If You Could Hear Me
I could not tell you the last time I spoke with you over the phone, but I do remember the last time I saw you. Do you remember the last time we saw each other? We were in Big Bear. I do not recall if it was for Christmas or grandpa’s birthday. Do you remember? It was winter. I do not remember what we did that day or even what we talked about. I do remember that we ate dinner as a family; you, me, Erik, dad and grandpa. After dinner, there was dessert; apple pie and vanilla ice cream. Despite your gastrointestinal issues concerning milk, you served yourself a generous helping of ice cream. We all joked that you would be farting all night and how you would be extra warm under your blankets because you would be hot boxing yourself with your farts. You laughed so much, you knew it was true. It happened many times before. We all laughed and laughed even more because your laugh was so contagious. Erik and I whined to grandpa, “Why did you buy ice cream? You shouldn’t have let Uncle Byron have any! He’s going to be farting all night.” He laughed. So that night, we all fell asleep to the smell of your farts.
I told that same story at your funeral. It’s how I remember you, I guess. Funny. Laughing. Smiling. For that, I am grateful.
The next morning, we packed the cooler with snow from impromptu home made ice packs. It was the last thing we did together. As we prepared to head to our separate destinations, we hugged. It was the last time we hugged. As dad, Erik and I were getting ready to pull out of the driveway, you scurried out of your car and walked up to the driver’s side of our car and dad rolled down the window. You wanted to give money to Erik and I for Christmas. Dad said we had enough. You were always so generous and giving. This is how I’ll remember you for the rest of my life.
If you could hear me now, I would tell you that I miss you. That we all miss you. If you could hear me now, I would tell you that I understand why you left us. I would tell you, that as days pass I think about you still and wonder how different all of our lives would be if you were still here. If you could hear me, what would it change? You can’t come back.
We have a difficult time, in the family, talking about you. So much has changed now that you’re gone. If you could hear me, I would tell you that we love you so much – and that I strive each day to leave people with the same impressions you left me with. At your funeral, everyone had nothing but wonderful memories of you and how you made them feel. You were wonderful. Generous. Kind. You were so good – too good.
Next time we see each other, I’ll bring a bowl of vanilla ice cream.
If you can hear me, I love you.