My wife knows me. She knows my life, our life, is different now. For Christmas Pauka gave me a present, only she would know to give. A gift that holds the essence of gift giving; a simple gesture that says, I understand you, I accept you, and I Love you. The Ampersand has become a symbol of how I must live each and every moment, of each and every day, until I can live no more. The glowing Ampersand seen here, was all I needed, and Pauka knew it.
Today, perhaps more than every other day, it reminds me that happiness will always be joined at the hip, with sadness. For today, I celebrate Evan’s birthday & I reluctantly mark the passing of another year without Brady by my side. It’s been two years, but most days, I feel like I’m hearing this news for the very first time. It is still confusing and often leave’s me lost and yet still, I slowly move forward. I am both perplexed by the duration of grief, but also oddly comforted by its consistent presence as it is my authentic self and is rooted in Love.
Evan too must learn to embrace the mighty Ampersand. No longer can he blissfully wake each January 11th, knowing the entire day will be all about him–his special day. Rather, he wakes with a heavy heart, crying over the loss of his big brother he won’t soon see. It would be easy to just give up, and be sad on his birthday, but it must be AND. He must be grateful for the life he has been granted, as he is also angry that his brother is not there to watch him grow.
It is a lesson for us all; we all must integrate our pain, into our lives.
So for Evan: I could not be more proud of you and take great joy in watching your life unfold. The manner in which you pursue your passions is inspiring, and I look forward to watching as those passions evolve. Know that my heart warms, every time I see you, every time I hear you, and even when I just hear your name. Thank you for being Evan. I Love you son, and will cry with you whenever you need, laugh with you when life is funny, and always be here for you. Happy Birthday.
for Brady: I miss you son. Thank you for guiding the light to me when I need it most. I am truly grateful for our time together, even though it now causes me daily pain I cannot adequately describe. Grief truly is the price of Love, and Love you I do.
I light candles for you both today…