I woke up this morning from one of those dreams where we were all still a family. Just going about some mundane business of the day in close proximity to each other, completely clueless that this would not go on forever, casual conversation, little familial irritations floating harmlessly on the deep waters of love . You boys were not little kids but still young enough not to be young men either. The thing is, you are never aware of how devastatingly beautiful a family really is until you are looking back at it. I wish some divine orchestrator was up there after all and that It would look down upon me and say, "What would it hurt to give her at least one of these dreams every single night until she dies?"
I made a soup for dinner two nights ago and bought a new good bread to try. We looked in the pantry for a bottle of red wine to open to go with it and there was only one. Tyler said, "This is a blend, that means Dad must have bought it 'cause that was his thing, remember?
Should we drink it or save it for a special occasion because this would be the last bottle of wine we have that he bought?"
And I thought, "What could be more special than this? This sad and beautiful night in which we two sit across from each other over good food, remembering you and your Dad together but each of us also alone, remembering you privately in our own unique griefs. Feeling the lump rising in the throat and swallowing it down, raising the glasses to you and to ourselves and to all the world's sadness."
Hey, beautiful boy. I trust you and your Dad are loving being part of the great flow. Your brother and I are struggling down here on poor old planet earth but we are holding tight to each other for now. Your brother figured out a 100 mile backpacking trip through the county, which was pretty impressive--you would have liked going along on that. I stayed home and fed the cat and prayed he wouldn't be eaten by a mountain lion. Grandma is turning 90 and just took on yet another volunteer job, also impressive; she still picks up every penny she sees on the street and says, "Thank you, Caleb."--her private ritual. As for me I guess its somewhat impressive that I still cry from being overwhelmed by beauty and moments of joy as well as from sadness. I miss your Dad so much. I miss you. I miss the family of four, the perfect symmetry of it, what we each brought to the whole. I've been hanging out with the big trees a lot. Sometimes sapiens are too much to bear without a little support from the elders.
Another year has passed and this year you would turn 29 if you were here. Hard to imagine that you did not get to experience your twenties at all, though I can't say the decade brought much to inspire hopefulness. The world is suffering. It makes my own grief feel small.
The neighborhood has exploded with crows over the last two years; thousands of them fill the skies. The songbirds are barely holding on. I read somewhere that there are now 10 humans for each crow but they are catching up, both of us overpopulating together. I miss birdsong. I miss you.