Days Like This…

Van Morrison sings the song “Days Like This”. The song celebrates all the joy that can happen when life is going well and we focus on the positive. I love listening to this song and celebrating all the good in my life. Yet today, those words have a much different meaning.

Today is Dillon’s birthday… he would be 28 today. Days like this come with wondering where he would be at this stage of his life? I imagine he and Victoria would be married, he would most likely own a home, or should I say own a mortgage. He would have a dog or two and most definitely own a new truck and boat by now. He might even have a little boy or girl since Dillon was a family man and very much wanted children. He would already be 7-1/2 years into his career and would have reached journeyman status meaning he would be making good money and “living the dream”… well, as much as one can in the Bay Area.

I imagine he would still be calling me on his drive home from work, sharing his day and venting about all the idiots he had to deal with on the job site. We would be planning his birthday dinner and all the family would be gathering together to celebrate. He would play with his nephew Jayden, most likely showing him how to create some really exciting/“not so safe” fireworks for the upcoming 4th of July. He would be giving his niece Maggie a ride on his shoulders, and holding his new nephew Logan awkwardly as most guys do in the first few months.  He would “shoot the shit” with his brothers talking about the crazy state of the world, and laugh at the silly jokes they would all make. We would probably saber a bottle of champagne and Dillon would do something funny like saber a bottle of beer… more his style. He would blow out the candles on his cake, open his presents, and we would take a few pictures to celebrate the day. It would be the perfect day.

But, that “perfect day” is not today. Today offers the knowing that those amazing celebrations will never happen again. Today comes with sadness, tears, missing him to my core, and really feeling sorry for myself. Feeling sorry that I won’t ever get those milestones with Dillon. There will be no more celebrations with him, no more pictures as a complete family, no more phone calls from him, no more of his big hugs, and no more hearing the words “I love you Mom” cross his lips. 

If I can take something positive from a day like today, it would be a gratefulness that I got to have Dillon in my life at all, even if it was for such a brief time. There are wonderful memories to share like the time he and I went skydiving for his 21st birthday. Something he always wanted to do. There was a weight limit for a tandem jump and he was about 10lbs over. He had been “dieting” for a couple moths prior to his birthday and lost the weight, coming in just under the max amount. We sat together through the safety class getting both excited and nervous that we were about to jump out of a plane. Steve and Victoria had also come along and were waiting on the sidelines as neither of them had any desire to skydive. Steve brought a bottle of champagne and a large shovel… he told us that we would be using one of these items today after our jump. We both rolled our eyes and laughed at the same time. After the safety class, we got our harnesses on and loaded up on a bus with the other divers to take a ride out to the plane. Once we got on the plane, we knew there was no turning back. I’m not sure who was more nervous, me or Dillon, but we both went through with it. It was the most exhilarating thing I have done and the smile on Dillon’s face made it all worth while. Once you jump and are falling, it’s actually not scary. We were truly “flying” and it was so peaceful on our way back to the ground. Dillon couldn’t stop talking about how he wanted to do this again and even train to do a solo jump. His eyes and his face totally lit up and I could hear the excitement in his voice.

On days like this when I’m really missing him, I think of him as getting that solo jump. Flying high above, weightless, having an amazing experience. No earthly struggles, no pain, no sickness, no politics, no sadness to weigh him down. He’s on to a new adventure in the next realm and his face is completely lit up with joy. I look forward to the day that we reunite and I get to feel his hugs, have him share his amazing journey, and hear him say “I love you Mom” once again.

Happy Birthday my sweet boy… until we meet again. I love you forever, Mom. ❤️


  1. You’re such a wonderful mom. The combination of happiness at the thought of him combined with the ever- present grief is exhausting sometimes.
    To say “your boy is with you” on days like this is such a cliche—and while it may be true, it isn’t enough, not even close. That is true also.
    I hope the smallest comfort comes from your absolute mom rock star status for taking that jump with him. You know he KNOWS he has the coolest mom ever, and the most loving.
    I’m so proud to know you, and holding you close today and every day.

  2. Thank you Mary. You always know how to put our feelings into beautiful words. ❤️

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