In my mind’s eye, we are with my family, celebrating my nephew’s sixth birthday. He is full of life, and 100% boy, active and silly and even a bit rambunctious, in my mind’s eye. In my mind’s eye, he is asking his dad to go outside and play baseball with him. After hitting a home run and rounding the bases, he comes inside to kiss his mom and see how his birthday cake is coming along, in my mind’s eye. In my mind’s eye my nephew has a knack to balance his older sister’s bossiness, knowing when to relent and when to walk away. He loves to play with his younger sister; they have both inherited their father’s silliness. In my mind’s eye, he is a great little brother, an incredible big brother, quite happily, in the middle. He loves the science experiments he does with Mamo, and thinks she’s really cool because she lets him make a mess, in my mind’s eye. In my mind’s eye, he is asking Papa to go outside and teach him some more about football because one day, he’ll probably play that too. With the same quiet resolve of his mother, he accomplishes each task he sets out to do. He dotes on and adores his baby cousin, and though typically rough and tumble, is gentle with her, in my mind’s eye.
In my mind’s eye, there is no heart problem, there is no scar cascading down his chest. In fact, in my mind’s eye, he can outlast us all in any athletic endeavor with his boundless energy.
In reality, my nephew went home to Heaven just before his first birthday. We miss him terribly, and long to be reunited, in reality. In reality, I weep because his little sister and his baby cousin will have to wait until Heaven to meet him and play with him. He is healed and he no longer has to worry about his heart, in eternity.
But as clear as day, as real as a picture can be, he is blowing out his candles as we finish singing “Happy Birthday,” in my mind’s eye.