Every time it rains I think of your little body in that box.

Every time it snows, I wonder if you’re cold. I am consumed by thoughts of a dog urinating on your grave and your existence being forgotten. Your cousin Annie is a constant reminder of what you could have been, and what we could have had. Your college fund has been emptied; your crib is wrapped in plastic in the basement, your toys stored in totes. Your bedrooms, both of them, have been sold to other people, and I can’t even walk in the room where we all slept at Nana and Pa’s.

I can’t drive down Stone Street without flashbacks; I could never walk on the beach at Independence Park again- not without you. Your car seat was destroyed in a basement flood, but I keep it anyways to look at the sweat stains. Your spring and summer clothes still have the tags on them. Your copper and needles were tossed. Your birthday crown sits in a very special toy trunk- yet I have nightmares of the house burning down and all of your stuff going up in flames. Your pacifier is stored in a glass case on top of my bureau. I count pictures of you in other peoples houses, and never think there is enough. I talk to you out loud like a crazy person and hope every night before I go to bed that I’ll see you in my dreams- but I never do. I think part of your soul lives in Royce. I struggle with jealousy issues, with every little boy I see- wishing it was you.

I miss kissing you 23 times before bed. I miss barely closing my eyes at night while listening to your Lion King soother and rubbing your forehead. I shovel out your grave all winter as if you need the ability to get up and leave. I call the bedroom on the left “your room”- but you never slept there and never will. I cling to every single word your cousin Janie says about you.

She says she sees you- and I believe her. Even cousin Mia thinks you sleep in my arms at night. I hope you’re sleeping in my arms at night. I still sing our songs in the shower. I randomly get whiffs of your smell and it makes me cry every time. I keep the gate check tag on your carriage from our trip to Virginia.

I think you have control over the New England Patriots and believe you make it rain on days when I’m super sad. I think how I almost didn’t throw you a birthday party last year cause I was worried it would jinx things. I think how only you can give me the strength to get through this life without you- especially today.

I love you to the moon and back Teddy Fish. I will never let anyone forget you.

Happy Birthday my King.