cataloging each item into a little memory byte for future recall. Finally, when the moment came and we parted, I thought my guts would come unglued from sobbing until there weren't any more tears. Guttural groans rose up inside of me like bile before a violent flu reaction. It wasn't nice. It didn't feel good at all. But it was right. Oh, I questioned myself repeatedly for days following our parting. Was this the right decision? What could I offer you besides unconditional love?

In my mind and on paper I wrote prose and poetry exclaiming my love for you. Have you ever read them? Did I ever give them to you? I loved seeing pictures of you on occasion or hearing of your life's activities proving that you were well and happy. I could never have imaged that this is where I would be when I tried to look ahead all those years ago.

You came along in a very tumultuous time in my life.  Nothing was going as planned because there really wasn't a good plan. I lived in a chaotic place trying to make sense of nonsense. Believing lies instead of seeking truth. I ran after every whim of empty promises and moments of happiness that blew my way. Where was my foundation? Crumbling underneath me. I never knew that I was struggling in denial of codependency. I really didn't know that this wasn't the way everyone lived.  I couldn't figure out how to rise above my circumstances so I wallowed and played and stomped around in the mud waiting for the next big promise to come along.

The decision I had to make was just about the most difficult one I've ever made, but it was the first step in doing the 'next right thing'. I chose your parents with great deliberation and love.   I prayed for direction and wisdom and received strength to carry out and carry on when I wanted to just throw my hands up and say "I changed my mind!". I longed for you to experience what I had known with siblings and sharing with others and not necessarily being the king of the house. I hope you know what I mean by that. :)

Today, I recalled the words from your grandfather who thanked me for such a great gift in their lives. In my heart I thank God for allowing me to hear those words and be encouraged by the decision I made so long ago.

Happy Birthday, Daniel. I pray that someday you will know for sure just how much I've loved and prayed for you all these twenty-one years. May you walk with God as you mature into the man He always planned for you to be.

He has shown all you people what is good.
   And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
   and to walk humbly with your God. 

Micah 6:8