Thirteen. 13. A Teen.

Thirteen. 13. A Teen.


It feels as awkward rolling off my tongue as it actually is to be thirteen.

It’s hard to fathom, really, the possibility of Charlie being here and being thirteen. Waking up with scruffy hair on his head and a hint of facial hair. He would surely talk back to me with a cracking voice and when he might smile, the little boy in him would likely peek through every so often. He would have an attitude like he’s either king of the world or the most sullen teen who ever lived.

Lived. If only he’d lived.


Damn, there are so many things I would have — WE would have — done. All of us. Together.

If only…

If only the good didn’t die young. If only God didn’t take the best angels first. If only bad things didn’t happen to good people. If only we had prayed more, gotten him to the hospital sooner, been more vigilant, hoped more. If only we had waited one more day to let him go so we could have one more day of touching him. If only we had gotten a miracle. If only I knew why… If only. If only. IF ONLY.

Here we are, though, at another birthday. Another “trip around the sun” that will never actually happen. But he IS the sun. He IS the clouds. He IS the moon and the stars and the air that fills my lungs. He is everywhere.

Forever, he may not be here, but he’s everywhere.

Thank you, Charlie, for making me a Mom. For showing me that I’m stronger than I ever thought I could be. And please keep showing me daily that you’re always with me.

Happy 13th birthday, baby boy. 

I Love Me


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  1. Linda Sheridan says:

    Love to you and Charlie. Everything happens for a reason, but this, by far, is the hardest to imagine.
    Seeing him on the other side is a comfort , but missing him every second on this side is heartbreaking.
    Love, Linda Sheridan.

  2. Oh sweet friend, the if onlys …
    But he is everywhere – and always in your heart … virtual hugs, and much love xxxx

  3. Veronica says:

    Oh Jana, you have suffered the greatest loss and live with the heaviest grief. Thinking of you and your precious first born today.

  4. Happy birthday, sweet Charlie. Your mama is one incredible and strong woman.

    Jana, love, all the if onlys hurt my heart for you. You love your baby boy with all your heart and he knew that while he was here and knows it now. xo
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  5. Thinking of you and sending hugs your way as you celebrate Charlie!

  6. grandemocha says:

    So sorry you lost your Charlie. Hugs!

  7. I didn’t know Charlie’s story until today.
    And now I don’t know what to say except my heart is with you, Jana. This was beautiful.

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