I remember the day you were born I was quite ill. So I never saw you until the following day.
I remember looking at you in your cot (crib)and thinking wow, this little life is mine to take care of. You screamed every time I tried to feed you or bathe you. The nurses used to laugh, I even needed help with nappy (diaper) changing. But we got on with life, I loved you from the minute I saw you. Maybe to the exclusion of everyone else.
We became one in our little routines, the park, shopping, visiting people. You were categorically spoilt. I remember we saw a little pedal car, you wanted it so much, so I bought it for you. I remember you wearing a spider man outfit for six weeks with little red boots, I remember you in the summer in little shorts, shirt and shades.
So many memories. I think I knew you were different, more as you got older. My heart cried when one day you came home after a school fight. It was later I realised you were a tough cookie. I also remember you taking anything you wanted from other kids in the playground, not something I condoned :)
I tried hard to toughen you up as you got older. I dressed that up as my fear for you, I was so afraid someone would hurt you. I knew a long time that you were gay before you told me. I know you tried to hide and pretend to me that your life would take the 'expected' route. I think we were both protecting each other. It took time for understanding, but most of all, the love we all feel has only, and continues to grow stronger.
I knew I would loose you to some big city when you first went to America. I cried for weeks. You blossomed when you left our town. I knew you felt safer being away from a town that was small minded and un-accepting. You could be who you wanted to be, and be free. I remember reading a story on letting our children fly free and that helped me come to terms with you leaving.
It still took some time for me, not to accept who you are or what, but to accept loosing you being nearer to me and our family.
Michael, everyone is so proud of you and what you have achieved. Your work, your music, travelling the world and meeting fabulous people. We have spent so many lovely times with the friends in your life. You have brought Billy into our lives and it's the most natural thing in the world.
We love you.