Thursday, August 16, 2012

Happy Birthday, Beautiful Son

Joey at Mama's Fish House, May 2008

Tomorrow we are honoring Joey's birthday by going to Mama's Fish House again. It's a staple of our Maui visits, as the place is so redolent of Joey. It was his favorite restaurant and either our first stop after picking him up from the airport, or our last stop when he would fly back home to LA. He was a gourmet eater, and much more daring then me,  and he appreciated every exotic nuance of a meal there. The last time I ate there with him, he ordered a fish platter appetizer, with the head and eyes still intact, (very Japanese) and oo'ed and ahh'ed his way through it. He loved the unique lilikoi creme brulee accompanied by a glass of moscato, and finished all his meals with that exquisite little combination. We will do the same tomorrow in his honor. He was a foodie of the first order, and his enthusiasm simply made eating anything more fun.

Rachel took this picture of Joey eating a whole fish in Mexico, with joy and gusto!

The beach in front of Mama's 

The entrance to the restaurant, under the banyan tree pathway

Mama's has an amazing florist and the displays are legendary for their beauty. This one's vibrant rusty coloring reminds me of my ruddy golden boy. 

I wish he were here for his birthday. Death is not an easy pill to swallow, even four years later. We were meant to be eternal and our love and relationships are meant to be everlasting. 
And so they shall be --but somewhere over the rainbow. 

For this interlude, as we wait, I want to tell my son again how much I love him.
 How he changed my world by being my child. How the child parented the mother. How his generous heart impacted all of  us to the core. How his love made us more loving. How his "chill"  taught us all to slow down and breathe it in. How his laughter could change the color of the sky. 
These things are all true. 
Not a mother's hyperbole. 
Anyone who knew him would tell you this was so. 

We aren't the same without him. We are not better people for having lost him. I hope one day we will be, but  for now, we are still piecing our new lives together. I think he would wish it so, probably prays it so, but we are not there yet. I do believe he inspires me to press forward, to try to love and give and forgive more, to release the petty things in my heart, But I am more rigid, bristly, sensitive, demanding, disappointed than I would like.
 Alas, I feel as fragile as glass sometimes. 

But I am committed to the path of following truth and love all they way down the road. I have made great strides in learning to live by faith, rather than sight. 
 I want to live well and right, to make my son, who is now part of that great cloud of witnesses,  proud of his mama.  
He was a good example of living well and right. 
Of celebrating life and the unselfish, big-hearted parts of it that truly matter. 

Tomorrow we will celebrate the precious life we had with him. 
I love you, beautiful son.

 Matthew 26:29 
I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom.


Robin said...

So much love coming your way. And gratitude for your honesty. It takes SO long to become these people we never wanted to become.

Anonymous said...

No wonder I was feeling in a pit yesterday. I feel your pain, I feel your loss. I know how very much you miss him. I love you Sharon

karen gerstenberger said...

Dear friend, please know your heart is wrapped in love from mine. These "anniversaries" - birthdays, death days - are so, so hard. No matter what we do, it never feels "right" on the day, but I will hope/pray deeply that your meal at Mama's - a place I recall with joy from our honeymoon! - will bring a measure of solace, of sharing Joey's delight in life, of remembering the joys that he brought wherever he went.

How I wish that I had had the privilege of meeting him! I hope you will introduce us when I see you in heaven. Love to you.

Anonymous said...

Yes...this is our Joey...we love and miss you so much


Mackenzie said...

beautiful and encouraging post, karen....

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