Happy 16th Birthday

With less than 45 minutes remaining of your birthday, I am still not entirely sure I should even right anything. As if somehow, not writing will make it all disappear. Yet I am hopeful that one day – this too will be a distant memory that somehow manages to grow you into the person you are trying to become, despite what life is throwing your way.

I won’t claim to understand what you are going through, even though to an extent, I do understand. Understanding. It’s not what you need. You don’t need someone to listen to you, someone to yell at you, or someone to tell you it’s all going to be ok. To be completely honest, I am not entirely sure if what you need is something I can give you. You are missing so much of your life – that I don’t know it will be possible for me to fully give you what you need.

Whoever they are, always warned that the easy ones – would become difficult later on in life, yet somehow I chose to believe that if we could just make it one more year…

Here we are on your 16th birthday, and I can’t help but cringe. You aren’t celebrating with your friends. You aren’t at home. In fact, you aren’t even around people you know. As hard as it has been to make the decision, I am just hoping, with everything that I have left – that this was the right choice. The last choice, but the right choice.

I’m hopeful that your next year will be much brighter, and more promising. Even though it has been a difficult few months, I can’t ignore the fact that you are still a bright kid who’s no longer a kid. I can’t ignore the nagging thoughts that when (not if) you return, you won’t be a child. You left a 15 year old boy, and will come back a 16 year old. Two years from being an official adult.

You already know that life isn’t easy – but this year, I think what you need to hear the most, even though I know you don’t want to hear it, is that life can be worth living. It isn’t always dark. Sure, there are dark days, dreary weeks, and long months that seem to never end…but if you manage to make it through those moments, you will see that there are brighter days waiting.

I hope that you know how important you are to us, and how much you are loved. You are a big part of our lives, and we miss your presence, your humor and everything that you add to this world. I know it won’t be easy for you – going through these next couple of months, but I am hopeful that you will return with a brighter outlook, and a desire to rejoin us here – living.

Happy 16th birthday, I know this probably isn’t how you expected to spent your 16th birthday. I know it’s not how I expected to see you spend it.

Hang in there kiddo,

– Your Uncle

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