Today is your day, Vincent. Happy birthday! We’ve got cake, presents, and a song for you. Your mom, brothers and I are ready to celebrate.
For the past two and a half years, your memory has been mostly about me. It’s been about my loss, my sorrow, my questions, and my feelings. My thoughts about you often became more about my own grieving process, which isn’t always a bad thing.
But today is different, Vincent.
You are the star of the show today. You are a special kid, not because of how we felt when you got cancer and had to leave us, or because of how much we’ve missed you since, but simply because you are a gift. Always were and still are. We didn’t make you or give you breath. You were given to us. All we did was receive you and pick your name.
So today is not about me, Vincent. This birthday celebration is all yours. Four years ago, we welcomed you into our family. You were incredibly perceptive from the beginning, recognizing faces and knowing exactly what you could get from each one. You were an inquisitive learner, always studying your surroundings with intense wonder. You were joyful and relational, eager to pull Theo’s hair or hand your magnetic letters to anyone nearby.
It’s incredible how much Andre resembles you, your face, your voice, your lack of hair–not unlike the way you resemble Theo. We can only speculate on what you would look like at age four, but it’s not super hard to guess.
Forever the middle brother, you are today’s center of attention.
Happy birthday, kiddo.