Category: birthdays

27 Things


Amparo Atencio

tony collage


  1. He was born with a cleft lip that was beautifully repaired at 3 months old.
  2. His first word was “cracker” as he pointed at the cupboard where the saltine crackers were stored.
  3. He lived in a single-parent home starting at age 3.
  4. He loved the water, but he hated swimming lessons and taught himself to swim.
  5. He loved to read and memorized books so he could pretend to read. His favorite was “Just For You” by Mercer Mayer.
  6. His pre-school teacher said he had lots of leadership traits, but he would have to learn to use them appropriately.
  7. He was diagnosed with ADHD at age 5.
  8. His 2nd grade teacher recommended advancing him a grade because he was so bright, but in the end we agreed he was not mature enough.
  9. He won several awards for his artwork, the most significant being 2nd place in a regional competition for his piece “In This Hand,” a drawing of a man who held the weight of the world in his head, propped up by this hand.
  10. Soccer, baseball, organized sports were not his cup of tea. Instead, he was a budding musician and artist.
  11. His supervised visits with his father weren’t supervised enough.
  12. He taught himself to play the drums.
  13. His dad died when he was 12 while I was on business travel, so he endured that pain alone.
  14. He learned to drive on the Hardin Valley campus of Pellissippi State Community College.
  15. His first paying job was mowing the lawn for our church.
  16. He loved to cook, and he felt the presentation was as important as the preparation, with a special garnish on the chicken breasts he arranged on the plate.
  17. He loved to play with kids and they loved him: wrestling with them, twirling them, giving them horseback rides.
  18. His favorite channel to watch while he ate in front of the TV was The Food Network.
  19. He gave all of his pocket change to “Please help, I’m homeless” people when he stopped at red lights.
  20. His funniest impression was of Will Ferrell in the Christopher Walken/Blue Oyster Cult “More Cowbells” skit on Saturday Night Live.
  21. He smelled so good. Axe.
  22. Horrible Bosses was the last movie we saw on our last dinner and a movie date.
  23. He lived 22 years, 10 months, and 5 days.
  24. He should be working at a decent job now.
  25. He should be in love now.
  26. He should be married now.
  27. He should be having his first child now.


julie mcgregor

Julie McGregor

I thought I would share a story regarding birthdays for our children gone too soon. It makes me realise that it’s hard for people to understand the ways of bereaved parents and how they individually do what they feel is right for them at the time, which possibly would and does, vary from year to year as our grief ‘evolves’.