Today was Nick 's first day off in two weeks. We wanted to do something fun as a family so we ended up at the beach.
We got there and set up our gear (it's amazing everything you need to bring when you have kids). AJ was so excited to get in the water. His sunscreen was barely dry and he was off. Nick joined him and I followed a bit later.
There were two brothers who were playing in the shallow water. Nick commented that he couldn't wait for Cam to be old enough so we could get the boys matching swimsuits like they were wearing. I have no doubt that Cameron will want to do everything just like his biggest brother.
When I headed into the water with Cameron to join Nick and AJ, I was near those two boys. I heard the grandfather call one of them. "Ryan, don't go too far." Nick heard it too and we looked at each other and smiled.
A little while later I was back on the sand with Cameron (who is not a fan of the cold water) and Nick calls to me from the water. "You'll never believe what the older brother's name is!" Are you kidding me? Alexander Joseph. They call him AJ.
I went from looking at two brothers playing together to looking at what my boys should have looked like playing together.
I couldn't help the lump in my throat. At first it was bittersweet, then very quickly it turned to sadness. The situation very quickly brought all of my feelings of missing Ryan right to the surface. I was trying to hold back the tears. Nick told the grandfather the significance of the names and I didn't want to make it awkward for them. There was no stopping it. I excused myself and had a good cry in the bathroom.
When I came back on the beach after that watching those boys was like watching a car accident. I didn't want to look but at the same time I couldn't look away. They were 5 and 2. Ryan was a spunky little guy who didn't want to listen very well. I always wonder if my Ryan would have been the same.
It was the most clear reminder of what we all missed out on. Sure, I've been around other boys named Ryan but to hear the names called out together was too much for me.
I'm missing you like crazy my sweet boy. I miss you so much that my arm literally aches for you. I'd go back and do it all again just to hold you one more time. I love you so much. Thank you for taking such good care of us. I know you're always around.
Forever and a day.