In the early days a few weeks ago (I guess these are certainly still early days), I remember I just kept thinking and saying how I felt you were in the land of the living, and I was in the land of the dead.
That is still true.
I am full of sorrow that we won’t grow old together, and full of sorrow that you won’t watch Audrey grow.
I grieve your loss here on earth- all of our plans- done. All of your music here- played.
But mostly- mostly I feel that you have left me here. That you got out of all this- and I am left to continue on alone- in a world of matter and fallenness.
Mostly I feel and know that I am clearly not the winner here- getting to remain on earth. Rather, I am left in this shadow of a world- echo of a true home, and you…well, you are home now.
The Saturday before you left for this tour, I wanted to take Audrey for a ride on a tall ship that had docked in the ferry port next to our building for a few days. The old-fashioned white sails against the brown knots of wood struck me as so beautiful and they were giving public rides. You were excited about it at first, but then you realized that there was a Korean game that same time I wanted to go – to fit it around Audrey’s nap.
So, I told you I’d go on alone with Audrey- and I even found a place for you to go watch the match since we don’t have a TV.
The ride was 2-1/2 hours and it was hot on that ship out on the water. Audrey had a big life vest on so she could barely move, sitting in her stroller. I kept her happy by feeding her snacks. I took a lot of photos of the white sailcloth towering above our heads. I chatted with the other families and couples taking the ride. Everyone was in love with Audrey.
But it was a long ride in the hot sun, and I was running out of snacks. So, I was thrilled to see us heading toward the dock.
But what I didn’t expect was to see you there Dan. I think you felt bad you hadn’t joined us and were just so eager to see us again. The game had finished earlier and I’d heard from a Korean halmony on the boat that Korea lost, so I expected you to be in a bad mood. But you weren’t.
You were wearing your “Be the Reds” shirt so you really stuck out against the white boats and blue sky- and you were waving and smiling to Audrey. She called out for the whole 5-10 minutes they were tying up the ship, “Appa! Appa!” and you kept waving from your spot up on the dock.
“Oh, is that your husband?” everyone asked who had been taken with her.
“Yes,” I said proudly.
I will forever picture you that way- smiling, waving, and welcoming me to the shore.