Hi Son – been too busy living and working give into the darkness that strikes me every year, at this time – but as thunderstorm clouds approached from the west, this afternoon – I was carried back through time and realized, with a start –
You would be a whole, big, 27 years old tomorrow, had you lived.
Tonight, at this time, 27 years ago, I was walking the halls of Rip Griffin’s Truckstop, in Limon, Colorado – very pregnant and not willing to cower, hunched up, in ‘protected space’ from still raging weather and further threats of yet more tornados.
I grumpily informed those trying to keep me in protected spaces of my need to walk out the charley horses plaguing my legs –
I was most likely in early labor, to bring you forth, then, but what did I know, at such a young age? Did I ever tell you about Wade? He walked the glass window lined halls, with me, to keep me company. (or perhaps he was placed on ‘guard duty’ for the crazy pregnant lady….who knows, for sure?)
The drive over to work some hours earlier was fraught with driving rain/wind and poor road conditions.
When I finally reached the gateway to Limon and found it guarded by law enforcement, I was informed of the tornado that had wiped out downtown.
(Not completely true, but in the dark of the night, who could fully tell, in the dark?
The battery operated radio delivered the announcements proclaiming what was true less than a mile from my location and I had no way of knowing if really true or not – although I did laugh when one enthusiastic announcer said the ‘whole town’ was leveled – which I knew not to be true. Even two weeks later, when I visited to show you off to my friends and co-workers, downtown still looked and felt like a war zone.)
You arrived in my world on the tail winds of a massive summer storm – and left just as quickly in a whirlwind of events that I still pull out in attempt to fully understand how something so precious can disappear in a heart beat.
So Far, So Good, this season….
Not like 2 years ago, when your brother and I moved quickly to the cellar and waited for the sirens to quit blaring every 15 minutes or so….
Tornadoes & You –
So many springs have come and gone since that year you arrived, and those that have passed since you departed.
Except for the loss of you, Mother Nature and God have taken pretty good care of me, thus far – for didn’t I drive through the storm, somehow missing all of it to arrive in Limon, AFTER the full force of the storm reached out to touch the earth?
Was I not moved from the bedroom wiped out by huge tree, that just 3 nights before, I had slept in?
Have I not witnessed the fury over the years, without coming in harms way?
Have I not been blissfully unaware as the hand of the Grim Reaper lurked in the darkness around me, as I drove deserted highways, over the years?
Didn’t you, even while throwing words that hurt my mother’s heart, in your rebellious years, always have my total trust?
For you had the knack for being the devil who fought me tooth and nail when asked to help with dishes.
Then, turning angel, “Yum..cookies! Thank you for deciding to make umpteen dozens of them, today…”
As I try, heartily, to immerse myself in the joy and beauty of each spring, to find a way to separate the beauty, grace, and blessings of your arrival from the fury, destruction and havoc caused by the same arrival season of spring storms –
I cannot – for, in the deepest part of my soul, the wild energy, awe inspiring moments spent experiencing both them and you – well – to me, they feel the same.
Both joy and fear – wild elation at the raw, untamed power that sweeps through a life and yet, fear I might somehow miss one blessed moment contained in the darkest of times.
Here, Now –
We are getting along okay –
Your brother has one year of college under his belt, a good summer job (which he got by pounding the pavement and filling out applications on Monday after end of semester AND hired same day…so proud of him.) and is contemplating his options for service, on either domestic or world service.
And he, too, has been gone a year, from my everyday ability to hug, say I love you in person etc. Not a far away as you, but not daily, right near by.
Funny, how when I was pregnant and dreaming of each of you, the true weight of the day you would once again be gone on to your own adventures never really crossed my mind.
I miss you – I miss him.
For me, you two are the finest human beings it has ever been my pleasure to know. Simultaneously, you each are tough and compassionate…
…pull your own weight and know how to ask for help.
My Gemini twins, born 8 years & 3 days apart – with their Airy ways that, by turns, provided what was needed to keep the hearth of my soul burning bright and could also blow me right into the firestorm of temper.
You, who stood strong and fast, in face of storms, braved walking into high-heat embers, then cooled it all into oblivion by a simple word or gesture.
Missing you, both, sorely, tonight.
And now, since I took my sweet time writing to you, I can say,
Happy Birthday, babe.
LUBP (love you a bushel and a peck, and a hug around your neck…)