The Big Guy Turns 19 or A Letter To My Son  

Posted by Heidi in

Dear Son,

Today you turned nineteen. As your birthday approached, there were things I wished I could say. Because of the challenges that afflict your body, bind your mind and wrack your soul I knew you would not understand. Or understand all too well. My words would be slings and arrows when I would have them be a firm foundation for the kind of communication we can never have on earth.

Still, the words spill out of me with no place to go.

As other boys your age move on to college, jobs and missions, you sit at home wondering what your future has in store. You know that you will never serve a full time mission, attend college or be a husband and father. All your hopes and dreams are centered on a future that has no shape because the shape of today is intolerable.

It’s the answer to this question that I would give you as a birthday gift. Maybe one day, in this life or the next, you will be able to open this gift with joy and understanding.

You are here to be my teacher.

First, you taught me what it means to experience the kind of love that exists only between a mother and her child. Sometimes I thought I would expire from sheer elation. Sometimes I thought I would expire from sheer exhaustion. Both could claim Mother Love to be their sire.

You grew older and developed health problems; you taught me patience, tolerance and long-suffering. As time went by and all I could do was not enough, you taught me sacrifice, charity and what it truly means to forget one’s self and get to work.

More time went by. I yearned, with every fiber of my soul–would have given every fiber of my soul–to have you whole. But you never were. Meanwhile, you taught me what is truly important in this world and quite frankly, what is not.

Most of all, you have taught me what it means to align my will with that of God, to know that, in every case, His ways, His means, His timetable, His truth are all there is that is worth having. I know that if I am ever to have all that He has, I had to have you.

You, my son, are a teacher, and the gift of learning has no price.

(This was originally posted at Bloggers Annex--most of you have read it but in light of the Big Guy's birthday, I thought it was appropriate to post it here. Thank you for your indulgence.)

This entry was posted on Saturday, November 8, 2008 at Saturday, November 08, 2008 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

23 wise, witty and wonderful comments

Happy Birthday Michael! Please tell him we say Happy Birthday and we love him!

November 8, 2008 at 10:11 PM

Thanks Jenny! So sweet!

November 9, 2008 at 7:44 AM

You are an example of staying positive through what has to be a hard experience. I like you way you wrote about needed to have your Big Guy if you ever wanted to have what God has. We do learn from hard things. I am glad I cyber-know you.

November 9, 2008 at 1:54 PM

Sorry for all of the grammatical errors. Hope you got my drift!

November 9, 2008 at 1:55 PM

Thanks so much, Kazzy! I'm glad I cyper-know you too!

November 9, 2008 at 4:40 PM

Such a beautiful letter, Heidi.

November 9, 2008 at 5:21 PM

Beautiful letter. I can feel your love for your son. He has his place. A place that at times may seem frustrating and hard but a place that has purpose, teaching and unconditional love. I am sure that over the 19 years you have shared wonderful moments filled with joy.
I wish you many more.

November 9, 2008 at 5:35 PM

This is such a beautiful letter, I'm glad I'm reading it again!

November 9, 2008 at 7:21 PM

This one made me want to cry thinking about my own sister and her challenges and all the things she'll never have on this earth. Beautifully written! I hope he had a great birthday!

By the way, I'm totally not ignoring the award you gave me awhile back. I'm waiting to put it into a certain post. Thanks!

November 9, 2008 at 7:58 PM

What a beautiful touching post.

November 9, 2008 at 9:00 PM

Thanks Kim, Jen, Jenkins and Yoli and Alyson, not to worry! But thanks for saying so.

November 9, 2008 at 11:08 PM

Happy birthday to the big guy! That was/is very beautiful!

November 10, 2008 at 1:09 PM

Thanks so much Eowyn!

November 10, 2008 at 3:10 PM

To have been through what you have and yet maintain your wonderful spirit, obvious kindness and fabulous sense of humor is a tribute to your strength, character and formidable faith.

Michael is a very lucky big guy indeed.

Happy birthday to him! And blessings to you, Heidi.

November 10, 2008 at 8:33 PM

AJ--thank you so much! Your words mean a lot ot me. The women in your life are lucky gals. But, I have to ask, Michael who? (many people wonder why I don't name my kids but the clues are there for those who look for them).

November 10, 2008 at 9:38 PM

Oops! I guess my first commentor spilled the beans in this case. (Is my face red?)

November 10, 2008 at 9:48 PM

Nooo...I think it's *my* face that's red! I didn't realize it wasn't common knowledge! Sorreeee!

And and was all Jenny's fault! Yeah...Jenny made me do it!

But heck, what am I apologizing for? I coulda figured it out. I'm like reeeeely smart.


November 10, 2008 at 10:14 PM

AJ--you're right--clearly Jenny made you do it. She's really bad that way. But note how I assumed you figured it out on your own?

November 11, 2008 at 7:28 AM

Just kidding, Jenny!

November 11, 2008 at 7:29 AM

Never read it, but I love it. Thanks for sharing your heart here today :)

November 12, 2008 at 11:01 AM

Thanks, Mrs. I really appreciate everyone's kind and supportive comments. :)

November 12, 2008 at 11:34 AM

That was beautiful, I mean really beautiful. Michael is 19 huh? I wonder what he looks like these days. I can picture him as the little baby/toddler he was then. It is weird how I can remember things like that, but I can see his little face clearly! Such a cute little guy.
Beautiful letter Heidi!

November 13, 2008 at 11:18 PM

Such a heartfelt letter, Heidi, and so beautifully and simply expressed.
My wishes come late, hope the day was wonderful for the Big Guy.


November 14, 2008 at 8:47 PM

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