I remain standing, slightly embarrassed, that I no longer crumble from grief. Today, your younger son, told his joke for a third time, laughing (your laugh) as hard as the first telling, while slapping his knee when revealing the punchline, just as you. My heart pained but steadied and allowed myself a chuckle. The tears that flowed, without resistance, to mere similarities, remained contained. Even yesterday, as I encountered your passion for pushing boundaries, (specifically, an attack on gravity,) I spied your mischievous spirit as the older, armed the younger, with a parachute (tablecloth) and a plan to jump from the neighbor’s oak tree. Yes, I intervened. And no, even though submerged in sorrow, I didn’t fall.
Today, the younger, hunted his gifts for a puppy and tears spilled from your blue eyes while he sputtered that it was all he wanted for his birthday. The older, eased the younger’s grief (peacemaker like me), explaining “only Santa brings puppies as presents not Mommeys!”
I continue to stand even as I see your expressions overwritten. Again I ponder, “why?” but without succumbing to the crippling grief and guilt…I can stand.