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Ryan A. Ramirez

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In Loving Memory Of My Only Son On What Should Have Been His 21st Birthday

11/18/1983—12/07/2002 On this day in different years we both were born. You, the most precious birthday gift of my life. Now, 21 years later, I wonder how we will share this day together as you announced we would to all of your teenage friends at your 16th birthday party. I wonder how, even as I know. I will take that too familiar ride to the cemetery, and sit, and tend, and lament. I will look for evidence that others have been there, and replay memories, after gathering them close, so very grateful for them, even as they break my heart. I will visit the cross your friends placed on the side of the road to honor you, though I cannot bear to stay long. My heart will pound and my stomach will grow queasy, but I will go. A mother must acknowledge the things that honor her son, even a lonely cross set at a treacherous turn on the side of a country road. In this way, we will spend my 40-something and your 21st birthday together as you proudly announced we would to all of your friends. In this way -- even though you will always be "just-turned-19." With eternal love and heartache, Mom

Published in The Hartford Courant on Nov. 18, 2004
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