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  • Gerald Tindal

Day 24: The deep reach of people


Karsten,


Somehow we’ve divided the world of people into family and friends. The division’s needless for me and I know it meant nothing to you. It’s all family. Your ability to invite friends into our family had a long reach. Over time. It began early and remained to your last day. Everyone was family and this made our life better. We learned. We shared. We grew. You had a deep reach for people.


Today, this family is beginning to gather, a gentle breeze that build’s throughout the day. Tomorrow, the breeze of family and friends gathers steam. We expect Sunday to be the day when it becomes a storm and finally hits. A chaotic blend of people with a deep reach that comes through you. An amazing storm we’ve labeled a celebration but deep down know it’s something else. It’s the deep reach of people from far corners of our brief life with you. The storm hits land on the SEHS football field. 2 o’clock. You’ll be there. With your entire family. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me go back. If only I could go back: I’d make this storm go away but then it’d be without people. So we need to let the storm roll in and go with it. Embrace it. Include family and friends. All of them. We’re preparing for this storm through pictures, an assemblage we knew not possible.


Today, I received a picture from Denise; it was you and me with blue Hawaiian shirts, sun glasses, and cool dude haircuts stamped for the day. The original family (at least the guy side). Father and son. Fast forward to today and we see pictures of you with an endless stream of people. Family and friends now all family. The pictures carry time on their edge that bends. They reflect a child with endless laughter and amusement. Naïve. Willing. Gullible. They slide to a young man discovering. They end with a beautiful young adult ready to roar. These pictures are with you and so many others you brought into our life. They are deep indeed. But the pictures stop. They end.


We’ve been collecting these pictures into a box and slideshow if only to move them from our private life to one that celebrates your life. The pictures are full of people. You with friends and family. You. I’m not so good at viewing them because seeing you makes me cry knowing it’s a picture that can’t be adjusted into any different position, pose, background, lighting, look. No one can enter or leave the picture. That deep reach of people is fixed. It makes me cry.


I know you wouldn’t like that so I’m working on it. And the only way I know to fix this horrible, awful, tragic, useless, endless… is through people in your/our life. They are coming in and we want to be ready for them. When they arrive, they’ll have smiles and stories and can cry with me, your mom, your sister, your mate. We’ll hug and you’ll be there. Now, the stories can change and this deep, deep reach of people will bend time again and let us fuse events. Now, the pictures aren’t fixed but let us change the look, the pose, the background, the lighting, reflections, your presence.


The only problem is that they all shouldn’t be here; all at the same time. Something’s amiss when this deep reach of people includes so many all at once. Why would we have people, family and friends from far reaches of the country all appear at the same place and time all at once? Something’s amiss. I have this deep fear that it’s because you’ve invited them all into our family and you left.


So, buddy, I can’t allow that. Nope. You can’t just leave us. When I see them, I see you.


Dad


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