Today, June 27, 2010, is a special day – it is Kirk’s 23rd birthday. It also marks (and I actually had to count this on my calendar) eight weeks since Kirk’s passing. Mickey and I never thought we would have to experience something like this and as you all can imagine, it has been extremely difficult. We also know it has been difficult for you, his friends and other family members, who were blessed to have known Kirk. Your prayers, visits, emails, Facebook postings and love have helped us more than you could ever know and we know you are supporting each other through this time.
I have a friend who lost her 34 year old son the other week to leukemia. We both discussed how hard it is losing your child. She told me that she was telling her son’s wife that the first year after his passing will be a year of “firsts”, first Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, first birthday, first Christmas, etc. since he’s been gone. I remember Kirk’s first steps, the first time Kirk rode his bike, the first time Kirk sat on the kitchen counter with me while I was cutting onions and picked up the onion and took a bite out of it – and actually liked it! I remember shopping trips with Kirk buying him things because once he got older, I couldn’t pick out things he would like! I remember riding in the car with Kirk going to Holy Trinity School in the morning and we sang the theme song from the show Friends – and thought how goofy we were! I remember the time Kirk had surgery on his “private area” and looked forward to going back to high school and talking about getting his “nuts cut”. I remember Kirk’s love for Spaghetti O’s and how he didn’t even want them heated up, he would eat them out of the can … a mother’s joy because I didn’t even have to worry about cooking! I remember taking Kirk to the Admirals hockey games and sitting in the end section and he would fall asleep behind the top row of seats. I remember crying on the sidelines on the Granby soccer game when Kirk scored his first goal!! I remember Kirk’s “blankie” and when he had his blankie, his thumb would go right in his mouth and he would be comforted. I remember that even when he got older – he didn’t want to let that blankie go! I remember Kirk building Legos and sitting for hours playing with them. I remember Mickey and I putting those Legos together with Kirk and having such a great time. I remember our trip to Michigan and New York and Kirk sleeping in the back of our pickup truck. We crossed the border into Canada and got searched. When they found Kirk in the back of the truck, I know they thought we kidnapped him! I remember Kirk hitting a pole with my Expedition and his hesitation to come home fearing the worst! I remember Kirk’s smile, Kirk’s walk, Kirk’s “you’re being a pain in ass” look, Kirk’s goofy look, and Kirk’s hug.
When I think of him, tears fill my eyes and I think Kirk is probably thinking, “mom, get a grip” and I smile and try my best! It is hard to think of him and not cry, tears of sadness that while I am on earth, I won’t get hear his voice or see his smile! But, what I do know is that he is in such a great place and that God felt that Kirk fulfilled his plan here on Earth since he called him back to Heaven. In that I find comfort. I know we are all here on this earth temporarily, that our life is a gift and to use it wisely while we have it. So, I try to not cry EVERY time I think of Kirk, but to smile and be thankful that Mickey and I had the gift of Kirk for as long as we did. I know he wouldn’t want us to be sad, but it sure is hard not to be.
As we celebrate Kirk’s birthday, celebrate life. Take care of yourself, be kind to one another and make sure the people in your life know that you love them. The last words both Mickey and I said to Kirk were “I love you” and we both hugged him as we departed on our trip. He hugged us both and smiled as his dad told him to be safe. We know that Kirk knew he was loved and that he loved us. What a gift! As we move on with our lives, we know that our life was made better through Kirk and he touched each and every one of us in his own special way. Remember the good times and shoot, remember the bad times with him too, because all of the times with Kirk were what made Kirk – Kirk!