I can visualize him sitting on a stool, playing his guitar, and singing in his quiet voice as the crowd sits in awed silence watching him on stage. He could have been a rock star. But he wasn’t.
I can see him picking his beautiful girl up from school and chatting with her about life. He could have been a great dad to his teenage daughter. But he wasn’t.
I can hear him laugh as he blows out 39 candles and happily eats the first piece of cake. I smile at the hint of gray showing up in his beard. He could have grown to be a great man. But he didn’t.
He wasn’t a lot of things that he didn’t have the chance to be, but I can tell you who he was.
He was more than a young 22-year-old whose life ended in a tragic way. He was a prankster and a comedian. He was serious and introspective. He was little-boy-adorable and grown-man handsome. He was immature and young. He was spirit-old and wise beyond this time. He was infuriating and comforting. He was reckless and protective.
He was a brother, father, uncle, and grandson. He was the friend who gave you his shirt and the student who studied life. He was my son.
When he left this life, I searched every photograph I had and looked intensely into his eyes. I wanted to know him deeper than I had ever known him before. I gathered his belongings and held them as if I were holding him. I listened to stories and fantasized about how it would be if he was still here. I played the ‘what-if’ game. Trying to rewrite the ending to the story and pretending that I could make a magical deal with time, and he would come back. But he didn’t.
I can remember the person I was when he was here. The mom I was. I wish I could be that same mom now. But I can’t. I live a little bit there and a little bit here, in the blur of then and now.
I began as a warrior who fought between regret and gratitude. I have become the dancer who sways to the magical music of memories. Now I am the mom who struggles to keep some part of him alive. I am the mom who continues to tell you who he was. I write stories about him on his birthday and share memories on the anniversary of his passing. I say his name and when my eyes close, I imagine his beard brushing my face. For as long as I can remember him, I will remind you not to forget, because when he is forgotten it will be his second death.
Now he is the guitar leaning in the corner and the hoodies in a plastic tub. But, more than that, he is the whisper in my ears and the messages to my soul. He is the sunrise in the morning and a star in the night sky. He is the tattoo on my heart and the twinkle in his daughter’s eyes.
He is the laughter from his sister and the hugs from his brother. He is the breeze when the window is down and a song plays loudly through the car stereo.
Today there would be 39 candles on his cake.
He could have been a rock star.
But he wasn’t.
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Pennie’s Life Lesson:
Don’t leave this life with could-have-beens.
Be all you can be now.
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#CornerofSpiritandBrave #loveyourlifenomatterwhat #JourneyThrough #PennieHunt #IAmGoodEnough
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There is a certain magic about where I live both physically and spiritually – on the crossroads of Spirit and Brave.
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