My Mason21

Well, you’ve been here for nine months, the same amount of time that Mommy held you in her belly. I just got home from watching you and, as usual, I am filled with the warm and fuzzies. You are such a beautiful little baby boy – just perfect. It’s amazing that you look so much like PaPa. I remember when your brother was born, and how I sat down and wrote to him, and how much has changed since then. I thought now would be a good time to write down my feelings about you, so that you can read them some day and know how loved you have always been.

The biggest change is that MiMi is no longer here with us. Oh, but you can bet that she is with you every single day. She is watching over you, she is your angel, and she will always be. She made sure that you were born healthy, she helped Mommy through the time when you were a little pain in the you know what. She saw your first smile, the first time you rolled over, the first time you laughed, ate solid food, cut your first tooth and crawled. She loves, I’m sure, the way you giggle when Paulie Walnuts licks you all over and she helps give you sweet dreams at night. More than anything, though, I’m sure that she wishes she could be here to hold you, kiss your sweet little baby head and sing her silly songs.

But, my love, your Mommy (my baby sister) has stepped up to the plate like the strong, loving person she is. It’s been hard for your Mommy not to have her mother around to call when she found out she was pregnant, to call when she was emotional with pregnancy hormones, to talk to about her hopes and fears about having a second child and how to cope with that. I can’t even imagine how bittersweet it was for her to bring you into the world and for her mother to not be there to congratulate her, hug her and tell her how proud she was of her.

Mason, I won’t lie, I am sad that you will never know Mimi the way we all did. But, we will keep her alive for you with our stories, with our photographs and videos and with the pieces of her that live in Mommy, Aunt Sissy and me. You will have so much love in your life that you will never really know the difference. We do, though. And, so, we will try to make up for that loss ourselves. We will sing her silly songs, we will teach you how to do puzzles, how to identify the fruits in the play shopping cart, how to be a big boy and how to have confidence in yourself always. Mom and Dad are not wallowing in grief but, are giving you all of the wonderful things that you deserve. You are always on the move, making memories; birthday parties, pool days, holidays, beach days, vacations (can’t wait until Disney next year). They have made sure that you have missed nothing, despite the pain that they are often feeling.

And, my sweet Mason, you have no idea how much your very presence has helped us to get through these past couple of years. The joy that you have brought into all of our lives is something that is so special I can’t even explain it. To see how happy you make PaPa (and you are his mini-me, believe me), makes our hearts leap with joy. You have healed us in so many ways. You have helped us to see that Mimi lives on in all of us – you are living proof of that.

Your Aunt Cole will always be there for you. I have been doing my best to help Mommy by being there to listen when she would have called her mom, by helping her navigate having a second child and by just being there for anything at all she might need. I hope that I’ve been living up to what I feel is my responsibility.

So, in that vein, here are some things that MiMi would have taught you. Things that she instilled in us that have helped us to be the people we have become and the things that make our family unique in our closeness and our special bond.

Remember, always, that your best friend is in the mirror. This is the most important thing that she taught us. And, it is true. You have to love yourself and believe in yourself. Go with your gut. You will always know in your gut what is right and what is wrong – choose right. It may not give you instant gratification but, it will pay off in the long run.

You can do anything you set your mind to. If you want something, go after it with everything you’ve got. Nothing is impossible and miracles do happen, every day.

Life is often hard but, it is ALWAYS worth living. And truly live. Don’t just exist. Wake up every day knowing that there are endless possibilities.

Make sure that you love your brother more than anything in the world. He will be a pain. He’s a big brother, after all. But, he loves you more than life itself and will always have your back. Don’t ever turn your back on him – no matter what. You will have ups and downs but, he will be your best friend, your forever friend. Always. Never forget that.

Love with all of your heart. To hold back love in order to avoid getting hurt is one of the saddest things in life. You have a family that will teach you what unconditional love is, and for that you are truly blessed. And, make a big deal out of things that are special; holidays, birthdays, even barbeques. These are the things that make memories that will last your entire lifetime. You will lose people you love, this is the way of life. If you have made beautiful memories with them, you will never regret it. It will get you through those hard times when you are missing those you have lost. Trust me on this one.

Count your blessings. Every day. Look at the world as a thing of beauty. Every season, every snowfall, each time you swim in the ocean, or dance, or fall in love, or sit around the table with all of your family and have a meal. These are blessings. Really take time to see a beautiful sunset, a delicate butterfly, a snuggly puppy, a wondrous wave in the ocean. Really appreciate the beauty in these things.

Life is not a dress rehearsal. Be sure to live it to its fullest. Don’t waste time with negative people. Find people to have in your life that will be with you during the good times and the bad times. Never lose hope. It is the most important thing to hold on to.  And don’t worry, if you are not doing that, we will gently remind you.

Know that it is okay to feel sad or frustrated or even angry sometimes. But, don’t let those feelings last long. Brush yourself off when life pushes you down and keep going – with a positive attitude and love in your heart.

Be yourself. God only made one Mason Luke Taylor. You are special. You are unique. You are perfect just the way you are.

Your birth has shown us that even through our sorrow, we can feel true joy and that, my sweet boy, is something I will always be grateful to you for. Your sweet and funny personality just lights up every place that you are. And, you are just about the happiest baby I have ever known. I have a feeling that out of all of us, you are the closest to MiMi right now. I think she speaks to you in ways that she cannot communicate with us. Please remember, she loves you, wherever she is now, more than anything in the world, and always will.

I can’t wait to see the little person you will become. I can’t wait to see the man you will, years from now, be.

But for now, just be our sweet baby Mason. We all love you more than you can ever know. Your life is just beginning. I am so excited to see what is in store for you. I have a feeling it’s going to be quite a ride. Thank you for taking us along with you.

Love always,

Aunt Cole

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