Lizz Kelly will spend her son's 21st birthday "eating cheesecake and taking Thomas' car for a burn".
Sadly, the seat beside her will be empty.
Thomas Vickers took his own life on November 30, 2021.
He was only 20 years old but he had long had a "black dog" trailing behind him.
Ms Kelly said this might come as a surprise to many.
Her son's selfless nature meant he always put others first and he "didn't want to be a burden to anyone".
Ms Kelly said her son was on medication for depression but the dose had been changed in the lead-up to his death.
She saw the warning signs that all was not well with her son, who was also her best friend.
"In the end, I knew from the way he looked, the way he walked, the way he talked that there was something going on," Ms Kelly said.
But this didn't stop him from being the joker of the house or from regularly telling his sister Makayla, 14, "jump in the car, we're going for a drive".
Mr Vickers was also a great mate to his brothers Xavier, 18, and Tyler, 16, and extremely close to his dad Darren.
"He was the kindest, most helpful person," Ms Kelly said.
"He wasn't just my son - he was my rock, my best friend. He would do anything for anyone and he left a piece of himself wherever he went."
Ms Kelly said her son was extremely excited about his new role as an ambulance community officer. He was also a trainer at the Terang Mortlake Football Netball Club.
These were just additional ways he could fulfill his desire to help others.
Ms Kelly said her son's prized possession was his green Commodore.
She said the family would celebrate Mr Vickers' 21st birthday on Wednesday with cheesecake - his favourite.
"Thomas, we were meant to make many more memories and celebrate this milestone together," Ms Kelly said.
"I will light your candle, eat your cheesecake and take your car for a burn. Memories are ours forever - love and miss you always mate - now my angel boy. Happy heavenly birthday."
Ms Kelly said she had countless memories of her son that put a smile on her face.
"If I was at the pub he would show up and tell me he was there to drive me home," Ms Kelly said.
At one point, Ms Kelly wondered how he had an uncanny knack for knowing where she was. He had - unbeknownst to her - activated the location tracking on her phone, Ms Kelly said with a laugh.
She said she made many attempts over the years to get her son the help he needed. "There was a lot of fighting and arguing with doctors."
Ms Kelly and her friend Sheryn McDowell are raising money to create a safe space in Terang for people to visit, relax and talk to someone in a non-judgemental setting.
Four Terang Mortlake footballers, including Mr Vickers' brother Xavier, will run the Melbourne Marathon in October to raise funds for the initiative. They have setup a Facebook page - Let's dog the black dog - where people can donate to the worthy cause.
Ms Kelly said her advice to parents who were concerned about their children's mental health was to "fight".
"Fight to get them the support they need," she said.
Ms Kelly said she was determined to open the centre to honour her late son.
"I want to make a difference," she said.
- Anyone who needs help can phone Lifeline on 131 114 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636.
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