Eleven months. I still expect you to walk in the door anytime. I still expect to see a Facebook or email message or to call you and talk for an hour. You were so present in your absence at Thanksgiving – -how I miss you. I looked at your Dad during our traditional family set up of the Nativity scene and saw him struggling with tears.
But with all of that we are so blessed and so happy. Thanksgiving really was a time of joy. All of the Brown side of the family came for the day except Deven. Deven would have been there, but he is working in Antarctica and couldn’t make the trip back through time and space to be with us. He spoke to us from a day ahead of us via the miracle of cell phone technology accessible even at the South Pole. I found myself wishing that you could speak to us from your vantage point so far ahead of us and so far away.
Your early passing has served to bring us closer as a family. We take advantage of opportunities to get together and we are reluctant to leave when we’ve managed to move schedule mountains to be with each other. We are so blessed to be a family that honestly enjoys one another. That isn’t to say that there are no misunderstandings and no rough edges on the diamond of our gatherings, but somehow we endure the rough stuff to get to the good stuff of love and companionship.
I think I most miss your ‘speed of sound’ wit, your trademark expressions, and your infectious laughter. You always had the perfect comeback or commentary and so often had us in stitches. With all of that you would have died a thousand deaths if you ever thought you had hurt someone’s feelings so your zingers and commentary were never malicious or mean-spirited.
The hurt of losing you seems to have gone underground for much of the time now. I don’t see the girls crying or angry as much. I don’t see me crying or angry as much either, but it is still there. Yesterday I carried your unsold textbooks to my car to take to Jacob and dissolved into tears again. I reread Facebook messages from just two weeks after your death and realized how incredibly naïve I was then. At that time I wondered how long the tears and sorrow would last . . . now I cling to the promise of a day when there will be no more tears.
Are we adjusting? Yes. I suppose in much the same way that an amputee adjusts. The pain remains – some phantom that will never completely vanish. We are gradually shifting our expectations knowing that life will never be exactly what it was before. We are living and loving and laughing and giving and taking joy all the while missing that give and take with you. I know that Jesus is ever-interceding for us. I don’t know about you. But if in the presence of God you still have the ability to pray for us, please pray hope and comfort and peace as time pushes and drags us forward to December 29, 2011. You are deeply loved and sorely missed.
“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need — one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.”