An odd thought occurred to me in the middle of the night: Morning and mourning are different in one letter only. This might explain why morning is so terribly difficult for us. It’s when we’re mourning. When night becomes day, we all seem to have a dread of another one without you and all the reminders of you. Your pictures about the house. All the work you’d done in the forest yard. Your car. Your Harley. Families with sons being playful, some young and about to be your age one day and others young adults like you.
Even the time of day from this past summer seems to trigger a difference. Mornings were getting ready with small talk, Jumble, and your toot of the horn as you drove out and headed to Richardson Sports. Evenings were an IPA on the deck, random talk about all stuff (and sports of course), something on the grill, and then fighting/swatting hornets for a place at the table.
So, the nights are pretty much awash with wakefulness thinking about you. Every moment seems to spill between you having been with us and now us being without you. The pivot’s in the verb tense: Past and present is about all we get to these days. The future’s very cloudy right now, so let’s just not go there.
Buddy, you made a difference and made life different. We so understand that now in all the small ways that were taken for granted. Your curious look at me when pavering (the act of placing pavers on the ground in just the right way) the forest yard that was so midwestern: I guess a guy could do it that way. Your belly roll laugh when making beer in the back. Your ability to clean the table not just the plate. Your friends you brought to the house, all fine kids then and fine adults now. High quality people who were kids from high quality people who became our friends one generation removed. Your ability to traverse the shaky gulf between childhood and teenage years so smoothly: You were the big easy (and as your sister reminds us, we made all of our mistakes in parenting her so when you came around 8 years later, we kind of knew what we were doing).
The word ‘different’ also has a cruel side. How life could be different with just a slight declination of events that lead to endless ‘what ifs’ that lead to no answers and just hang out as tortured reasoning with no purpose. I wander there and quickly dispel this line if only because we can’t make this horrible ‘thing’ go away. We can’t make it different. It is and was.
To keep us moving forward we need to keep you with us. You might not be in the room but certainly are in how we roll. Much more KT in us than ever before so indeed life is different. More KT in the people we see with your eyes, your smile, your slight way of work with quiet accomplishments that build into something noticeable. Something different.