The Bitter Sweetness of “Is” and “Should Be”

How hard it is to write a tribute today on what is my son’s 4oth birthday. Not because there are no words but because there is so much emotion. My heart is both filled with the joy of being Brandon’s mother and the loss of his presence. He should be here. We should be having his favorite meal, a cake and ice cream and jokes about being forty years old. The “is” of our reality outweighs the “shoulds.” I say “is” because no matter how long my son has been gone from this worldly life he still is. He is here in our hearts, in pictures, in memories, in conversation, in his art, in his written words, in videos, on our mantel in a framed photo surrounded by candles, in our tears and even in our laughter, he IS. The sweetness of his being is everywhere. His sweet, sweet spirit is in this place.

But while he is all of those things, he is no where to be seen in his physical being. I can’t touch his flesh or smell the sweat from his workouts, his fragrant colognes, or hear his gentle mellow voice, his silly outbursts of laughter, his ridiculous but spot on impersonations, or to hear his serious concerns about life and its problems, his dreams and all he had hoped to be. All of the “should have beens.” Life stopped short on March 6, 2009. Some say by his own hand. I say not. He was a fearless warrior with a sensitive heart. He was unstoppable in all that he pursued. He loved deeply, he gave generously, he is all a mother and father could ever hope for in a son. His love lives on and very much IS.

While I acknowledge the ‘should have beens’ (sic) that can never be, I realize as a Christian that life never ends. It is constant and eternal. Brandon is ever present with our Heavenly Father. He was a Believer and what that means is he believes in Christ Jesus as his Savior. Because of his belief in Jesus he, as a flawed being was forgiven of all of the sins that separated him from the Father. This is what is truly the core belief of all Christian denominations no matter what ways and styles of worship that may separate us. I am living daily in the hope that I will be reunited with my sweet son. It will be glorious and I am eager.

The “is” of earth is nothing compared to the “is” of Heaven.

Happy 40th Birthday to the most wonderful son ever. You are my sonshine. The celebration of your life continues here and there.


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