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I should be....

I am prefacing this article with a note. Most usually, the things I write come out with strength and hope at the end, because that is how I feel most of the time. And truly, even tonight, I feel that way. But when I was trying to write this, no matter what I did, this would not come out hopeful at the end. Only sad. Perhaps it was because my oldest son, after he went to bed, started crying uncontrollably, and sat in my lap for 30 minutes, crying over Joey tonight. He never, ever does that. Or perhaps it is because, for the most part, I have had a pretty decent day.... for a birthday. Few tears, a quavering voice at times, but not one breakdown. Maybe this is how my heart chooses to release those sad thoughts. I gave this to Bill to read, which I rarely do nowadays (or even in the past, I guess for him and me it was just something not done). But occasionally I want to have someone tell me if I make any sense. When he read it, he cried, another extreme rarity. So I am warning you that this piece may be hard to read for some. Tomorrow I will have hope again. But for now, I am sad. And that is okay. Read on, if you feel up to it. It may not be a finished work, but for now it is enough.

by Lisa Sculley
mother of Joey 7/16/92 to 10/7/92
Billy 10/14/87
Michael 7/7/89
written on Joey's 6th Birthday, 7/16/98

7/16/98

I should be....

Your big brother turned nine a few days ago. For his birthday, he got a brand new bike. All the chrome was so shiny; that bike was so slick! It even had gold trimming on it, so different from most of the other boy's bikes I have seen!

I remember buying both Billy and Michael their very first "big kid" bike. No training wheels, please!! They were both about six when they graduated to a two wheel bike. And as their Daddy helped them peddle those first few times, I remember thinking how big and grown up they had become. I remember thinking how fast time flies, and that we don't have them little very long. And I shed a tear or two.

I walked by the bikes in the store a few days after Michael's birthday, wondering what kind of bike you would like. Would you like neat gold trim like Michael? Would you want something red and racy? Would you want one of those silly bike horns that both your brothers loved at the age of six?

I should be out buying you a real, honest-to-God two wheel, big-boy bike this year. I should be planning your first big-boy party, complete with games and big-boy prizes. I should be planning that "perfect" cake for you. (Would you like race cars, or would you rather have a Godzilla cake for your party?) I should be telling all your friends to buy you GI Joe action figures, and cool Matchbox cars, or your first Tee-Ball set.

Instead I look for a miniature Godzilla, not too big, so that it can fit on your headstone. Instead, I prepare the flowers for your urn. Instead, I buy Fried Chicken for a quiet family dinner. Instead of watching you blow out six candles (and one to grow on), I place a plastic candle on a ceramic birthday cake, and place a ceramic birthday card on your grave. And instead of singing" Happy Birthday" with loud, merry children who cant wait to dig into your cake and ice cream, I sing "Happy Birthday" quietly with your two brothers by my side, my voice quavering with emotion.

If life were only fair, you would be here with me, and this would only be a dream. I miss you my boy. I always will.

Lisa Sculley
7/16/92 to 10/7/92
written on Joey's 6th Birthday, 7/16/98

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