We celebrated my nephew's first birthday yesterday. There were so many bittersweet moments. I see a lot of Austin in little Allen and watching him tear into his birthday cake brought back so many memories. I remember Austin's first birthday like it was yesterday. I was also constantly aware of the absence of Austin. He loved Allen from the moment he held him in the hospital. I know a part of him is always around us but I wished so much for him to be with us yesterday, celebrating this milestone.
Austin was upset with me when my sister Raven had both of her babies, because I didn't let him skip school and stay there all night waiting for her to deliver. It always amazed me how much he enjoyed children, especially babies. You would think a teenage boy would care less but he could've held babies all day. He just had an instant connection with them. In fact, it is one of my last memories of Austin, holding both Bryanna and Allen that Thanksgiving weekend he passed. He couldn't decide which one to hold more and his phone was filled with pictures of them.
Austin used to be the only one Bryanna would go to in a crowd of our family. Her face would light up when he entered the room. Sadly, Allen didn't have a chance to get close to him, as Austin was gone just a little over a month after he was born. Both of them were so young when he passed that I wonder what memory, if any, they'll have of him. He loved them both so much, as he did all of his cousins. It just hurts that they won't be able to grow up knowing him.
Our family tree was cut short, mid-bloom, and it forever changed our future generations. So many will never truly know how wonderful he was.