You’ve always been early, so it doesn’t surprise me when I wake ten minutes before our witching hour. 3:50 a.m. and my instinct tells me there is something you are trying to say, though I’m sure J don’t always get it right. Advice wasn’t like this before–I wasn’t really one to ask for it, and generally you didn’t just dole it out either. But things are different now, and I think all too often about what you’d say in certain circumstances or how you’d react to what’s happening in my life (really in any of our lives). You are speaking and I know there is something I need to hear.
Maybe it’s your reaction to the wonderful chaos of the last ten days, maybe you’re screaming your presence with us as we prepare for family photos, maybe you are reminding us that not everyone was raised like we were and it is okay to set our own boundaries as we need them.
Maybe it’s a reminder to be fierce in the face of adversity, to show grit and not back down when things feel uncomfortable or a little bit off, to allow ourselves to shed our skin when words and phrases make every part of that skin crawl.
Perhaps you are telling me to be patient (though that lesson usually comes from dad). Are you softly saying that I need to start sharing more of what I know so others don’t feel left out or left behind? I know your thankful for the time we created with two of your dearest friends–who both think of you often and might miss you as much as I do.
It’s a reminder of your pride for each of us. For our academic pursuits and other accomplishments. For the way we hold onto and hold each other up. It’s a recognition of your love for Sweeps and the joy he brings to us all. It the reassurance in the moments that I doubt and worry–about who you won’t meet or what you won’t see–that in fact you will and you do. Just like I reassured you. Your presence is here in large and small ways–and sometimes I just need that reminder to see, to feel, to listen, to know.