Birthday wishes

I wish I could decorate your door with crepe paper streamers and balloons.
And wake you in the morning with a do-nut birthday cake and candles
and a crazy birthday song
that I stayed up too late writing
(set to Beatles music, of course)

I wish I could touch your face and tell you how proud of you I am
and hug you and tell you how cool it is that you're taller than me

I wish we could dance around the kitchen together
(oh, I miss dancing with you, so much)
I wish we could go for a hike
or a late night walk in the snow

I wish for one of your phone calls to tell me about
the tiny frog you've got in your hand
or the run you just finished
or how much you love President Hinckley
or that you're back safe from your ocean paddle
(thanks so much for those 'I'm home safe' calls)

Today, I'm cherishing
the way you'd open my car door
the notes you always left for me to find
the way you always said, "I love you, Mama."
and the way your voicemails always started out,
"Hi Mama! It's your baby boy!"

I'm remembering your arm around my shoulder
and your smile
(oh, your smile)
and your text messages--
"11:11 Mom. Thinkin of you."
And your amazing hugs
your grateful heart
and the way you loved me so openly
So freely
So unashamedly
So unconditionally

Thank you, my son.
For all you were.
For all you are.
You're a pretty awesome guy, you know.
I feel humbled and so blessed
that you chose me to be your mom
Grateful that you knew I'd understand
that you had to leave-
that you had a greater work to do
that there were others who needed your love
your testimony of the Savior and His Atonement
and the gift of your understanding heart.

I am eternally blessed by the knowledge of
Where you are now
and What you're doing
and in Whose name you serve.

I do love you Gav.
Always did, no matter what
Always will, no matter where

Please feel my hand on your cheek
and hear the love in my heart when I say,
You're still making me proud, my buddy.

Happy Birthday, Gavin-San.
I love you.
Kiss your little nephew for me, will you?
And tell him how much I miss him--
miss both of you.
I love you both.
So very much.
Ooooooooooooo, I love you.

p.s. I know I'm a day early,
but, I wanted to make sure you get this first thing in the morning-
(I know it's not quite a do-nut cake, candles and streamers. I just
couldn't figure that one out.)


Our Blog Spot said...

Oh Annie!! What a beautiful post. Beautiful. Your daughter, obviously, got her good writing from YOU! I adore and love you both.

And both your Gavins.


Natalie. said...

so sweet.

I love you mom.

I wish I didn't understand how deeply you ache to have him in your arms.

Happy birthday little brother. :)



Annie Link said...

Oh Sis,

My grief for Baby Gavin multiplies over and over again for this very reason. AS DOES MY GRATITUDE FOR THE SAVIOR. i love you Sweetheart. So very much.


shelly said...

Annie - and Natalie,

You're in my thoughts and prayers and my heart aches, too - for you and for me. Annie, I know Gavin knows how much you love him and he's so happy you continue to have the faith, love, generosity, and ability to LIFT that made him who he is.
I love you! May today be happy.. and full of sweet memories that will entice you to make more.

Damaris said...

I hope you don't mind strangers invading your blog.

Natalie was a friend of mine from Hawaii. She touched my life. She was REALLY nice to me and my son, even when i was feeling down and not so cheerful.

happy birthday to your son.

I am so sorry that you and Natalie are going through such trying times but I am so thankful for your testimony. It shines a light on my life.

Erin Jane said...

Hey Annie! I miss you. would love to see you sometime and catch up! I wish it were that easy. Maybe someday when I am in Utah I will call you!?

I miss Gavin! I miss him more in January and in June, but I still think of him often. My mom likes to talk to me a lot about Gavin. It is nice to share my thoughts with someone who loves me and cares about my sadness.

My heart has broken for your second loss, but my heart rejoices when I think that we probably all agreed to this in the pre existence- and that there is a perfect plan. You and Natalie are strong and knew that you could somehow endure with faith. I admire that.

I am thankful for the example that your family has been to me. Praying for baby Gavin was a blessing. I thought of "Zion" often. So many were joined in one heart and one mind. I thank Heavenly Father for that opportunity.

This is becoming a long comment. I will have to write you a real letter later! I posted something for Gavin on my blog. Take a look when you can!
Love you!

Annie Link said...

Erin Jane I love you more.

Damaris, you are always welcome in my world. Come as often as you like and stay as long as you want. I will even feed you and make up the guest room.

Crissie said...

Oh Annie - my dearest NEW friend, I so much wish that I could hug you this very moment. I am crying after reading your beautiful tribute to your son and my children are more convinced than ever that their mother has lost her mind... Your Gavin is so beautiful that I don't quite know what to say today. Please know that your kind note meant so very much to me and that I am soon to be on my knees thinking of you and Natalie and your wonderful boys and that I will be hugging my boys even tighter tonight in their honor.


Bridget said...

Dearest Annie,

Thank you for writing. Thank you for sharing. A week ago, I didn't know anything about the Gavins in your life. Now I know a little. Happy birthday to your boy. How random to have died of natural causes. That doesn't seem right. Or fair. And yet it is what it is.

Grief is terrible. And can tear a person up. You give me a great example for pulling myself together. There is so much to be grateful for.

Your Natalie is my new hero. I found her online not long ago. I see she learned everything she is from you. Truly inspiring.

Kind Regards,

Sarah said...

Happy Birthday to your wonderful son. I have a beautiful picture of him from when Nat used to take our Christmas card pictures at BYU-Hawaii. Gavin attended the shoot, barefoot of course. It was up on Laie point. Please e-mail me if you want me to make you a copy of it. I don't know how to use a scanner, but I would gladly make you a print. sarahbanks930@hotmail.com Prayers to you and all of your family too. HUGS