I never thought it possible to love you more than I already did.
But I do.
Your brother’s untimely departure has opened my heart in a whole new way to the glory that is your presence. It has made me drink you in like water in the desert.
No more do I take even a moment for granted. Never again will I be “too busy” to listen to you, to hug you, to greet you on the porch when you decide to make your way back home.
I promised you when that deputy came to the door we would survive.
And we have.
I promised you that I would never raise Dominic onto a hallowed pedestal that obliterated his orneriness and only kept track of his laudable qualities.
I pray I have lived up to the promise.
We are changed-every one of us.
I am so very proud of you for continuing to live. It would have been easy to give up. It would have been easy to “live for the moment” and give in to hedonism.
You haven’t done that.
You have had to carry more weight than you should. I am so very anxious to see how you take this awful pain and weave it into your own stories-how this dark thread helps define who you become and how you choose to impact your world.
You have lent me your strength when mine was waning.
You have checked on me and loved me and borne patiently with me and with one another when it would have been easier to walk away and try to create a life outside this place of brokenness and vulnerability.
I am always cautious when ascribing feelings and words to our departed Dominic-it’s easy to make him say or feel whatever is most convenient since he’s not here to dispute it. But I am certain of this: while he would never, ever have wanted us to bear this awful burden, he would be so, so proud of the way we have supported one another in doing so.
Like always, our family has closed ranks and lifted together the weight that would have crushed us individually.
It’s who we are.
It’s who we have always been.
*I am absolutely convinced that Dominic is very much ALIVE today in the presence of Jesus. But for now, I’m denied his daily companionship.