Thursday, January 19, 2017

A different kind of 21st milestone...

Rick and me in 1995
Angel anniversary #21. It's hard to believe it's been 21 years since I've seen your handsome face, felt one of your amazing hugs, or even just something as simple as hearing the sound of your voice, Rick. I am so thankful you were home the weekend before a senseless act of violence and rage from a woman who said if she couldn't have you, no one could, took your life. I didn't know that weekend would be the last for all the things I mentioned or that I would be living the rest of my life without my little brother in it but I am so thankful for that weekend and thankful I got to tell you I love you one last time.

They say time heals all wounds. It really doesn't. I believe the quote from Rose Kennedy sums it up perfectly: “It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.” There is not a moment that goes by that I don't miss you terribly and even as I type this, the tears flow just about as much now as they did that dreadful morning at 2 am when I learned what she had done and that you finally got to see the stars for the first time. What makes me smile though, is seeing how your friends still love and cherish you to this very day. Every time I hear the song from Shinedown "How Did You Love", I can't help but think of you. The way you loved you them (and of course, your family) still shows 21 years later because they still love you right back and haven't forgotten about you. And you loved life too and it showed. Anyone who knew you would agree. No matter what was going on, you had an amazing outlook and spirit and when someone you cared about was down, you did everything you could to make them smile. I can't help but smile when I see you in my sons and our nephews; perhaps in a gesture or mannerism, a smile, a look, a laugh, or just one of their hugs. Or when I look up at the stars and think about what an awesome thrill it must have been for you to finally see them. You may be gone from this Earth but you live in the hearts and lives of those who were blessed to have known you and for that, you are never truly gone. Your presence is felt in so many ways.

On Earth, someone's 21st year is a milestone and a celebration of coming of age. I don't feel much like celebrating today (although don’t be surprised if I do a shot of Jager or two in your memory). I suppose every day in heaven is a celebration though and while it's sad for some of us here on Earth that a few others have joined in the celebration over the past year, how wonderful is it to know that this life is not the end and we will all be reunited again one day. It's that hope that makes living each day without you a little easier to bear.

I love and miss you always, Slick, and look forward to the day I will see you again. PS Give Papa D and my two grand babies a hug and kiss for me.

"The ultimate healing we will be home free."
Rick and my parents Christmas 1995. Who knew that a few short weeks
later, Rick would see the stars for the first time.