Happy 12th Birthday Buddy

Hi Levi,

Wow, little dude…you would be 12 today.

Well, you are 12 today. But you’d be here and with me and 12, rather than up there and 12. 😉 Either way, I can’t even believe it. I’ve got two stories for you today on your birthday. Sometimes I have a hard time getting your sisters to get chatty with me; if you were still here you’d be watching me in the sometimes-struggle to engage with them you’d probably just look at me and shrug your shoulders and say “Girls…”

But between those moments, I still get more than my fair share of magic with them. On New Year’s Day I took Royce and Zoe to a coffeeshop in a small mountain town in Colorado. When we sat down I had them put down their bad weapons (phones) and I pulled out my good weapons (pen and paper) and gave each of them about 20-minutes to write down some of their goals and objectives for the year.

After we were done we all shared with each other. Without too much detail, one of the goals Royce shared with me was that she was hopeful and prayerful that she could minister to people that she doesn’t know, and to develop a relationship with them. More specifically, in her words, to share God’s love with them in an environment that doesn’t really encourage it (high school in general, but add to that Silicon Valley…).

As she was sharing with me so animatedly and expressively, with such a heart for people, I felt this surreal displacement. I’m listening to this amazing kid share with me a love and compassion so deep that I was just overwhelmed, to the point that I kept pulling my baseball hat down lower over my eyes.

Overwhelmed enough, that finally Zoe blurted out “DAD, ARE YOU CRYING AGAIN?!?!?” 😉

(I rarely cry, other than with things related to the three of you…and movies…)

Later that week Zoe and I were talking while lying at opposite ends of the couch. I was watching the gorgeous blue Colorado sky with huge, billowing cottony clouds drifting by and enjoying the gift of hearing her talk away, where she went on to share with me an issue at middle school where she got into a pretty heated fight–when I asked her why it came down to an incident where someone was bullying a mentally disabled student, who she befriended and defended.

And, yeah, a few minutes into the story she blurted out “DAD, you gotta get a hold of yourself!” 😉

You have two really amazing sisters, they would’ve been the BEST big sisters to you. And while I’m forever sad you’re not here, I also feel like I get little glimpses of you–and who you’d be–in the magic moments that I still have with Royce and Zoe, like during those two stories above.

This year I felt a huge wave of peace come over me regarding you, which doesn’t make me miss you any less. But it does mean I have healed a lot more. I still think about you all the time. Happy Birthday Buddy, I hope this years was the best yet.



*This is my annual birthday post for Levi. The prior years posts are here: Happy 11h Birthday Buddy, Happy 10th Birthday Buddy, Happy 9th Birthday BuddyHappy 8th Birthday BuddyHappy 7th Birthday BuddyHappy 6th Birthday BuddyHappy 5th Birthday Buddy, and Happy 4th Birthday Buddy.


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