Today, I read a blog that a friend of my wife had written. In it, she chronicles how dynamic life can be at certain times. By dynamic, I mean way up (the sharing of one's life with someone very special to you) and way down (the loss of someone whom you've come to know for any reason). I read this blog, and shared a song with her. It was "Burial on the Presidio Banks" by This Will Destroy You. I don't know why I was especially compelled to post this on her page, but I did. Then I got to thinking of my own dynamic, and dynamics in general.
The next thing I know, I'm reflecting on my past few weeks and hours, thinking about how happy my son was at the parade yesterday, looking at the firetrucks and the dancers and the bagpipes and racecars and motorcycles... eating all the candy! We went to a friend's house and had a huge bonfire and set off fireworks! Dash got to play with two huge mastif/boxer mixes and Malcolm loved every second of it. He watched the dogs play and laughed. He ran after the bigger kids. I even helped him fire off some Roman candles! I was so happy just watching him soak it all in!
Then, this evening, I watched him fall asleep, still exhausted from yesterday's joys and a beach day today. He was asleep by 6:30 tonight. And as he fell asleep, I played that song and watched him as he slept. Suddenly, my thoughts drifted from the joy and love and happiness that I felt with Malcolm. They carried me to a place I haven't thought about in a long time. In far too long a time.
They took me to Malcolm's brother, Tiberius. Suddenly, my eyes swelled up, and my heart fell like it was going to float right out of my throat. I missed him. I miss him. He would be turning seven this November. I never got to take him to any 4th of July parades. I never got to sit with him and watch a bonfire, never got to feed him candy or wrestle around with him on the living room floor. I never got to tell him "I love you" just so I could hear him say it back. I never got to tell him I loved him that last time at all. I never got to hear him fart in his sleep or giggle while I chased him around. I never got to send him off to his first day of school, or bring him to Alaska, or introduce him to his brother, or his brother's dog, the three-legged wonder named Dash.
I was flooded with sorrow, and I went into the kitchen to do what I haven't done in years. I just collapsed and let it all go. For a while. Then, I made myself a cup of tea, and made my way back into the living room, where Malcolm was sleeping peacefully on the couch. The hours that seemed to have passed were merely minutes, and Malcolm suddenly turned his head and smiled in his sleep.
There are unexpected turns in life, some that treaten to extinguish the very fire of one's existence. And while these moments seem so empty and unfathomable, they are just as much a part of our lives as the converse, the happiness that so often is right in front of us, sleeping on the couch, blowing in the wind, falling from the sky, or fading over the horizon. If we open our eyes, it's overwhelming in its scope and its fortitude, humbling, and all-encompassing.
I encourage the few of you who are reading this to really see the world around you, not just observing it and noting the clutter, but really seeing it. We're given far too short a time to not be continually inspired by the wonders all around us.