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June 26

Today was another of these terrible ‘firsts’ without you here. Your 36th birthday. We have celebrated birthdays apart from each other due to deployments & travel, but I’ve always sent gifts and cards with you to open so that you know I was thinking about you and celebrating that fact that you were here on earth doing life with me- even if physically apart. Today was rough. You weren’t here to open the gift I bought you, to eat your birthday cheesecake with us, to hear the kids sing Happy Birthday to you, to look at me with gratitude in your eyes for always going overboard on your birthday. Instead, we went to Bellow’s beach on the Windward side to celebrate you. The same spot we took the kids when we first moved here and you and Izzy both got stung by Portuguese man-o-war jellyfish and Izzy got over the pain in a matter of days but you were still complaining about it a week later. 🙂The most beautiful beach on the island and a place we made memories I’ll cherish forever. Today Hudson built sand castles, Isabel, Nikki, V and I played on the boogie boards and splashed in the waves, but I have to be honest in telling you I had to walk out a ways and have a moment with the ocean who took you from me. I know you loved this ocean almost as much as you loved us, and I’m truly thankful she was with you in your final moments since I couldn’t be, but standing out there and thinking of you, missing you and still being so in love with you- my tears added to her greatness today. I couldn’t bring myself to sing happy birthday to you, but we did buy 5 different kinds of cheesecake and cheers’d our forks together after wishing you a happy birthday. I love you sweetheart, Happy Birthday.

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