9/11/2000 – Patrick’s Birthday.
9/11/2001 – The day the world stood still.
Flash forward to 9/11/19….Patrick moved on 4-1/2 years ago. Certain days are the hardest for me. Like his birthday…like 9/11.
I felt sad. It was a day of daydreaming back to days gone by.
When someone dies, we lose much more than that person. We lose all of their friends too. Our house had always been filled with kids and youthful energy. Then, suddenly that all stopped. The house got much quieter. No more big boys running up and down our noisy wooden stairs.
The doorbell rang. And there stood Nathaniel. Tall and handsome and happy. One of Patrick’s best friends. Soon after Patrick passed away, Nate moved away. I always wondered how he was doing, but in my grief I had never tried to find him. He is no longer a young 8th grader. He is a man. My heart melted. Here before me was someone who had loved my son and had been one of his best friends. Here was a man who has also been traumatized by the tragic loss. That loss being one of the defining moments in his life.
We talked for a long time. Stories from days gone by. Crazy things that Crazy Patrick had done…the humungous Halloween and Birthday parties, the many sleep overs, the tragedy and all that has gone on for the last four years. We went up to Patrick’s bedroom where they had hung for hours, the basement where wrestling and nerf gun battles had happened and the wonderful back yard where hours had been spent running and climbing and laughing.
In this young man’s eyes, I see questions of why and what if? But, I also see Patrick in him. I see Patrick’s energy in his eyes and his easy smile. Mixed in with the sorrow, I also see love, hope and friendship. I see a friend.
Welcome home Nathaniel! You have warmed my heart and soul and made the unbearable….bearable.