It was 21 years ago today that you entered the world.
While your exit was way too soon, today I choose to focus on your entrance.
And what an entrance it was!
When I first saw you, I couldn’t believe how big you were.
Or how beautiful.
And I was completely unprepared for how much I would love you.
Of course, I loved you before you were born…
But to hold you and look upon you made everything more tangible.
You were a vision.
And when I looked at you I saw visions of what you and I would do together.
Of the lessons I would teach you.
Of the experiences I would share with you.
Of the kind of relationship you and I would forge together.
You were, literally, a dream come true.
And you were the answer to so many prayers.
You would go on to inspire countless numbers of people.
But from the moment I knew about you, you inspired me.
You inspired me to be the kind of man you would be proud to have as a father.
You inspired me to model, for you, the way of Christ.
You inspired me to dream bigger.
You inspired me to love deeper.
You inspired me to to focus on the things that matter most in life.
You inspired me to be more grateful for God’s blessings.
I was inspired by your innocence.
I was inspired by your peacefulness.
I was inspired by your strength.
I was inspired by your resilience.
I was inspired by your will to live.
And, in your absence, I have willed to live a life that would honor your memory.
A memory that I celebrate today.
Today, your mother, your sister, and I will perform our annual ritual for you.
A ritual that reminds of the love you brought into our lives…
And of the love of Christ that has sustained our lives for the past 21 years.
Happy birthday, Cooper!