To my child on his birthday.
It's been 5 years since you were born. Not a day goes by that I don't think about you. Today, a blue jay came and said hello. I instantly thought of you. It came closer, looking around as if to say, "it's ok Mommy".
We had your traditional Chinese food birthday dinner. I even made sure to pick up a small cake to toast to you. It's these things that I hope will keep your memory alive. I wonder who you would look like. Would you be calm like your father? Loud and a little in your face like me? Would you still have dark hair? Would you be fighting with your brother or best friends? I am left with a feeling of emptiness and a sense that something is missing. I don't think that will ever leave, will it?
When I hear your name being said by someone else, some other parent calling their child back from the playground… I feel the tears prick my eyes and a familiar ache in my heart.
At every life event, I think of you and how you should be there too. You should be starting kindergarten in the fall. When September rolls around and other mamas are posting those "first day of school photos" I wish I could be taking - I instead, will be a mess.
Your time here on earth was short, but you have made the most lasting and profound impact in my life.
I'll love you forever Spencer,
* Shola Chan is a member of the Vancouver Butterfly Run Committee. Her son Spencer celebrated what would have been his fifth birthday earlier this month. Spencer Chan May 17, 2016 - June 10, 2016.