Dear John Michael,
I just received a phone call from Grandma….. she wanted to read me a card you had sent her. For some reason, it suddenly appeared in a drawer she had opened. The postmark was July 1999. You were writing it in the car, telling her we were on our way to an ice hockey camp in Minnesota, but were traveling through Wisconsin getting ready to stop at a “cheese place.” You went on to tell her we had hooked up a tv in the suburban so you and Will Rivard (“a cool friend”) could watch movies on the trip. You were telling her and Papa about the mission trip you had just returned from in the Appalachians – said you were staying in Tennessee, doing Vacation Bible Schools in Virginia and eating in Kentucky “how neat” – and, all about the friends you had met there. You described the place you were staying in how it wasn’t very clean, but every day you would drive for Vacation Bible School – your group had gone to church on Sunday at a church so small that the offering was only $15 – and, you sure hoped to go back next year.
The best of all about this card was that you said it was July 22 and in only five more days it would be your birthday!
Coincidence…. I don’t think so. She went on to say after she read it, she looked up at the television and a scary movie was coming on (and, you know you liked to watch scary movies with her). Coincidence…. I don’t think so. A reminder of how special you were – always wanting to do something for those less fortunate – and, how you loved your Grandma and Papa so much.
I’ve been so brave today… no tears. And, I usually have tears every morning for you. But now, they stream down my face.
You were the best thing that ever came into my life. I loved you more than life itself – and, still do. I can still see every freckle, every mole and place them on your body in the exact place. To hold your hand again, to rub your feet again, to scratch your back again, to hear you say, “that’s my mama” again…. To hear you laugh just one more time.
Some day, Dad and I will be with you again. For now, I hold you tightly in my mind and heart. Your spirit surrounds me.