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#4 Twenty-One Today... Happy Birthday Kiddo. This one is for you.

Oh, my dear Quincy. Today is your birthday. We have been through the "year of firsts" without you. While it doesn't seem to hurt any less today, there are some unknowns that we got to experience last year, so there is a titch of hope here for today. We know what was helpful last year, and we also know what was just too much for our hearts to take. We also know that those feelings might change without notice, and that's ok too! We are trying again today! And we will keep trying on every birthday...(and every day).

Last year I bought you a present. It hurt because it was for you, and you weren't here to give it to. It's sitting on a shelf I that have for you. I don't like to look at it. I will take it away from my sight today.

Piper got your 51-tattoo last year on your birthday...And that felt oh-so-good for all of us (even her, in her needle pain :)

-What I learned in my year of firsts was: That it feels good for me to get presents for your brother and sister that KEEPS YOU IN MIND! So, for this birthday I went with your love of basketball and your love of basketball shoes. I smiled and giggled picking out Joe and Piper's shoes...for you (-from you- to them-). It gave me JOY. And I will take it :)

They will arrive today (and if they don't arrive, as I tried to finagle shipping for your day); well, if Piper and Joe read this post first, then I guess the surprise is blown :)

Today you are 21. I can imagine with smiles (and grimaces, heheh) what it might have looked like. We found out after your death that you were the go-to kid for those fake IDs-yep, we found out :) Silly boy... How fun and sneaky of you. "Take-no-illegal-risks"... ahhhh, well you did a good job of letting your parents think you could "do-no-wrong." Well done <3

I don't think you mind that we got to learn some things about you. In fact, I can see you smiling and laughing as we learn about them...

I am so proud of you, for all of the things. Every.Single.Thing. Sometimes I struggle with understanding if you knew that for certain... So I will tell you here...again :)

Today I am (soft) launching your project site. Happy Birthday! To you and For YOU on your 21st birthday. I have worked for about a year on it and had some major help along the way. But doing this project for you and kicking my booty into gear in order to have it (semi)ready for your birthday, has given me a ton of hope and super-cool hobbies, that I very much needed to find!

I learned to code, I bought an industrial etcher and learned to engrave. I inadvertently got connected to help resources (by accident? I think it was you)... I reached out to important-people-to-me, that I haven't seen in quite some time. I am rebuilding relationships through your project, something I have desperately needed to start gaining some footing in... So, through this project, you yourself have given me so much strength and a help in a drive that slipped this last almost 15 months. And I'll take that all-and I know its from you.

Your physical body leaving definitely knocked me down, but your spirit is pulling me right back up. Thank you. <3 <3 <3

THANK YOU QUINCY for planting this project seed in me. Thank you for all of the ideas and helpers along the way. Thank you for all of your signals and gentle nudges: I feel them.

Happy happy birthday, kiddo. I'll have some of your nasty Raspberry vodka for you, that I heard about. Gross.

Big, sloppy, smoochies to you...


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