On Brennan’s 4th Birthday

Dear Brennan,

The lateness of this letter just goes to show it is not only subsequent children that get the brunt of mom’s scattered brain at times… Happy 4th Birthday! This year, we celebrated your birthday on house arrest due to coronavirus but we still made it a great day with cinnamon buns, an egg-free cake, and a new swing set! This has been your healthiest year yet with only monitoring a few kidney-related things via bloodwork. We are so incredibly proud of what you overcome each day.

In your fourth year, we welcomed baby Declan, we moved to Fort Leavenworth, then realized we simply couldn’t leave and bought a home in Kansas City. While those were the highlights, we also bore the untimely passing of our beloved Pop-Pop together. He got to come for the biggest Army ceremony Daddy will have (now that we know he’s getting out of the active duty Army) and be the first guest to stay in our home. Thanks to God’s mercy, his illness was swift, and through my grief I thought I would bare the brunt of this new reality mostly with daddy. Interestingly, that has not been the case. You are careful to ask about where we go when we die, and often remind me to pray for Pop-Pop’s soul. Gentle reminders of books he read and toys he bought you is like a singular tear, falling into the ocean—sad at first, but soon ripples into stillness and peace. I cannot adequately express how much your mere existence meant to him therefore making you all the more special.

You know your letters and numbers (to 29) and can pray the Ave Maria, Gloria Patri, and Salve Regina. You get antsy when we forget to pray the Rosary and remind me to say “yes, not yeah mommy, we’re not white trash”. You hate communism and ice cream and love guns and babies. You want 18 more brothers and sisters. Your biggest fears are going to Heaven without your stuffed animals and that mommy will forget you love her (I won’t, but I’m not going to complain about hearing it all the time). I know reading is right around the corner for you but I just can’t find it in me just yet to replace cuddly read aloud time with reading lessons. Perhaps next month…

You’ll always be the original baby bear.

We love you,

Mommy

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