Sam would be twenty-two today. Every morning, I wake up to ‘reality’ and shake my head. But there’s something heavier about milestones, anniversaries, and birthdays — the rudest awakenings — that make it harder to face the day. So when I open my eyes and notice the time, 5:51 a.m., the moment Sam was born, I know he is nudging me to wake up and keep going.
“Mommy, are you awake?”
I notice the time glowing on my nightstand, 5:51 a.m.
I am. I’m awake.”
“Come outside. Look at the moon.”
“I’m coming, Sammy. Wait for me.”
In the distance, an owl is calling. I hurry outside to sit with him until the sun rises and he flies away again.
“Happy Birthday, my sweet boy.”