He’s miles away and celebrating his 19th birthday.
It’s his first birthday away from home.
He’s had fire watch and been up since 2.
Being a Marine leaves little time for celebrations.
He’s already called.
It’s nice to be able to communicate.
Technology can be a blessing.
11 minutes from the time we entered the hospital until we held him in our arms.
He hasn’t stopped since.
The happiest of children.
He would play for hours by himself.
He made roads through out my lawn; hauling load after load of dirt in his Tonka truck.
Hunched over he would fill the truck and run from the pile to my lawn and create roadways.
He built a manure spreader using a different Tonka truck and tubing and one of my farmers funnels.
One year for his birthday he got a plastic, pedal loader.
He pedaled that thing everywhere.
One day down at the river he put his younger sister in it and pushed her around and around until she fell asleep.
We had her seat belted in so she wouldn’t fall out.
He’s a risk taker and go getter.
He’s raced dirt bikes and started his own business.
Traded his Tonka’s for grown up versions.
He’s driven me to my knees and caused me to remain there most of his adolescence.
He has been patient with me as I grieve for his older brother and sometimes put expectations on him that I shouldn’t.
He’s lived through more than most kids have at his age.
He’s chosen to finish what his brother couldn’t.
He left home and took an oath to serve and protect this country.
He’s missed Christmas, New Years, Easter and now his birthday at home.
He’s traded these holidays for training and sacrifice.
And I couldn’t be prouder.
I will continue to fall to my knees in praying for this farm boy.
“Prayer does not change God,
but it changes him who prays” Soren Kierkegaard
God has great things in store for him.
He will use all his imperfections and rough edges to draw him ever closer.
Happy Birthday Cedric.