There is a road we travel, which we all travel. However the distance may not be the same. The distance between now and then or before and after is not always the same for everyone.
Either way, we all start from somewhere. Either way, we all travel down the road of life. Some travel longer than others but again, either way, some travel differently, some have shorter runs, and some have longer trips. This means there is a start, beginning, and there is an end to us all. However, what we do in-between is everything. This is the meat to the ribs of our life. This is our substance and our memory. This is the mark we leave behind and the fabric of our existence.
I am thinking now (about you, of course) and the family gatherings, which, I admit there were not as many as there should have been.
Yet still, I am thinking of them now.
I am thinking of the gatherings for holidays and what it was like when you came through the door.
I am thinking about the way your coat smelled from the outdoors—and maybe the surface of your coat was still cold from the outside, which I could feel as we hugged when you came in, but you, on the other hand, you were the warmest thing ever.
I am sure that I am not alone with this. I am sure everyone remembers the family gatherings. I am sure I am not alone when I reminisce of them and the way it felt when my cousins came in—and the older generation, which was somewhat like royalty to me—God, it was so good to see you all.
I assume I felt this fascination towards the older generation because you grew up knowing The Old Man, my Father. Perhaps I felt this way too because I grew up seeing photographs of life before I was born, which was mesmerizing to me.
I loved these gatherings. This is the meat of my ribs. This is my heritage. This is where I came from; and while the road of life has sent us into different directions, still, I can see you know, coming in through the door from outside.
I received word about your passing yesterday morning. I was sad to hear about this. Of course, I was. I was sad but grateful because at least I can say this: You are my family.
I was sad but grateful because at least I can say we spoke before you left. At least I can say we had the chance to update each other. I had the chance to share with you and you did the same with me.
Sharing—I think I like this word.
This means to give to one another, freely, to divide, and to give from the heart, which is what we did when we spoke.
There is a road in which we all travel. This road will not always have the same direction and the same turns. We may travel to different parts of the world and we may not speak as often as we would like, but still, family is family, love is love, and you are part of both to me.
I remember us, standing at the cemetery for another of our beloved. You stood next to me, which was comforting.
I felt better simply because you were there. You didn’t say anything. You just stood next to me. I remember. You were there—and I say you were there because you were there in every sense of the word. This meant a lot to me.
This road we take is filled with unexpected journeys. If we journey, then you sir have journeyed well. You loved, you lived, and you laughed. The meat on the ribs of your life is full, which is all anyone can ask for.
Put simply, you lived. You lived in every sense of the word.
You lived and because you did, my life was better for it because we are related.
There are times, which you would have never known (mainly because I never mentioned this to anyone before) but in my moment of social discomforts, you were there, smiling a smile that no one else in this world could ever pull off.
I have explained death so many times to different people the same way it was explained to me. Dying is part of life.
However, life is energy and energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Einstein said this a long time ago. Einstein explained energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only change forms.
Life is energy. Therefore you are energy; therefor, you have not gone anywhere whatsoever. You have only changed forms. Our job now is to contact this energy and learn to look and listen for you voice.
The energy, I feel, is still with me, like now for example. The hairs on my arms stand as I write this to you.
I am envisioning you as you were the last time I saw you. You had a pair of sunglasses on. We were reminiscing about some of the crazier days. And as we were, I thought to myself, “God, this guy is the best!”
You always helped me to feel comfortable.
I love you for this.
You always helped me to see things from a different perspective.
I love you for this too.
I am a firm believer that wherever you are, you are in good company and in kind places with kind people, looking down upon us.
I am a firm believer that life is life and flesh is flesh but the spirit is ongoing. I believe the eyes you see through now are clearer than anything our minds can comprehend.
More accurately, I believe the eyes of Heaven never blink, not once, because the eyes of Heaven don’t have to blink.
They don’t need to.
See, I blink because I have to. I close my eyes so I can dream. I close them so I can imagine. Sometimes I close my eyes and smell through my nose as if I could catch the aroma of those family gatherings I was telling you about.
I can smell the food. I can smell the room. I close my eyes and I can see you all, my loved ones.
I have to close my eyes to see this.
But the eyes of Heaven never close.
They don’t need to.
Your eyes see things, which my eyes can’t.
So please see me now, in humble memory.
I understand when we weep, we weep for ourselves
(because you are free)
You are energy. You are whole again, young again, and there is no such thing as sickness where you live now. There is nothing to hold you back. Nothing can stop you now from riding away; no helmet laws either, so ride free and ride on.
There is a road we travel, which we all travel.
Mine has been forever improved because you are part of it
To my family,
I understand our directions have been spread out. I understand our interactions have been brief. However, I am lucky and bless and grateful that we have overlapped, time and time again.
I love you all