There are two difficult days each year in every bereaved parent’s life. One, the day of your child’s passing, and two, your child’s birthday.
Tomorrow is my son’s 22nd birthday. His nickname is Migi, but his whole name is Francisco Miguel. Almost every year since he died in 1998, God in His infinite grace, allows Migi’s presence to be felt in the days leading to his birthday. And those “messages” always come as a surprise — from places and people you would least expect.
This year was no exception.
Many years ago, perhaps around 2010, I bought a book, a memoir on the loss of a parent, and my intention was to give it to a friend of my daughter who had lost his dad. Somehow, for one reason or another, I kept putting it off. Recently, I had a long chat with him. This bright young boy, now a young man, had just been accepted on full scholarship for a PhD in several top notch hospitals in the U.S. My heart felt so happy for him, and I remembered the book I had put away on the shelf from many years ago. “I’ll send it to you on the weekend,” I told him, “So you can read it on the flight to New York.”
This afternoon, my daughter reminded me about it and so I proceeded to the bookshelf to get the book. I opened it and there was a tiny photograph that was facing down. I turned it over, and it was Migi.
A lump formed in my throat, “From one Miguel to another…” I said to my daughter, as I blinked back my tears. “From Francisco Miguel to Miguel Francisco,” she replied.
What were the chances of finding his photograph inside that book, today, of all days? And so, in my note to our friend, I said, “All things in its proper time, so perhaps it’s now time for you to read this book. Even Migi seems to think so. 😊”
I thank God for these extraordinary moments of grace. Eighteen birthdays in heaven, always faithful. Happy 22nd birthday my dearest Migi! Continue to watch over us always. We love you.