Hapy birthday, my shining star

Five!

After five years I thought I’d know everything there was to know about the gifts Max brought into my life, yet each year I’ve continued to grow in new ways that tie back to those beautiful 16 days we had together.

2012 was all about resilience, 2013 about empathy. 2014 came and went and with it, the return of peace. In 2015, I got incredibly honest about what I wanted from life.

And yet, since Max’s last birthday I’ve realized yet another and it’s my favorite one of all…love. A capacity to love that I thought was reserved only for Max. A boldness to love completely: in spite of impermanence, in the face of uncertainty, and perhaps most importantly, without fear. If there were just one gift I could keep with me forever, this depth of love for my family and friends, old and new, would be enough.

Thank you, Maxy. I love you.

-Mom

Mad Max

Some strange coincidences with Mad Max Fury Road.
A. It comes out right at Max’s 3 year Bday.
B. It’s awesome like Max.
C. When Max wore his mask in NICU, I compared him to Bain, played by Tom Hardy, who ended up playing Max.

And yes, watching Road Warrior on repeat in college is one reason I loved the name Max. The warrior Max.

Better From A Star

A couple of weeks, I went to see Neutral Milk Hotel.
This is the group that penned the lyric “The Earth Looks Better From A Star, That’s Right Above From Where You Are” as featured on Max’s tombstone.

It was one of my favorite quotes before, and even more now, obvs.

Anyway, I brought a printout of it, and stood around after and got a dude from the band to sign it.

Pretty great. Especially since the band hadn’t toured around for like 10+ years.

I dig it.

Neutral Milk Hotel

Signed!

One Year

I was thinking yesterday evening how unbelievable it is that it’s been one year that Max went to the giant crib in the sky.
A year. That’s 585 million miles that the Earth has traveled since then.
Max has been such a major part of my life this past year. Every day without fail I look at his pictures and kiss them and just marvel at how perfect of a creation he is.
So many people love him and miss him, and it’s my largest hope that he’s somewhere in that celestial cloud looking over us. And I have absolutely no fear of death in me, because that’s my one chance to see my baby boy again.  I love him so much, and am glad when other people do too, by doing nice things like decorating his stone.

Spin, pinwheel, spin.

Spin, pinwheel, spin.

 

View from Max's stone.

View from Max’s stone.

Visiting his stone, it’s crazy to see how many new graves pop up in BabyLand. As sad as it is, I think all parents of kids there take solace in the hope that somehow each one represents a new friend for their baby. There will always be the “Why us?” and “Why him?” questions, but there’s slight comfort knowing that we’re not alone.

A year. Can’t believe it’s been a year since I would come in to the NICU and talk to my son and he’d find me and look at me right away. Eye to eye. Just two dudes saying “what’s up, man?” One positive I try to keep hold of: that’s how I’ll always remember him. We never had an argument, or a fight, or a disagreement, or a squabble, or a “ugh, why is he crying?” moment. Nothing but pure love when looking at him, and I hope for him looking at me.
Miss you so much, my Maxy boy.

Love,
Daddy

His Tombstone

We ordered Max his nice tombstone yesterday.
We got the proof in today, it’s going to rock the party.

The quote is from the song “Holland, 1945” by Neutral Milk Hotel.
It’s an indie classic, and Pitchfork voted it 7th best song of the 1990s, though most non-indie-hipster-types likely have never heard it.

I’ve known the song for years, and was listening to it a bit after Max went to Heaven-land, and the quote seemed perfect.

In other news, I was attacked by shingles, so I haven’t been able to get my tattoo. Hopefully I can get it on before August 13, when I go to Chicago for 6 months. I plan to put Max-based graffiti up as much as possible.