It is that time of year again. The time of pumpkins, baking, parties, cold weather, and rainy days. This is also the time to welcome all the holidays. Before we know it we shall be welcoming in another year. Another year of growing and learning; another year of losing and gaining; another year of love and sacrifice; another year discovering new things and saying goodbye to old ones; another year of finding joy and letting go. And as I sit here writing, this is also the time of year of your birthday. You would have turned 23. Can you believe that? Yet this will be another birthday we celebrate without you. In fact, this is the eighth birthday we shall have without you here with us. Most likely we shall do something to celebrate your day and visit your grave. We shall talk about you, and little things you said and did that we remember. A few tears will be shed; and we will recall the day we lost you and when we laid you in your final resting place. But in the end it will be just another day.
We will continue on with our lives… people going to their jobs or school. We will still have a house to clean, food to make, and time to spend. Life will go on and we will keep moving forward. We will age and begin forming our own, independent lives. We will “test the waters” (as they say) and spread our wings. Life will continue, almost as if nothing out of the ordinary ever happened. Maybe it is just part of growing up? Maybe it is because the more time that passes the farther away your death, and even life, seem? Maybe we are trying to hide from the hurt? Trying to tuck it away so maybe someday it may whittle away? Or maybe it is because we are healing? That as each day passes we are able to accept what happened. That we no longer have to focus on what we lost, but on what we had and what we continue to have. Though you may no longer be with us, we still have you present in our hearts and our minds. We may not think of you as often as we should, we still know you are there. You are there in each thing we do… from our tasks throughout the day, to moments of sheer happiness, and even our moments of deepest sorrow. You are present.
And as I sit here, (freezing from the cold), I am thinking of you and how you loved this time of year. How you loved the smell of baking and the excitement you shared as you opened your presents. It makes me think of you… the cold weather, falling leaves, windy days, the preparations of Thanksgiving… and I want you to know that throughout the business of life, you are there with me. That even though life can be crazy, it makes me grateful that I have a time of year where I think of you. And it almost makes the
freezing cold weather not so bad.
I love you! Remember me always… even when I forget to remember you.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” -Isaiah 43:2