Happy 28th Birthday (Fourth in Heaven)!

Twenty eight years ago on a beautiful Saturday morning much like today I left my home on King Street in Stratford, CT with two boys (ages 3 and 5) in hand and headed to my moms.  I had been in labor for almost three weeks and I was done.  The stress tests every other day with the remark “Oh, your in labor, I am sure we will see you tonight” was getting to be a bit stale.  I was heading to Park City Hospital in Bridgeport and I was not going to come home until I had a baby!  Luckily, the Drs agreed.

I settled in to the birthing room and began watching TV.  I remember it like yesterday.  American Bandstand was on and the sky was a beautiful blue.  It was a long, stressful delivery but at 1:11 PM weighing in at almost 10 pounds, Anthony Michael Brown came into this world, not screaming as you would expect but very quietly, with the cord wrapped around his neck.  He was purple and I was scared.  The Dr’s and nurses took care of him and very soon I heard that life breathing cry!   Little did I know it was just the beginning of a life full of holding your breath moments with Tony (and his brothers).

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On his fourth birthday in heaven I miss him more than ever.  My heart still breaks everyday.  I do however have an inner sense of peace.  A knowing that the love continues to fill my heart and nothing will ever replace that.  Do I wish I could give him a huge hug? YES!  Do I long to hear him say in his exasperated tone “Mommmm”?  Absolutely.  Instead, I will search for ways to share his life with others, to do good in his honor, to make sure that his life STILL means something.

We celebrated Tony’s life again this year with a Memorial Blood Drive which brought in more donors than last year and more than were anticipated for this year.  What a true honor it was to not only have so many show up, but willing to sit for up to two hours waiting their turn to donate.  A true testament to the kindness of mankind.  We have also asked that others perform a Random Act of Kindness in Tony’s honor.  At 1:11 pm today a store manager will hand out gift certificates to a few shoppers asking them to pay it forward in memory of Tony!

Tony lived his life.  He was not a bystander at any point.  As a young child he demanded attention and was active every waking moment.  He was the type of child that you kept a change of clothes in the car (including sneakers) because chances were he would end up wet, dirty or both.  Curiosity should have been his middle name.  He would touch everything, take things apart to see what was in them or how they worked and climb everything and anything.  When he was in Nursery school his teachers told me he was a very “determined child”.  I told myself over and over that was a great trait to have as an adult but I needed to mold it through his younger years.  There was no molding to be done.  Tony was who he would be.  He was kind, loyal, stubborn, loving, compassionate, stubborn, funny, courageous, stubborn, athletic, creative and did I mention, stubborn?

Tony was going to be a film maker of extreme sports.  He wanted to be married and have children.  He wanted to live a full, happy life.  Tony did pack a lot of life into his short 24 years.  In honor of this, I made a short slide show of some of my favorite pictures of Tony.  You may view it by clicking here:  Tony’s Slide show.

 

I miss everything, the fighting, the arguing, the laughing, the talks, but especially the hugs!  I wish I could have seen what he would have done with his life, how it would have taken shape and the grandchildren he would have given me.  I will do my best, not only to honor Tony’s life and keep his memory alive, but to also honor my family and their lives.  They are here with me and although we tend to grieve differently, we all miss Tony, our son, our brother and I will continue to be the best mom and wife I can for them.  The love will always be in our hearts for Tony and the best way to honor his life is to live ours!

Tony's Last Photograph Taken Hours Before He Passed Away

Tony’s Last Photograph Taken Hours Before He Passed Away

                                                                        Happy 28th Birthday Tony!

                                         Even if things get a bit too heavy, we’ll al float on okay!

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Comments

  1. Bettie-Jeanne, Robyn's mom says:

    How wonderful it is for me to have both Tony and his mom in my life.
    Float On!

  2. Cathy Seehuetter says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us, Anne. And looking at Tony’s last picture one would never know that he was hours away from leaving this earth. What a beautiful man, just like his mom. Love you!

  3. Mary Lemley says:

    What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful son.

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