Yesterday I had a birthday. My husband was out of town and that was OK because it hurts to celebrate a birthday without Malcolm. Our family tradition was to get up and share a birthday breakfast on everybody’s special day. My choice was always McKenzie’s sweet rolls. The boys liked a variety of donuts, especially chocolate with sprinkles. My husband liked buttermilk drops. We would put candles in the middle of the donuts. And of course we would take a photo. Mal would take the picture of my birthday and the boys would be on either side at the kitchen table. The photo at the top of this blog is my birthday morning in 2006. James was away at school, Malc was back living with us for graduate school and, although he liked mornings as much as I do, he got up for the traditional breakfast and photo. I love this photo, it captures his beautiful smile, so natural.
And now James will have a birthday tomorrow and he will be the same age as Malcolm was when he died. Next year he will officially have outlived his brother. But one thing that will never change is the memory of those birthday breakfasts where the best presents I could ever have were the people around the table. Happy Birthday for tomorrow, James. Know that your brother loves you still.