“Your absence has gone through me like thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its color.”  W.S. Merwin

Fourteen years. Has it been so few? It seems like forever. I remember like it was yesterday.

I remember you.

I can hear you laughing. How you held your head in your left hand; thumb on your cheek and fingers on the top. As if to hold the glorious weight of all that joy in your head and your hands and your heart for all it was worth.

I can hear you weeping. The way you bent your head down low in the sound of sorrow. How you took off your glasses and laid them in your lap. I heard how the thunder rolled and lightening struck in the booming beating of your sensitive soul.

I remember teaching you how to form words with your voice. And then sentences. And then, you taught me the language of life; of a love, that I had never known before.

Like ink on paper, you have left a mark on me. A mark of beauty that bears your name.

I can see your face with the eyes of my mind. And I can hear the settled gentleness in your voice. “Mom! Love others as you have loved me.”

A resounding reverberation rings in my ears; resonates in my deepest spaces. And I remember.

“Love others as I have loved you.” The Hebrew word for remember, in the verb form, is zakar. Its meaning embodies both thought and action.

I remember you, Michael.

The look of you.

The feel of you.

The joy of you.

And I remember the moment God marked my soul with your words and His. And I will never forget what that did to my insides.

It is a mark of beauty that bears His name. I will cherish the beauty marks and I will remember and I will love. I will still mess up but I will love with the unshakeable, indestructible kind of love with which God loves us. In the terrible and in the beautiful.

I miss you.

What else is there but to live, laughing and crying, fully and bravely and beautifully in completely bound, secured, never-lets-go-fastened-together, unblinded, sacrificial love?

Love.

Stronger than death.