Stressing over the holidays? I certainly am
not. It's not like they snuck (is that a word?) up on me or did any kind of stealth tactic Still the same time, year after year after year. The difference? This year we were away, on the Disney Dream, over Thanksgiving and the official "kick off" of the Christmas shopping season. (I am not complaining!) I am just saying that being out of touch with internet for a few days and therefore out of touch with the shopping madness reality, put a few kinks in my schedule.
Couple that with my best friend since childhood losing her baby brother at the age of 34 last week. He was laid to rest yesterday. And I was at work. Where I didn't want to be. I wanted to be able to be there. To help. To give strength if the family needed it. I was able to go to Michael's viewing Tuesday night. It was apparent that he was as well loved in his adulthood as he was in his childhood. I remember him fondly from weekends spent at Laura's house. Both of her brothers, and her parents too, became part of my extended family because we spent so.much.time together. It was nice. I didn't have any brothers. As much as Laura thought they were bothersome, I thought having brothers was cool (only two girls in our family) and tried to always make time for them. Not a lot of time (that would have been weird) but a simple conversation here or there. Or even just a hello.
Michael - he was a jokester. At home. At school. Wherever. He had a personality that was infectious. The photos shown of him at the funeral home Tuesday night reflected that. He leaves behind not only his son but his long time girlfriend, his mother, his sister and his brother. The viewing was on the 18th anniversary of his father's passing. Really, does this family need any more grief at what is supposed to be a happy time? While I enjoyed seeing the photos of the man he had become and the life he was living, I was happy to see the photos of him as a young boy - the boy I remember so fondly. (The dogs I remember hanging out with too: "hi misty - hi sandy") The photos of him grinning and playing ... the family photos. The picture of the three children that they had done when they were *almost* grown up. (Really, when are we all the way grown up??)
The sobs that came out of my bestie...they tore at my heart. I would give anything to take away her pain, her grief, her sorrow and sense of loss. I've said it many times to her in many different ways: I hope that she feels the love she is surrounded with here - and the love that emanates from the heavens above for you. You are not walking this walk alone. I will do anything for you and your family ~ just say the word. Michael is now celebrating this Christmas with your Dad - the first one in 18 years!
May you rest in peace Michael. Thank you for making me a part of your family all those years ago. And, most of all, thank you for leaving your mark on all of our hearts.