Andrew, my beloved son, I want to keep you in my life. But more accurately, I need to keep you in my life. I want to get up every day and know you are still here. I want to be able to tell you things, and show you things, and to share with you. When you were here, you, along with Nicole, brought the light into my days and into my life. It is that light that made me get up every morning, look forward to every day, and made me smile. I want to keep that light alive, and keep that light burning for the rest of my life, no matter how long that will be.
When I see something that I know you would have appreciated, I want to know that you see it as well. I need to know that you can still see what i see and that it brings a smile to your face. You don’t know how many times I see a beautiful or customized RX8, your last car, and think, for a brief split second, that I should take a picture to show it to you. Then reality comes back. Sometimes I still take the picture just because I know that you would have appreciated it. But I want to know that you see that car along with me. That you still appreciate a nicely thought out, customized, clean car. When Nicole makes a great save, or wins a difficult game, you don’t know how many times I have reached for my phone to call you to share it with you, only to remember that you saw it already along with me. And I take my hand slowly off my phone.
When I see something sad or upsetting, I look around to make sure you don’t see it, the way I used to when you were a child. But I know you have already seen it. I cannot protect you anymore the way I used to. You’re an angel now, my angel, and you see so much more now. When something goes wrong, I instinctively try to protect you, but I know I am too late. I just hope that the things that made you sad when you were with us, the things that made you cry before no longer make you sad or cry. I know you are here with us all the time, but it kills me that I cannot protect you any longer. I can’t protect you from sad events, from mean people, from tragedy, from anything that a good father should protect his children from.
When I talk to you when I am alone and hurting during the day, do you hear me? When I sit outside by your garden and tell you about what is going on in my life, the way we used to talk, do you still hear me? When I look at your empty seat at the dinner table, do you hear my thoughts? I used to be able to look into your eyes and know you were listening. I used to be able to hear you tell me that you understood and appreciated what I do for you, that you liked me gently guiding you and appreciated me helping you to get through issues that we all have in life. Do you still have any of those issues? Is there anything I can possibly do for you now?
More important though – do you know I still love you. More than ever.
Nicole is still here – and she is the light of my life now. I am so happy when we are with her, or when she comes home from school to be with mommy and I. She has that bright, beautiful smile that just makes us so happy to see, and that laugh (or giggle) that just melts away anything else. She is doing so well in school, making great friends and playing and loving hockey. She is as confident in herself as any young lady and knows she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to. She tells me you come to visit her before games – just like you used to do. She wears some of your clothes, visits your room, and is making you a part of her life like she always has. When she made the ECAC All-Academic Team, I know you were as proud of her as we were – and I am sure for a split second she reached for her phone to call you and tell you, just like I did.
I am sure you will be with her and guide her for the rest of her life – for you are her one and only older brother. Giving her advice and guiding her in your own special way. Supporting her and watching out for her long after the rest of us are gone. I have to believe that. I know your love for her will never end, as hers for you will never end.
When it is a cloudy day, and gloomy both inside and out, one of those difficult to get through days for dad, I look up to that cold sky in hope. Every once in a while i see a ray of light coming through, or a small piece of a rainbow – faint, small, and some times fleeting. And I say thank you for looking out for me and letting me know you are still here.
And a little levity that I know Andrew would appreciate.
Andrew – Mom’s credit card got stolen last week. But I am not reporting it yet.
Who ever has it is spending less than mommy!