Posted by in letters to the boys

There is one boy from Ayrie’s class who has always reminded me of Ayrie.  He’s a joyful child, but at the same time so serious.  He wants to really know the world.  He’s also kind, stopping to give a younger child a hug or an adult a genuine compliment on something small but meaningful.  But mostly he reminds me of Ayrie because there is a look in his eyes…it’s what people call an ‘old soul’… it’s as though he knows something about the universe that I would be lucky to learn in this lifetime.

I was fortunate enough to spend time with Ezra yesterday.  At one point he, Shiya and I took Be out into the back yard to play in the snow.  She ran circles around us and we tried to kick snow at her when she ran by… she was thrilled and we were laughing.  Ezra was explaning to me how he was making snow piles, why, where and so on.  It was so much like Ayrie that I couldn’t help by smile.  Both Shiya and Ezra were saying, “This is so fun!”  We tried to pull Be on the sled but she wouldn’t sit still so I tried to pull both boys in the sled, but the ice was too crunchy… eventually our fingers and noses were cold so we went inside for some home made tiramisu.

The whole time I was outside I was happy to be there.  Happy to be sharing time with someone whose spirit reminds be of Ayrie’s.  Happy to have the energy of a 4 or 5 year old in my life.  Meanwhile, I kept searching for my heart and mind, wondering if I could feel Ayrie with us.  I looked up at the sky.  Looking for a sign?  I had a flash that I felt he was with us, but it was quickly gone.  And then I would look back to the two boys frolicking in front of me and wish Ayrie was there too… but the funny thing is, if Ayrie was here we wouldn’t have Be and we likely would not have been friends with this family… so that’s funny about life, isn’t it?  You can’t have it all and it never stands still… you don’t get to say, “I want this AND I want this.”  Sometimes you are lucky to be given a fraction of what you want.  I don’t want this to come off as though I am saying that this moment was any compensation for losing Ayrie… I am just trying to express how quickly life moves on.  My heart still thinks Ayrie might come back, that he might be able to run with us in the snow, that he might throw his arms around Be… but he won’t.  Because life has moved on.  I just can’t seem to keep pace with life.  I want what was, and I want it to mingle with what is.

This morning I felt heartsick.  I kept picturing those photos that they show you in elementary school of healthy lungs versus smokers lungs.  One pair of lungs is red, plump, shiny and healthy.  The other pair is whitish, pale, shriveled and pocked.  I was picturing my heart looking like diseased lungs, scarcely pumping enough blood, just doing the bare minimum to keep me alive, but truly sick and damaged.  And it felt awful.  It felt like the hangover that I opened this post with.  Because I did have a wonderful weekend with a lot of special moments… but it was too much.  I think we had 4 social commitments?  I over-indulged and it took too much energy, took me too far away from my grief.

So I was heartsick.  I did my quick fixes (deep breaths and refocusing?) and I got through the day… but even though my head was clear enough to go to work and I’d dulled the immediate pain, my body still feels sick.

As I reflect on this post I find myself thinking about how spending time with ezra is bittersweet (with much more sweet than bitter) but that it’s gentle and I appreciate the opportunity.  He seems intuitive, like he’ll meet me where I am.  And what a better way to heal than cutting myself off entirely from children of that age and then later having to find a way to be with them again… So Ezra, as I write this I realize that you, like Shiya, are a  healer.  And I thank you.